On January 17th, my wife and I took part in the PF Changs Half Maraton in Phoenix, Arizona with our good friends Troy and Catherine Plant. Since it took place during my 40 Day Blog Fast, I am just now getting to the recap. As I look out my window at the mounds of snow, I think part of me is hoping that posting this will bring some sunshine back to the Buckeye state as well.
I cannot recap this event without first thanking Troy and Catherine for making our trip to Phoenix so memorable. From the moment we landed, we were treated like a king and queen by our dear friends. They met us at the gate with water bottles in hand. When we arrived at their home, we found “Run Arizona” technical shirts on our bed. They thought of everything and didn’t miss a single detail for our visit. Heather and I were just overwhelmed by their kindness. Friends and people like that are hard to find in life and need to be appreciated. Thank you Troy and Catherine!
Now for the race. We arrived at the starting gate early Sunday morning with temps in the 50’s. It was a little chilly, but coming from Ohio felt like a heat wave. Former Presidential candidate John McCain was on hand to kick off the start of the race. We gave him the thumbs up as we ran by. Heather and I started off with a very good pace (8:15’s) for the first four miles. I think the reality of the distance started to creep in as we slowed to a much more comfortable pace and stayed there for the remaining 9 miles. We finished in 1:54.
I’ve said it before, but I find so much joy in just soaking in every minute and mile of a half marathon. This was one of the series of “Rock-n-Roll” marathons so there were bands every couple of miles. One couple running near us stopped at every stage to dance for a moment and then start their journey again. The race began downtown and ended at Arizona State University. By the end of the race, the temps were in the low 60’s and very comfortable.
While the race and accomplishment were memorable, the time with friends is something that no medal can ever replace. Thank you Troy and Catherine for your accommodations but most importantly your friendship!