Castle Hot Springs 22 Miler – Arizona Road Racers

My buddy Giles sent out a text inquiring who would be interested in a long run on Saturday. After a few texts, the discussion turned to where? I had seen a post on the Arizona Road Runners’ Face book page about the Castle Hot Springs 22 Miler on January 5, 2013. This was a run I had my eyes on and was excited that we would be taking on this challenge.

The Run began at a cowboy camp/ranch and home of Betty’s Trail Rides. This is located near Lake Pleasant, off of Highway 74. Thirty-Six of us stood at an imaginary starting line just out side the gates of the camp listening to last minute instructions; a little after 8:00 am we took off on our 22 mile journey. The website said this was a casual, fun, and scenic run.

I started off at a casual pace, staying on the right side of the Jeep road as instructed. I chatted with my friend Tim and asked some questions about the run, since he had completed it twice before. One thing I love about running is discovering new roads, trails, and picture worthy views; this run has tons. The constant change of scenery voided the constant rolling hills and after 9.5 miles, I welcomed the long down hill section. I stopped to take a picture of a creek crossing and moved up the road where ahead I saw a road sign.

I caught up with Giles at the Castle Hot Springs Road Junction (Mile 13.5) and we confirmed with each other that we were headed in the right direction. We then ran side by side, miles seemed to be flying bye, when to our left we saw the main building of the old Castle Hot Springs Resort. No trespassing and private property signs lined the gates. The resort looked to be in good shape, and I made a mental note to do some research on it. My legs started to feel heavy; I took a long swig of water from my pack to chase a few S-caps.

The last 3 miles were tough. The long rolling hills were kicking my butt and I decided to walk rather then jog them. I could see Giles up ahead: I wanted to give chase, but my gas tank was near empty. In the distance to my left, I could see Lake Pleasant and as I came over another hill I could finally see the camp/finish of the run.

I loved the feel of this low key, super scenic run. Many of the runners sat around and chatted afterwards. I was amazed at the amount of homes, old structures, and farms along the route. Many of the vehicles that passed us along the roads we respectful and slowed down while passing us. However, because of my own clumsiness, I did fall right on my butt as I moved to the side of the road to let one truck pass. I could see the driver with a cheesy smile and heard Tim shout something at me; I couldn’t help but laugh at myself as well.

Next Runs On my Calendar:

Coldwater Rumble 50k 1/19/13
IMS Marathon 2/17/13
Mesquite Canyon 50k 3/23/13
Zane Grey 50 Mile Endurance Run 4/27/13


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