With its downhill course and scenic views, seasoned marathon runners are anticipating an exciting new Arizona event as organizers have announced the date for the inaugural Phoenix Marathon scheduled for Saturday, March 3, 2012.
Starting in the foothills above the Valley of the Sun under the iconic, white PHOENIX sign painted into the sloping hill, the course will descend past rocky outcrops and clusters of flowering desert vegetation to level off along the banks of the semi-arid Salt River providing grand views across the desert floor of the McDowell Mountains to the north.
With a gentle vertical drop of over 1000 feet in elevation the pace will be quick and enable runners to reach record personal best times in this Boston Qualifier event.
The first year event will feature a half-marathon, 10k and Kids 1k races with a full Marathon race set for March 2013.
"We're excited to have already heard from runners across the country who are looking forward to participating in the inaugural run of the Phoenix Marathon," said Brad Arnett, Chairman. "We promise an event like none other in this our first year and even more so when we reach full marathon length in 2013."
Arnett noted that a carefully assembled team of local residents and race enthusiasts experienced in organizing large community events will ensure success from day one.
"We want the Phoenix Marathon to be known as the premier race in the Southwest and so we're planning the biggest and best fun zone along with themed water stations and other exciting amenities to make is just exactly as advertised," Arnett added. "By having it on a Saturday each year, we hope to attract runners looking to enjoy an annual March weekend in Arizona where they can also enjoy Spring Training baseball games, golf, hiking and spectacular weather."
The event will also benefit a local charity, AzBrainfood, which discreetly provides backpacks filled with food to feed hungry children each weekend.
"In the school communities we serve, over 60% of the children are eligible for free or reduced lunch programs. But on Fridays they return to a home where food is scarce only to come to school on Monday hungry and unable to concentrate on education," said Ruth Collins, AzBrainfood Chair. "We're grateful and quite certain our association with the PHOENIX MARATHON will enable us to reach hundreds, and we hope thousands, of hungry children."
Runners interested in registering, especially while early-bird registration fees are in place, can visit www.PHXmarathon.com for more information.