Well, OK, not looking out MY back door, looking out a friend's back door here in Oro Valley, Arizona. That's the Santa Catalina mountains in the background. Somewhere up there is the exact location where Jenny and I got engaged a few years ago.
This past weekend was the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon and Half Marathon. The event has become Elite Racing's premier event, as far as I can tell. 25,000 or so in the half. 10,000 or so in the full, and 3,000 kids for the Children's Race on Saturday. I was doing the finish line announcing for the full marathon and had a ball watching everyone come in.
The marathon was also a qualifier for the U.S. women's Olympic Trials. The "A" standard is 2:47 and, I think, about 8 women made it out of about 160 or so that tried. It was a pretty emotional moment as, one by one, they came across the line. Clearly they had all be working together during the race and the cooperation paid off.
I had to make my way from Phoenix to Oro Valley [just northwest of Tucson] to speak at the Northwest Medical Center's "Commit to be Fit" information session. This is all tied in to the Arizona Distance Classic on March 16 which includes the 5K AND the Valley of Gold Half Marathon. [ArizonaDistanceClassic.com]
The most interesting aspect was that I was, at 59, one of the YOUNGEST people in the room. I guess there's a market out there, at least in this part of the country, for folks that might seem a little beyond the traditional running demographic. I enjoyed the show, and they seemed to as well. It just wasn't the crowd that I was expecting.
The past few days have been Chamber of Commerce perfect here in Arizona. There's no question why people decide to leave the snow and cold behind. As soon as I'm finished with this I'm headed out for a run in the cool morning air and BRIGHT sunshine. Later today I'll fly home where the temperature is in the mid 20's. AAARRRGGGHHH!
This is a short turn-around week. Jenny and I are off to Cabo San Lucas on Thursday with a group from her Chicago Endurance Sports program to run a half marathon there. The "high" in Chicago on Sunday is supposed to be 5 degrees BELOW zero. I'll try to feel sorry for everyone as I'm sipping an iced tea by the pool.
I won't be able to enjoy it for long because I'm back on a plane headed to Lethbridge, Canada [just below Calgary] the next week.
If I get internet access I'll try to post a little something from Mexico.
See you on the streets.