Sedona Marathon

Sedona is a very pretty city, in the middle of Arizona's Coconino National Forest and surrounded by red mesas covered in desert vegetation. It is also the site of the most challenging marathon that I have ever run.

Before this marathon, my only experience with Arizona was Phoenix, which is flat, flat, flat. The Sedona landscape is more akin to the Grand Canyon. Not only did the marathon have plenty of hills, but most of it was on dirt roads covered in slippery red dust and fair-sized pebbles. It was very much like the kind surface I would imagine on Mars, but at full gravity (and, thankfully, with plenty of oxygen). As a souvenir, I brought a few grams of red dust back with me in my socks. My finish time was 3:22, a fair bit above my personal best, but all the runners faced the same challenges, and in the end I was third in my age category and sixth overall!

Finish time notwithstanding, it was a wonderful trip. I had the opportunity to visit with my sister and two nieces and to spend plenty of time hiking up the mountains that surround the city on all sides.