Today my wife completed her fourth (count ’em 1, 2, 3, 4 at 26.2 miles a pop) FULL marathon by running the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Arizona Marathon in 4:27! This was a personal record for her as she shaved over 20 minutes off her previous best which is like averaging a one minute faster per-mile time. Her goal was 4:15-4:30 so she is really happy…and sore.
The point-to-point marathon began at 7:40AM in downtown Phoenix at North 7th Avenue & East Washington Street and finished at Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe via Scottsdale.
Did I run? Umm, no! I think long-distance running is for dummies but I love watching my wife pursue and compete in her life-long passion for the sport. I am «ahem» an official marathon spectator and I take my role and responsibilities seriously. That is for another post, this one is about my wife, but suffice it to say there is no “I” in “marathon” but there is a T-A-M. I supply the “E” (as in “Except when it comes to the actual running.”) 😆
TB’s parents both came down to cheer her on as well which made her personal record so much more enjoyable and memorable for her I am sure. She ran the entire race very strong and had a smile on her face each time we saw her (We cheered her on at The Start, Mile 9, Mile 14, Mile 18, Mile 22, Mile 23 and The Finish.) The weather was fantastic — considering the drenching we have been getting in Seattle the past few weeks — with a temperature in the 60s, sunny with a few scattered clouds.
She started the race in the 4:15 pace group with her trainer, Michael, his sister, Gina, and their training buddy, Paul. By Mile 9 it was just TB and Michael. By Mile 14 TB was running alone as the others in her group had dropped behind pace. TB’s mom, recognizing how lonesome her daughter must have been feeling at such a critical stage of the race, decided to jump in at Mile 22 and run with her until just after Mile 23. It was a Nikon moment, literally. The jury is still out on who was motivating whom during that mile (sorry, mom) but it worked brilliantly and TB took off like a bat-out-of-Hades to finish the race.
Technically, we did not see TB cross the finish line as the race organizers managed to shut down every conceivable automobile route into Sun Devil Stadium from the north. Of course we did not know of this minor (I’m being sarcastic) inconvenience until TB was due to cross the finish line and we were stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Replete with flashbacks of running with a fully-loaded camera backpack but this time in the high-noon, Arizona sun, I somehow found myself sprinting about a mile from SR-202 & North Scottsdale Avenue to the stadium with hopes of catching TB cross the finish. I failed miserably but she was a terrific sport about it. The finish was a zoo with over 30,000 runners (full- and half-marathoners), their families and hundreds upon hundreds of event staff.
I should also mention TB has completed three half-marathons as well. Eventually, she will move to triathlons I am sure.