Overall Rating
Overall Rating (10 Reviews)
3.9
(10 Ratings)(10 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.4
SCENERY
2.9
PRODUCTION
4
SWAG
3.6
The Mesa-Phx Marathon began as an idea of long time runners in the hills and mountains just east of the Phoenix Valley. A group of elite runners were assembled to design the perfect gradual decent into the Valley of the Sun. The race founders knew that many friends shared the … MORE
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Recent reviews

    mbjohn411 VOLUNTEER '19

    The first time I volunteered at the Mesa-Phoenix Marathon, I was at the Finish Line handing out medals. And that's when I got to see the faces of Triumph, True … MORE

    The first time I volunteered at the Mesa-Phoenix Marathon, I was at the Finish Line handing out medals. And that’s when I got to see the faces of Triumph, True grid, and Toughness. I’ve run Half-Marathons but the idea of running a full marathon intimidated me. But I was moved by each marathoner that I encountered at the finish line. That alone compelled me to return for a second time as a volunteer, but this time the marathoners inspired to take on the 26.2 challenge. So, in the year 2020, my feet will grace the Mesa-Phoenix Marathon race as a first-time full marathoner.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    As my 9th half marathon, this race will forever stand out to me as the best race I have ever run. It is such a large race and it is … MORE

    As my 9th half marathon, this race will forever stand out to me as the best race I have ever run. It is such a large race and it is amazing that it is so well-organized.

    1. The bus system was well-run and well-communicated. I arrived very late and really struggled to find the location for bus pick-up. I still made it, and even though I was on one of the last buses to the starting line, I still had more than ample time to warm up, use the restroom, or hang out by the heating lamps (!!) that were provided around the start.

    2. They set off fireworks at the start! So neat.

    3. The race itself was a lot of highway running. I really enjoyed it, and surprisingly did not find it to be boring. The scenery was still very pretty, and it was a lot of fun. The cheer sections were amazing and helped time go by quickly.

    4. The people were the best! Having signed up for the race alone and as an out-of-towner, I befriended a group of ladies who welcomed me into their group as we rode the bus and warmed up together. I strained a calf muscle around mile 7, and no more than a few seconds after pulling off to the side, a runner stopped to offer some icy hot that allowed me to finish the race (with a personal best time)! It was an incredible community feel.

    5. The after-race expo was unreal. Free massages by Massage Envy, french toast, and all the snacks you can imagine. There were vendors of all types, and it was a great time!

    I registered for next year’s event as soon as I finished the race. I will certainly be back!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Bettejh1 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Mesa Phoenix marathon is a mixed bag, but definitely worth doing if you want a relatively stress-free marathon experience. The race is touted as downhill, and it is, until about … MORE

