If you are looking for a beautiful race in Arizona, you should sign up for a race with the Lost Dutchman Marathon. I loved everything about this race. It was beautiful, the medals and shirts were great and it had a wonderful hometown atmosphere.
I registered for the 10k since my Phoenix Half Marathon is two weeks later. The course was an out and back that started and ended at Prospector Park in Apache Junction. The park is just outside of the Phoenix metro area and the course had views of the mountains and bluffs. The route had both an asphalt road and a gravel shoulder you could run on. The course has an incline to start which makes a nice downhill run to finish.
I was so happy with how I ran this race! My first mile was my fastest, per usual, but I stayed strong the entire time and finished the 10k in 53:25, averaging an 8:36 minute mile. My legs did feel like cement at the end but I managed to get a final kick. A woman came up to me after and congratulated me, stating she had been chasing me the whole time. I have to admit, I felt pretty amazing. I finished 97 overall, 33 out of the women and fourth in my age group.
After the race, runners were able to go through a breakfast buffet complete with yogurt, fruit, bagels and a breakfast burrito. It was nice having a full meal rather than random freebies from national vendors. My friend Katy and I enjoyed our breakfast sitting in the grass at Prospector Park and enjoyed the sunshine.
I am definitely planning on running this race again in the future and may try the half marathon portion next time. It was a wonderful race. My half marathon is this weekend and there is a 70 percent chance of rain! I have done a short run in the rain but never a long one so wish me luck!