Whiskey Row Marathon 2013.. I am tough enough.

On Friday May 3rd my wife and I left Phoenix, AZ and headed to Prescott,AZ.  We left at 8:33 pm and figured it would take us about an hour and half to get there.  Traveling the night before a marathon is not ideal, but I didn't want to miss the Father/Daughter Spaghetti Dinner at my daughter’s school.  Sofia (5yrs old) and I had a wonderful date.

Many things have changed in Prescott/Prescott Valley since I begin visiting each summer 25 years ago. I pointed out many of the changes to my wife as we entered town. After locating our hotel, The Best Western Prescottonian, we cruised 1.1 miles down Gurley Street to historic downtown. 

The Court House square is surrounded by saloons, a hotel, bank, and novelty shops.  I joked with my wife that we should have a drink, but it was late and we needed to get some sleep. As I waited at a red light, I snapped a picture of the St. Michael’s Hotel sign, and reminded my wife, “This is where packet pick up will be in the morning.” 

The next morning I was surprised to find out that packet pick up had moved from St. Michael’s hotel to Matt’s Saloon.  With 6am marathon start and it being chilly outside the saloon offered protection from the cold.  I think it was a great bib pick up/registration/pre race staging area.

This was my third year at the Whiskey Row event and 2nd year in row running the marathon and my wife ran the 10k. We dedicated our runs to my father-in-law “James Luque” who passed away on April 21, 2013.  He was a very hard working and loving man, I miss him very much.

With About 5 minutes until the start of the race, I took my place at the starting line where I got a glimpse of a ply wood wall covering the remnants of the Bird Cage Saloon, Pearls Café, and the Prescott Food Store which had burnt down just days after the marathon last year.

After a moment of silence for the Boston Marathon victims and a few words from the Race Director, we were off.  At about the 4 mile mark the marathon and half marathon course split from the 10k course and head up hill on Copper Basin road.  I love the sense of community, not only from the on-lookers (walking there dogs, or sitting on their porches), but also amongst the runners as well.  There is a bit of pride associated with how tough/satisfying this race is. 

I have to give a shout out to the “the banana guy. “ Anyone one who ran or has run the half and full marathon know who I am talking about.  I heard that in previous years he has handed out hot dogs and even beer.  The aid stations for this run are perfectly located.

I kept a very steady pace and was feeling strong.  After the last climb I was ready for the last 9 miles, which is a net down hill; and this down hill is brutal as it pounds your legs and body. I did my best to keep good running form.

This year the finish line was moved onto the court house square where you run on a sidewalk lined by people cheering for you as you meet the finish line, which I loved, instead of finishing on the street.  My wife was at the finish line and snapped a few pictures of me; the tree line in the back ground was an awesome backdrop. 

This year I had a 16 minute course PR and finished 21st out of 137.  Finish time 3:51:03.    

I love running.  I miss my father in law very much. Sometimes we really do have to live like there is no tomorrow.

Marathon Starting line
Happy at the Finish.  
the wife and I enjoying the moment..  Happy Anniversary ;0)


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