    Mesa Phoenix marathon is a mixed bag, but definitely worth doing if you want a relatively stress-free marathon experience.
    The race is touted as downhill, and it is, until about mile 14, when it levels out. Prior to mile 14, the course loses some 744 of elevation and that includes 1.5 miles of uphill, so you can see all but about 150 feet of the 900 feet of downhill is in that first half. Once you hit mile 14, the flat feels like running through mud, but after a couple miles your legs will stop fighting the change.
    Personally I don’t know if I could ever achieve a negative split on a course of that nature and I didn’t this time, but did manage to get my BQ and finish almost 5 minutes faster than my goal.
    The expo is not huge but is sufficient. My only beef was the narrow area where vendors were set up and the fact there was only one way in and one way out…meaning you had to go back through the corridor of crowds lining up for free food if you forgot anything. Solution: ask questions before you leave so you don’t have to return.
    The finish line is near the expo, clearly marked and that was great to use to select a meet up spot for my support. We walked down the finish line area together, got a good sense of the viewing space, so on race morning I found her without stress.
    The car line to get in to the lot where buses were was looong, so I hopped out of my drop-off ride on the corner across the street. It was a 45 second walk to the buses and I did not have to wait in line (about 4:45AM); our bus departed as soon as full and I had a great seatmate to chat with, making the drive up the mountain go by quickly.
    You can stay on the warm bus; I hopped off, got into a porta-potty (they have monitors that keep the lines moving) and got back on the bus until about 6, when I got in the line again…this time the line was looong, but where did I have to be? While waiting in line, the 4:05 pacer walked by and I was able to ask her what her strategy was. I wanted to finish in 4:15, but decided to hang with her group a while since she said she was running by effort more than specific pace which was perfect for me knowing the downhill could be my undoing if I went too fast.
    It was chilly (I bought a zip sweatshirt at goodwill) and dark but there were small fires in the start area. I wished I had gotten my fuel belt situationed on the bus where there was better light. Some fireworks were set off…and then we were off. I chatted with another 4:05 group runner for a few, then zoned out to concentrate on the odd sensation of running on a downhill slope that I couldn’t actually see…so I had no clue when it might flatten. I was glad to have the pacer in front of me.
    At the top there are no spectators (it would have been to dark to see them anyway), but as the sun comes up behind you, the vista is really pretty with mesas and rocks being bathed in the soft light. It is quiet and peaceful, great for energy conservation.
    The uphill at 4.5 was expected but was unexpectedly long; my plan to take it at 10 minute pace didn’t work; I ran it about 10:15, but the fast first 2 miles more than made up for it.
    A few spectators as we entered some populated areas was nice; mostly folks standing at the end of their driveways.
    I truly don’t remember much about the area between miles 10 to 20. A lot of residential, retail, commercial and unincorporated areas with the occasional “estate” style neighborhood.
    If you do not like long straightaways, you will be challenged by this course. There were at least 3 sections where you can see how far you have to run by the runners in front of you for miles, and it is mentally tough. I think on the 3rd one I actually said out lout “man, they gotta put more turns in this thing or something”.
    I was lucky to hit a year with no headwinds, although there was a breeze in a few places where I imagine it could be tough with wind.
    There were quite a few turns in the last couple miles, which I welcomed and I truly had to dig deep to keep a pace that would get me to my goal. I was doubting my watch for some reason but in retrospect I am glad I was wary. If I had given myself permission to slow down more, I wouldn’t have had the thrill of seeing how far ahead of my goal finish I was.
    The finish chute is quite long, almost the whole last .2, so spectators are not crunched together…and you ample opportunity to turn on whatever you have left in your legs for a fast finish.
    I had to get back to my hotel in order to shower before check out time, so I didn’t have have time to get a BQ visor or food. It looked like it was for runners only, so I wouldn’t have been able to celebrate with my support team. It looked like a good spread, including volunteers walking around with trays of french toast….YUM!
    The medal is nice, if simple. It creates a star of some sort if you get 5 of them. I’m not sure what one would do with that “star”, but it is a nice incentive to do it again.
    Exit from the finish area was stress free.
    All around a very well organized event, minimal stress points. Prepare for the course and weather, and everything else is taken care of for you.
    Good luck!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    1
    SWAG
    3

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    melissasims3 FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was a great race! The expo was pretty big but well organized so bib pickup was easy. The shuttle to the start was EARLY in the am. Last shuttle … MORE

    This was a great race! The expo was pretty big but well organized so bib pickup was easy. The shuttle to the start was EARLY in the am. Last shuttle was 5:15 AM for a 6:30 AM start, so it was dark and cold while waiting for the race to begin. However there were heat lamps which were awesome. Great energy from the crowd and great support on the course. Aid stations were well stocked with gatorade, water, bananas, orange slices and gu. Course was flat so not too challenging other than the distance. Since this was my very first half, I just wanted to finish. I think it was perfect for a first-timer. Next time I’ll try to speed up a bit!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4

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    Katie_Ho Feb 12, 2019 at 6:46pm

    Appreciate the excellent review Melissa, and congrats on conquering your first half!!

    Appreciate the excellent review Melissa, and congrats on conquering your first half!!

