Early Morning Run in Perfect Weather at Shun The Sun Race

On November 12th about 1,000 runners gathered at the Hohokam Stadium, the spring training facility for the Chicago Cubs, to participate in the third annual Shun the Sun 5K, 10K, and half marathon.  The purpose for the race is to raise awareness of the importance of skin cancer prevention.  My purpose for attending the race was to be the cheer leader for my wife Chris who ran the half-marathon (13.1 miles).  The weather was perfect, overcast and 55 degrees at the 7:00 a.m. start time.

Shun The Sun Race follows Consolidated Canal in Mesa

The race course was changed due to construction taking place on the original route. Instead of running on sidewalks on major arterial streets, the alternate course took place along the 18 mile Consolidated Canal that provided a more protected route.  The paths along the many SRP canals have long been favorite routes for walkers, joggers, and bicyclists throughout the Phoenix valley.

Organized races are very upbeat events.  With the endorphins flowing,  crossing the finish line creates a strong sense of accomplishment.  After completing the race, participants were met with refreshments such as fresh fruits, granola bars, fruit smoothies, snacks and cookies.

One half marathon participant was met at the finish line by her boyfriend who took advantage of the opportunity to propose marriage.  Maybe that was part of his strategy; to ask her to marry him while she was in a weakened physical and emotional state.  Regardless of the strategy, he was successful  because shortly after crossing the finish line she was met with a bonquet of flowers and the proverbial question to which she quickly responded with a hug and “yes”.

Phoenix is an ideal location for running events beginning in November through April.  The P.F. Chang’s half marathon and full marathon are scheduled for January that starts in Tempe.  The annual Pat Tillman 4.2 mile run, also in Tempe, takes place in April.  The Lost Dutchman races offer a 2 mile run/walk, , 8K, 10K, half marathon, and marathon every February.  These are just a sample of the many races that are available to runners to choose from.