Sunday, February 18, 2007

Julie's First Marathon: The "Lost Dutchman" Feb 18, 2007

Julie ran her first marathon today! What a beautiful day. Slight overcast and early morning temperatures of 40 degrees warming up to about 65 by noon.

When she mentioned it a few weeks ago I was surprised. She has really been ramping up her running this past few months and did very well in the PF Chang 1/2 marathon in January but I knew her legs were hurting. She was so uncomfortable that it did not occur to me that she would want to do the marathon but she did and I was very happy to go with her as her support crew ... and while I was there I ended up running a 10K. It is quite an impressive event that the city of Apache Junction puts on every year. A full and half marathon, a 10K, an 8K and a 2 mile run. Lots of music and food as well. All in a beautiful park nestled against the scenic Superstition mountains.

Julie got up at 3AM and I got up at 3:30AM to be able to make it to the marathon start. I dropped Julie off at the buses and they brought her six miles into the desert where they had 30 camp fires waiting to let the runners warm up while they were stretching prior to the race start. So Julie started at 7AM while I went and raced the 10K starting at 8AM. After my race I picked up my camera and went to mile 23 ... an absolutely brutal mile marker in any marathon but they had an especially nasty hill right at mile 23 that runner after runner who went by me struggled mightly to get up.

I ended taking a handful of pictures that are attached. They don't do the place justice in terms of stark beauty but two of my favority mountains in the area are "Superstition Mountain" that I have climbed a few times and one shows "4 Peaks" in the distance. I've been near to the 4 Peaks but not climbed them yet. They go up to 8,000 feet and overlook the biggest reservoir in central Arizona "Roosevelt Lake" put in by "Teddy" Roosevelt over a century ago.
The Superstition Mountain area has quite a bit of legend associated with it going back 150+ years where prospectors found gold, were killed, but the gold was rediscovered decades later only to have the miner take the secret to his grave. People still go looking for the old mines and / or hiding places for the gold.