Rays of light blew in with a cooling breeze making the desert air chilly in the early morning. The 50K runners worked their way to the start line and began just as the sun crept over the horizon. Truly poetic how their newest running journey began with the promise of a new day. The other runners experiencing the remaining distances would soon get to join.
Singing Happy Birthday
It just so happened that there were two runners celebrating their Birthdays with a 25K run! Of course it was only right for us to sing “Happy Birthday” to both of them as the runners lined up to the start line.
Robert Herron (Left) and Robby Organ (Right)
November is a kinder month for the greater Phoenix area. Mornings and nights finally feel cooler and there are some days that almost feel chilly. More people are seen breaking out their fall sweaters and not sweating to death in them. For our runners it means they have an opportunity to enjoy running in spectacular weather. The 5K, 10K, and 25K were able to enjoy pleasant temperature for their runs. Our 50K runners had mostly nice temperatures through the first half but the day did heat up as the wind stopped and the sun rose strong up above.
One of the biggest surprises was the amount of people this year who made a new frenemy with the Cholla. In the Usery Mountain Regional Park there is a beautiful collection of Cholla Cacti. Some specimens reaching gorgeous heights. However, not all are aware that simply brushing up against one the spikes will cause them to latch on and can actually go deeper if one tries to pull them out wrong. All of these factors made it an unfortunate circumstance for anyone that got just a little too close to a Cholla. Luckily no one was badly poked and was treated with great care by our amazing team of medics courtesy of Endurance Care.
Off to the races we go. For those runners who had a fast day it was exciting to watch. In the 10K, coming back from an injury stronger than ever, Christian Enriquez set a new CR in 40:55 bettering the 2014 record by over a minute set by Michael Johnson. Next came blazing through the finish was Travis Swaim for the 25K in 1:51:58! This time bettered our very own Jamil Coury’s time in 2015 by four minutes. Swaim just recently set a new course record at our Cave Creek Thriller 50K; not a bad streak! Finally, Kori Krichko represented the women well with a new CR for the 25K in 2:11:09 going 3 minutes faster than last year’s Amy Kloner! Kori Krichko also holds the 10K CR for Pass Mountain set last year in a time of 45:16! Will she go after the 50K course record next year?
Christian Enriquez (Left); Travis Swaim (Center); Kori Krichko (Right)
Thank you to all of our volunteers and staff who helped make this an awesome race!