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    nwhelan87 FIRST-TIMER '17

    Entering and exiting this race is absolutely horrible. 45 minutes from the time we exited the highway until we were able to park and 1.5 hours to leave. The starting … MORE

    Entering and exiting this race is absolutely horrible. 45 minutes from the time we exited the highway until we were able to park and 1.5 hours to leave. The starting area needs more bathrooms as the lines were so long and barely moving that most people were just going into the bushes to go. The beginning of the course had great views of the desert. Somewhere around mile 12 you get into a very boring part of Mesa and you stay there for the rest of the race. Other than not having much to look at the second part of the course is mostly flat with some downhill. The aid stations were great and all of the volunteers were very friendly. The finish line area was nice but no beer was very disappointing. If they can improve the situation for entering and exiting the parking lots this could be a really good race that I would run again.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    janerunswild FIRST-TIMER '16

    *I prepared for warm weather as much as I could, but wasn’t expecting low 70 degree desert air to affect me as much as it did towards the end of … MORE

    *I prepared for warm weather as much as I could, but wasn’t expecting low 70 degree desert air to affect me as much as it did towards the end of the race! It probably added a few minutes to my time, so this is something to consider if you’re interested in running Phoenix marathon.
    *While parts of the route were beautiful and somewhat downhill, particularly through mile 4, around mile 9, and towards the end of the race, the rest of the course was fairly boring and flat, with some uphill stretches mixed in. This is a fairly fast course as the race directors say, but not as easy as other marathon courses such as Chicago, New Orleans, and even Philadelphia (in my opinion). I had anticipated some of the hills and was well-prepared (helps to drive the course before a race if you can!!).
    *Lastly, the lines for the port-a-potties at the start were somewhat of a cluster. I would highly recommend getting to the start (via buses that shuttle you from the finish of the race area to the start) as early as possible!
    *The water stations were plentiful and full of energetic volunteers. For a course that has limited spectators, this was very welcome! Particularly the station at mile 9- the signage was memorable and hilarious, and the spirit carried me through the next few miles to the half-way point.
    *Although I couldn’t really eat after I crossed the finish line, the post-race food and entertainment were great. There were BBQ and French toast stands among other delicious food and drinks. They also handed out nice bags that we were able to fit all of the foods in. I really enjoyed this post-race atmosphere and stayed a little longer than I have at other races.
    *Last but not least, the race medal was cool! A reminder that the race organizers do a great job and pay close attention to the little things, which is very important!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    mlaibe REPEAT RUNNER '16

    Start right before sunrise..so pretty in the desert. After the first 5 miles, scenery not great at all and tends to get very hot. Downhill after climb at mile 6 … MORE

    Start right before sunrise..so pretty in the desert. After the first 5 miles, scenery not great at all and tends to get very hot. Downhill after climb at mile 6 but then flat and not a favorite of mine. Very crowded at start with buses

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    ccolgan FIRST-TIMER '16

    The race has excellent scenery for the first half, with great desert and mountain views. But the second half is through some of the more boring parts of Mesa. Routing … MORE

    The race has excellent scenery for the first half, with great desert and mountain views. But the second half is through some of the more boring parts of Mesa. Routing through the new downtown would have been better. Also, the marathon parking was very far from the finish line, which made for a not so fun walk. Maybe some pedi-cab shuttles next time? Those are minor issues though, overall the race was great…very well run, great volunteers, and overall just a great race.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    I traveled to Phoenix to run this race and wasn't disappointed! It was incredibly well organized, had the perfect amount of runners (Approx. 2000 finishers in the marathon - large … MORE

    I traveled to Phoenix to run this race and wasn’t disappointed! It was incredibly well organized, had the perfect amount of runners (Approx. 2000 finishers in the marathon – large enough to always be running with others, but small enough not to have any issues with congestion), and was a very nice gentle downhill course. The only thing I will caution anyone on, is that the first half is definitely a steeper descent than the second half which can make pacing yourself difficult. The race had pace teams within 5 minute intervals which was awesome. The swag was great (very well designed shirts AND arm warmers). The weather was perfect for the 2015 race (60’s and overcast), other than a tough headwind depending on which direction you were going. Overall I really recommend this race and would definitely run it again if I lived in the area.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    MKullander FIRST-TIMER '14

    If you book early the Marathon is only $69! Only about a month after the PF Chang's Rock n Rock, better to wait and do this over that race. This … MORE

    If you book early the Marathon is only $69! Only about a month after the PF Chang’s Rock n Rock, better to wait and do this over that race. This race is significantly less crowded! You get an cool looking tech shirt and race sleeves. The course is reasonable in difficulty if you pace yourself through the first 5 mile rolling hills. I am going back next year…signed up for the marathon and can always do the half (its so cheap) compared to most races!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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