RACE RECAP: Arizona Sunrise Series No. 5 – Reach 11

Sunrise5a
The phrase “It’s a dry heat” comes up every time there is a conversation about Arizona’s summers. Well I’m going to put the kibosh on that because let me tell you, July in Arizona (aka monsoon season) is far from dry. The mornings having been at 60% humidity with the lows still remaining in the high 70s to low 80s. Needless to say, I have been experiencing several steamy and slow morning runs. I also had to take a brief break from running due to a random bump that appeared on the muscle outside of my shin. Oddly enough, it didn’t hurt when I ran but did when I walked. After a week of RICE, it finally went down and has not been bothering me since.

So I was not expecting any record-breaking times in my July race. I picked another one of the Sunrise Series 5ks. This one was located near Cave Creek, which is about a 40 minute drive from Gilbert. With the start at 6:30 a.m., plus packet pickup, my friend Katy picked me up at 5 a.m.

sunrise5c

Race pictures always so pretty.

The course was located at Reach 11, a major sports complex in North Phoenix. The course was an out and back along a wide, dirt trail. It was raised a bit, so you can see the desert views around you. It was very flat, there was one minor bump (I can’t even call it a hill it was so small) and at any other time of the year would be a very fast course.

Since I placed third in my age group in the previous Summer Series 5k, I wanted to try to do it again and took off like a bat out of hell. Big mistake. By mile two I had to slow down significantly. I ended up fourth in my age group (darn!) and finished in 28:34, averaging a 9:11 minute mile. Definitely not my best effort, but oh well lesson learned.

sunrise5dI mentioned the organization that puts on the Sunrise Series, Startline Racing, in my last post but I want to expand more on how much I love their races. Before each race an email is sent out as a reminder with information. Unlike large races, this email feels personal and you can tell the organizer is truly passionate. They also ask for tips on how to better their races and act on the responses. For example, many people asked for more pictures at the race and they came through and made sure every person had their photo taken while running. These photos were also given to participants for free! (AMAZING!) Participants received another charm to add to their series medal and a tech shirt.

Sadly, Startline Racing does not have an August race (next year’s schedule does have a few, Hooray!), so I will be doing a 5k with the Arizona Road Racers. My September race, Run Fore Cancer, is a StartLine Racing event and I am excited to add a few more to my racing calendar.

I should also mention they had a drone filming this race:

Next race: Summer Series #5 South Mountain 5k

January race: Spay Pride Parade 5k
February race: Lost Dutchman 10k
March race: Phoenix Half Marathon
April race: Pat’s Run and Girls on the Run
May race: The Night Run 10k
June race: Sunrise Series No. 4 – Water Ranch Park 5k

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