Early Sunday morning I awoke to an unfamiliar band playing an upbeat number with some piano action. The song was very loud and I couldn’t determine where it was coming from.
A car in the parking lot?
I decided to get up and check out the source of the mysterious ballad.
It didn’t take too long to realize a band was playing across the street from my apartment, on stage for the P.F. Changs Rock “n” Roll Marathon Series. As I walked closer to University Drive, I saw a water station and row of port-o-potties, people of all ages walking, jogging or running by, and a band playing hits from the 70s.
I saw a family of three rooting on their mother in the race. They told me this was the half marathon, which is 13.1 miles long. The race began at 7:30 a.m. in downtown Tempe on Mill Avenue and Third Street. Since it was almost 9 a.m., the race was well on it’s way. Someone ran by holding a sign reading 3:00, meaning this group of people would finish in approximately three hours.
The finish line for both races is between Sun Devil and Sun Angel Stadium’s on Packard Drive. For those people visiting Tempe, it’s near Lot 59, which is easy to spot because it’s covered in solar panels.
The familiar, classy rock tunes were helping to motivate the runners as they moved forward. I captured a video of athletes running down University Drive as the band, Cosmic Shindig, played “Black Magic Woman”.
People were yelling, “You can do it!” and ringing cowbells to cheer on their favorite athletes. The athletes friends and families set up cheering sections with chairs alongside the road, to view the finish line from a comfortable distance. Lots of people made colorful signs to encourage runners to finish strong.
I especially like the outfits some runners chose to wear.
The best gear of the day had to be a group of women who were wearing spandex Wonder Woman outfits. Maybe they saved their Halloween costumes to wear on race day!
I spotted two ladies wearing pink tutu’s on Rio Salado Parkway. They sure look determined with less than a mile to reach the finish line!
When participants wear bright or unique clothing, it’s easier for spectators to find them in the crowds.
The race day turned out to be successful. Fortunately, the weather was slightly overcast- perfect for running in Tempe.
Here are the results for winners of the two events.
Winner- Full Marathon (26.2 miles):
- Men: Peter Omae Ayieni finished in 2:25:45
- Women: Trisha Miller finished in 2:51:11
Winner- Half Marathon (13.1 miles):
- Men: Dylan Wykes finished in 1:02:39
- Women: Sara Slattery finished in 1:16:24
- Click here to view more photos from the race via the Rock “n” Roll Marathon’s website.
- Click here for the leaderboard race results.
- Click here to enter a participant’s name or bib number.
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