Apache Junction, AZ


Marathon 7:00 am              471 finishers

The marathon is held annually on President’s Day weekend.

There is also a half marathon, 10K, 8K, and 2 Mile.

Traveling to Phoenix

Chuck and Esther took the straight through flight early Friday morning meeting Bill at the airport.  Kari and I opted for the flight to leave Sarasota later in the day changing planes in Atlanta.  Thursday night our flight was canceled and we re-booked to a later flight that would take us to Tucson where we could rent a car (and visit my sis).  Weather was predicted to be bad in Atlanta–lots of snow and no de-icing equipment.

We arrived in Atlanta and our flight (and 1800 others) were canceled.

So after an entire day or re-booking flights that were to be later canceled, we got a straight through flight out on Saturday.  Callie ran into her also stranded English teacher in the news stand–weird!

We got the very last hotel room at the airport Marriott and had a good night sleep.  We went back to the airport and our flight was delayed–which gave me time to do a 5k sprint back to the hotel to obtain Callie’s lucky pillow which we left!

We FINALLY made it to Phoenix in time to drop our stuff off and meet up with everyone for dinner!

Pre Race

We met up with Chuck & Esther’s friends from Rochester for a pasta feed at Olive Garden!


We parked about .9 miles from the finish and took a bus to the start.  The buses ran from 4:30-5:45 am.  It was very well organized and we didn’t have to wait for a bus.

There were also real bathrooms you could use before you jumped on the bus.  They dropped you off at the start in a dirt field where they had lots of mini fires with mats to sit on.  Wow!  That was a great idea!  Everyone stayed a bit warmer and got to know each other crowded around the little fires!


The weather was cool at the start, but there was a bag check-so we stayed toasty in our sweats.  As soon as the sun came out the weather warmed up-perfect running weather!


The marathon starts near Gold Canyon, AZ, about 30 miles east of Phoenix.  It was a point to point course finishing in Prospector Park in Apache Junction.  All the other races started and finished in Prospector Park.  The course was beautiful!  The race start elevation at Gold Canyon was  2330 ft. and the finish 1840 ft. in Apache Junction.  The course had rolling hills and a nice view of the Superstition Mountains.  The first 6 miles were on a well maintained, slightly rocky, dirt road then on to a road with no traffic problems.

I started running with Bill and somewhere around half way he decided to slow down  a bit as he had a 50 miler coming up.  I had planned on running somewhere around a 3:45 which would be a nice effort while still keeping my options open to race Tampa two weeks later.

We had been running for quite awhile behind a lady with a very efficient gait running a consistent pace.  When Bill dropped back I decided to try to catch her and run with her.  I took off down one of the steep hills when I stepped on something–ouch!!  I started some kind of crazy fast hop while trying not to tumble down the hill.  I finally made it over to the curb, sat down (always fun in the middle of a marathon), and pulled my shoe off.  I look up and here comes Bill to help-always there when you need him.  I check my shoe-NOTHING- I pull my sock off-NOTHING- Hmmm.  I start to put my shoe back on and Bill says STOP- It’s on the OUTSIDE of your shoe!  I look and its a HUMONGOUS (Bill might have disagreed on the size) cactus barb lodged in the rubber of my shoe and another piece of the barb stabbing inside into what was my foot.  How did I not see this??!

The missing part of this cactus was probably what was in my foot!

Bill literally wrestles the barb out, hands me back my shoe, which I throw on, say thanks, (which I should have said you are my hero because I could not have yanked this thing out) and trotted down the hill with my foot throbbing.

I spent the next couple miles trying to catch  the running girl…

I finally caught her, ran next to her in some kind of awkward silence for a bit-then broke the ice and chatted.  I was surprised to find out she was relatively new to racing.  She had the natural relaxed running style of someone that had been running marathons for a long time.  Anyway, she seemed to be a quiet type so I tried not to annoy her with my normal constant chatter-however she would probably think I was still very talkative…we had a very nice time.

I was very glad to have met her and the miles seemed to go by quickly.  This is what I love the most about running-meeting new friends and sharing special moments.  They had erected a wall at mile 20 which we broke through easily!!

We finished the run together with her running an almost ten minute PR I think-her family was not even at the finish line yet!  Esther was there though cheering us in.

What a great day!!

We visited for a few minutes and I ran back out to get Chuck and Kari and run in with them, finishing with a 30 mile run for me…I would pay for this for a couple of days-ouch!

They had a very nice buffet with the normal fruit, bagels, cookies, etc…and some breakfast burritos…I stuck with the many varieties of cookies!


Ira  4:47.00

Chuck  4:41.32 1st Place

Kari  4:41.31

Bill  4:06.58

Cristy  3:46.03

Esther 2:29.54

Runner Girl Jan 3:46.04 1st Place and PR!  Woo-hoo!

Ira finishing strong!


And of course the Lost Dutchman Marathon wouldn’t be complete without pictures with the Prospector!!

But Kari has to wear the hat!!!!


T-Shirts & Medals

They gave us a nice long sleeved cotton T-shirt and a very nice quality spinning medal.  I liked the T Shirt, however I thought it looked more like a shirt from an alien themed race than a gold prospector type race- but it’s still cool.

Post Race

We waited for the bus-briefly considered the .9 mile walk- but opted to wait the 5-10 minutes for the bus which whisked us away to our car where we took advantage of the desert landscape for some post race photos.  Bill asked a guy sitting close by in his car to take the pic, but then realized he was sitting because he couldn’t stand without getting sick–aww poor guy – and grabbed a passer by for our 3 cameras and extended photo session.

We went to Starbucks (of course) after the race and sat outside before going to the hotel.  We went across the street to Chuck and Esther’s hotel, hot-tubbed, cleaned up and went to Chevy’s for some post race mexican food.   I cut out early to take Callie shopping and then picked up Kari for some frozen yogurt…

Bill flew out on the red eye at midnight and Chuck and Esther picked us up to take us to the airport.  I went to the hotel computer to print our boarding passes and guess what!?!  Our flight was canceled AGAIN, but no worries they re-booked us on a flight on Thursday…THURSDAY!?!  It’s Monday!  Well, needless to say that wasn’t  going to work–so we ended up hanging at Starbucks, canceling our flight, and buying a new ticket on Southwest straight through….and we had time for breakfast!  Yea!  We found a local place Crackers & Co. and had a nice breakfast before heading to the airport.

Life is Good!!


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