BMO PHX Marathon 2016: Run with the Devil!

If there is anything that can be fixed with the BMO PHX Marathon, it’s the craziest parking scenario I’ve ever seen!

3:40am I’m up.  Gotta go.  Quick, because last bus leaves at 5:15am.  Now I have ZERO issues with a point-to-point run or being bused to the start.  NOPE!

The access to the limited parking for this growing event is a problem.  It needs solving quickly as this run is becoming increasing popular, with yearly growing crowds (both on the course and volunteers / fans cheering).

Why is this run popular?  Well.  It’s a net downhill course.  It’s in February, in Phoenix?  What else do you need?  Wonderful views on the marathon course that begins in the Usery Mountain Regional Park just prior to sunrise, with a fireworks start (that my fvcking GoPro Session failed to document).

As always here in the desert, cool predawn start.  But not cool enough.  The temperature was eerily warmer than usual.  If you’ve been reading my recent posts, you know that Phoenix has been in a global warming warm winter span breaking heat records in winter left and right.  Averaging this winter around 10-15 degrees above normal.

Fortunately this run begins at 6:30am.  But maybe we should have started at 5:30!

Upon the start, runners are treated to a nice view of the valley from Usery Mountain Regional Park.  Off in the distance where the city lights dominates is where we’re heading after the gun fires and the fireworks stop. 

A dim start, lit only by the gentle tickling of the morning sun, dancing behind the distant Superstition Mountain.

By mile 3, the sun has popped up and our course is now fully visible.  Still a slight coolness in the air, we are welcomed by neighborhood cheer squads and water stations spaced evenly about every two miles!  Fvcking awesome!

One thing that the BMO PHX run does that I would love to see more of, is have a competition that the runners vote on after the run online.  Which cheer squad was the best, most memorable?  I don’t know what the prize is, but these folks come out to compete. 

Mile seven the entire crew was dressed in Star Wars gear and runners were greeted with Dark Vader in full dress!

Red Mountain dances in the distance for the first third of this run, before the vistas are shifted more southeast, where Camelback and McDowell mountains become fixtures in the distance. 

Because of the views and wonderful cheer station distractions, you forget that the sun has been radiating its life giving heat!  And before you know it, you’re nearing the halfway point!  AND ON FIRE!


But once again this is where the people of the Valley of the Sun rocks!  See this is the fvcking desert and once you’ve spent some time here, you adapt and you look out for others because of it.

So as the sun climbed higher in the sky, more and more people stood in their front yards with water hoses wetting down runners!!!!

Sure the course had two water cooling stations (basically a car wash for runners near aid stations), but the fine drips, as welcomed as they were, were nothing compared to a full on water nozzle of coolness from the gods of H2O!

By mile 24, I was spent.  My body overheating with every push to go faster.  I would slow, cool down, push, and BAMMM!  Body would instantly heat up, screaming slow da fvck down or we’re going to be in trouble.

Runners were falling left and right around me.  The heat was beating us up like Mike Tyson in his prime.  There was a lady with her coach nearby around mile 24 that was in tears.  She proclaimed “Everything hurts!”  But she was still moving.  She continued “I will never do this again!” 

Better believe I began laughing.  I proclaimed, “if a marathon was easy, everyone would do it.  You guys have made it this far and that is an accomplishment.  If you’re not hurt, take it home and get to that finish.”

Others began shouting phrases of accomplishment and courage to finish.  Funniest proclamation “I can still feel my feet, so I’m good!”   

But I ain’t gonna lie y’all.  It was HOT as HELL!  Most torturous run I’ve endured (well there was that day in the desert while training for my 50K where I almost died, but that was on a trail run while sitting under a tree listening to death whisper options in my ear before I uber’d my way out of that situation). 

…but I digress.

Last few splits are testimony to the growing heat.  The recorded high for the day was 88 degrees.  My garmin registered a spike of 93 degrees somewhere around mile 21-23, but settled on 88 for the last 2-3 miles.  And you could feel the temperature change.  The last couple of miles were definitely an elevation drop, with the finishing chute in a protected area. 

Don’t know if it was the change in temperature or the fact that I was near the end, but I was able to dial up the pace and get’er done the last 1.5 miles. 

Finishing 1 minute and 6 seconds above my goal of sub five hours, I was relieved to finish around the Carey Corp Volunteers and USMC personnel that assisted USMC Carey to the finish.

I was definitely depleted, but finished with strong legs.  I could have given more on the course physically if it wasn’t for the heat and that was a good feeling! 

And yes, if life gives me an opportunity I will be back next year to Run with the Devil!

Enjoy the video.


Remember, be good, do you, and strive to be the better you you know today!  Peace!!!

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