Runner: Stacey N
Race Date: 10/26/2019
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ
Results: 3:52:33, 13th place
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
1. Location: It is a beautiful area and travel logistics are simple for a destination race. Fountain Hills and Scottsdale are both great places to stay and are close to the race start. The weather is warm and sunny, great way to get some Vit. D before gray season starts here in the PNW! This race starts at sunset, so get ready to stargaze a bit and listen for those coyotes! Even in the dark it is beautiful and the desert energy is still riding high!
2. Fun to do just one loop! The 31k is a great way to get a taste of the vibe of the race if you are curious about signing up for the 100k or 100m. Many folks that signed up were crewing and just wanted to get their legs moving.
3. It is a well oiled machine. The Aravaipa folks just put on good events. They are well organized and fun.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
– It was fun to be out and cheer on all the folks doing the longer distances.
– I loved looking at the stars and hearing the coyotes!
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
– Finding parking can take some time and you may have to walk quite a bit to the start/finish/check-in area. Give yourself extra time to land a spot and take all your stuff that you will need for before, during, after while checking in. We were allowed to put a bag in the drop bag area.
– Remember you are starting while 100k and 100m folks have been out for a long time already and may be on the struggle bus. It is a washing machine style looped race, so you will be having runners running both ways on the trail. Be kind while passing and give these folks the right of way. Don’t be “that person”. This distance was added as a “fun run” and is supposed to bring fresh energy to those going for the long haul.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
Cacti are pokey, snakes are sneaky, and tarantulas are out and about. Be careful while passing or taking a pit stop at night!
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
Very runnable! Parts of the course are quite dusty, especially with so many folks out there. It can make visibility a lil tough at night.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Well oiled machine!
Competition – Is there a strong field?
The 31k is more of a fun run. There was not so much competition in the second wave. There were some speedier folks in the first wave.
Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.
It was super easy logistically! I signed up last minute on the Sunday before the race as there were a few spots left and I was wanting a training run with some sun and desert love. I was able to book affordable airfare from Sea-Tac to Phoenix, get a rental car, and hotel 15-20 min from the start in Scottsdale.
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
Standard aid station set-up!
Weather and typical race conditions
Weather is usually warm to hot during the day and it can cool off quickly at night after the sun sets. Usually dry.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
Maybe don’t bring your brightest sunshine headlamp given it is washing machine style, you do not want to blind the 100k/100m folks.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
Spectators can hang out at the start/finish only. It is a fun and dynamic place to people watch and hang out.
How’s the Swag?
Festive and fun, lots of glow in the dark stuff to wear while running.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
10! A one loop fun run in the desert at night fall was a blast and a great way to get some training miles in!