Friday, December 30, 2011

Mt. Lemmon Half Marathon Race Recap!


The Most Beautiful Race I have EVER Run!

My day started at 3:00am. I woke up, got dressed, ate a few bananas and raspberries, and hit the road. I had to be at the buses at Tucson Medical Center no later than 4:30am.

I got to the buses, and we were off! I tried to get a photo of the long line of red bus lights along the dark, mountainous highway but there wasn't enough light it get it. It sure looked cool.  

We finally arrived at Windy Point. It was about a 30 minute bus ride. I was hydrating like crazy and I knew everyone else was as well, so that meant...everyone had to go to the bathroom when we got off the bus. EVERYONE. 

And there were only port-a-potties.

And the race was set to start in 10 minutes.  

And I was in the last bus, out of 4 buses.

This is the line after the race started:

And this is the start line after the race started:
You can see a few runners up ahead.

So, I didn't get to start with the gun and, well, everyone else. I was a little bummed about it. 
But the announcer kept reminding everyone in the port-a-potty line that our individual time doesn't start until we actually cross the line.
So, I was relieved and tried to calm myself down. But at the same time I was still upset that they didn't have more port-a-potties and they didn't think to get the buses there earlier.

However, the serenity of running alone during a race sure made up for it. And the amazing views didn't hurt. 


Got a great view of the sun rising. It was so beautiful at Windy Point, which is what I'm passing in this photo:

Finally! A good photo!

It was so peaceful. I ran without music (I emailed the race director beforehand and he was pretty serious about taking people off the course if he saw headphones. However, I saw a ton of people doing it anyways...grr) which may have helped my time. I sang songs in my head that I semi-memorized and worked through an issue I was having at work in my head. I thought I would be bored out of my mind, but that little issue I was working through really gave me something to think about. 

So beautiful! And so alone. :)

These are some great views of the other side of Mt. Lemmon, looking east. I had to stop for these views. 

Different from the route last year, this year we took a left and went down a "residential" road. It had a ton of cabins I never even knew existed! A lot of people were out in their lawn chairs cheering us on. :)

Almost there! 

I finished!!
Time - 2:46:58
Avg Pace - 12:44
Place - 128th
Elevation Gain - about 3190 ft. 

The food afterwards:

Lots of fruit, muscle milk and eggs and tortillas. :)

Me and my parents. After this, we decided to go eat in Ski Valley (at the very top of the mountain) at the Iron Door Restaurant. Unfortunately, the staff couldn't get through the traffic so it wasn't open. :(
I actually emailed the race director later that day hoping to get more businesses involved next year (like the General Store and the Cookie Cabin). I would have loved to stay in Summerhaven for at least another hour. But there really wasn't much to do with all the businesses being closed.

Back in Tucson, about to eat at the Good Egg when I realized that I didn't get a photo with Chance.

Pretty sweet medal. :)

Overall, this race was amazing! Definitely a MUST. Yes, it's tough, but it feels great to finish. :)
I loved the solidarity, but next time around, I'd like to run with someone by my side. Or perhaps a group of people. Be prepared, you may see a Girl Scout team running this in April. :)


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