This was my second year participating in the Sedona Marathon Series Race (10K). You can read last year's review HERE.
This year the packet pickup was a little different as the expo was the day before with no day-of packet pickup. The parking for the pick-up was accessible and we were in and out with our race bib and t-shirt in less than 10 minutes. The volunteers were wonderful, as always and we knew exactly where to go to get what we needed. The pick-up was also on site for the pre-race dinner, which made it really convenient for those participating!
The shirts this year were the basically same as last year, but white instead of blue. I'm not a huge fan of white technical tees, but they are still nice shirts as always! No other swag was included but there were some vendors at the expo. The information booth was stocked with at on of important information where you could get any last minute questions answered. They also had a cute bib-making station where you could make a bib for yourself or send your kids for some free entertainment.
Parking and Accessibility
Last year we rode a shuttle to the race start from our hotel, but this year we drove to the start and parked. It wasn't too bad to find parking once we found the right location, and it was a short walk to the start line. Traffic control was present which made things flow pretty smoothly. I highly recommend taking the shuttle to the start line if that's an option.
The race was well-managed, as usual. The starts were timely, crowds were managed well, and everything you needed on race day was available. The aid stations were adequate, but I wish they were better managed. You had to wait for water to be poured at some of the stations and others had fuel (e.g., bananas, gu) haphazardly placed on the table. Otherwise, the aid stations were on-par with other races I have completed. One thing that happened last year, and I noticed again this year, was that the more elite runners were running on our left-hand side on their way back to the finish line. They should have been on our right. I assume this was done to get on the inside of the course, and thus have to cover less distance, but it was a little odd to have runners going the opposite direction on both sides of us. Finally, the bag drop was quick and easy!
The hands-down best thing about this race is the scenery. Sedona can't be beat and I just love the course, hills and all! This race isn't for the faint of heart and hill training is a must! I love that the Sedona community comes out to watch the runners. They often bring along signs, funny outfits, and music which can really be a big help as some of the course is pretty desolate. This year included a lot more walking than usual (hello, 21 weeks pregnant), so I felt like I really got to slow down and enjoy Sedona.
The medals were the same as last years, but sadly, I feel like they were cheaper quality. I also wish they would give different finisher medals for the different distances as those who ran the marathon surely deserve something a little unique, for example!
Overall, this race is a must simply because of the location. If you ever have a chance to visit Sedona and participate in this race, you won't regret it!