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The Phoenix Marathon Review and Recap

Read this Phoenix Marathon Review and Recap to learn everything you need to know about running your best Phoenix Marathon and get the most out of your race on this Boston Qualifying course!

BMO Harris Phoenix Marathon Review

This BMO Harris Phoenix Marathon Race Review and Recap will help you run your best race! From the course to support and more, don't miss @Suzlyfe's review.

Phoenix Marathon General Info:

I registered in December at the prompting of Erica and Smitha and Jen and the desire for  a BQ attempt and a spring marathon. Race is usually last weekend of February/early March. Prices for the full range from $65-120, depending on when you sign up. A half marathon and a 10k are also offered, and they start along the full marathon course, which is point-to-point. The full and the half start at 6:30, and shuttles are required to take you to the full start. Music is supposed to be played throughout the course, but that didn’t happen.

Boston Qualifier, but not a certified Olympic Trials Qualifier because of elevation drop. Temperature day of race was in the 60s and windy, chilly in the morning. No corrals–honor system pacing, and people were very good about it. The pacers were super duper nice, too! Full marathon is somewhere around 2000 maybe?.

Phoenix Marathon Expo:

phoenix marathon expo

The expo was outside, which I loved, and well organized, finishing by emptying into Sports Authority. Several vendors, but not great selection. Not to worry, you are in a giant mall area with everything that you need. The tech shirt is from Albion (this year) and is actually super cute! We saw a TON of people using the shirts, which was surprising (hello, nothing new and race shirt after!). Other things that we got: Albion arm sleeves (which I wore and then dropped) and nibbles and the usual marketing things.


Phoenix Marathon Course and Race Day: 

Phoenix Marathon Race Day:

carlee carlee susie phoenix marathon bus

Me and Carlee

Shuttles to the start run from 3:45-5 AM. Plentiful buses, well organized parking, easy peasy. At the start it was kind of like summer camp and or Burning Man for runners–heat lamps and fire pits.

phoenix marathon pre race bonfire

And a giant cactus. because, you know, Arizona. 

erica suz cactus phoenix marathon

It was chilly and a little bit windy (probably in the low 50s), but it warmed up rather quickly once we started running and soon the temps were steady at around 65 and it was cloudy just about the whole time. Lots of portapotties and even heat lamps by the portapotties for those waiting. Music at the start and even some fireworks! Trucks collected our gear bags on the way to the start and sorted them for us.

Race started on time, no problem. Plentiful pacers, and the guy leading our pace group was excellent. Nice, helpful, reminding you to drink water, etc. Didn’t get crazy if he was a bit under pace or over–just fixed the issue. And super nice! 


The Course itself:

course_map_phoenix marathon

Marathon guide calls it arguably the most scene marathon in Arizona, and if that is the case, I’m a little worried. First off, calling this race the Phoenix Marathon would be akin to running a Manhattan Marathon in New Jersey. You are about 20-30 mins from Phoenix itself. The first part of the course (before the half) is fine–mountainy, but you don’t spend much time there and then you are in a residential area (which is nice but not super scenic) and lots of roads around highways. The half course was not scenic at all. One part that was really nice largely because the air smelled freaking AWESOME was the part where you run by orange groves. Oh, lordy, did I take some deep breaths there! 


One big draw of this course is the elevation drop. While I will totally agree with them that it is an overall fast course with the first 4 miles being downhill, then a hill for a bit, then downhill, then hill, then an interplay of up/downhill, there were many more gradual climbs than the elevation chart lets on. Also, much of the course once we got to the flatter areas was taking us right into a headwind or side wind. Honestly, the only part with a tailwind was at about mile 25, and then we had a lovely full on headwind right at 26 (shake of the fist). Many people blitzed the first half and had nothing left for the headwinds in the second half.

This is a very quiet race, and not plentiful in terms of crowd support, but very dedicated cheerers! And water/gatorade stations were plentiful and because of the size of the race, not crazy. Great and super attentive volunteers! Clif gel stations later on. Lots of firemen around, but didn’t see many explicitly medical people–sure they were there though. Again, music was “promised” but did not materialize. 

Post Race Party: 

erica suz phoenix marathon post race

Great finisher’s party. Immediately given water, towel and medal. Portapotties right after that, and then into the finishers’ only area, with food, Muscle Milk, and massage area’s. Famous Dave’s was also free to finishers, but I didn’t stand in line for that. There were lines, but by then the half finishers had largely cleared out and not too bad when I and Erica were there. The general area (open to families) had more fun stuff–lots of vendors, more massage, even an acupuncture tent! More food and things for us to partake in (we also got interviewed about the race), gear check was easy, and then, as mentioned earlier, you were in the middle of a mall so we went and hung out. More portapotties at the end as well. Well run and organized (though no one had any information about the Boston Qualifier hats, but that is something else and they will be mailed to us).

My Recap:

First off–thank you to everyone who sent hate thoughts to the person that stole my Garmin haha. I managed to get buy on from a fellow Fitfluential Ambassador and it was delivered the day before I left for Phoenix!

Resurgens, indeed.

phoenix marathon etc

This was by no means an “easy” race, though it might be downhill. I remember thinking many times that I would describe it as quiet, fast, downhill to a point, and (honestly) rather boring, but with great support and, if you ran it right, a PR course. Erica and I were waffling between running with the 3:30 and 3:35 pacer, settled on the 3:35 pacer, and then Erica and he had a moment and I think she decided to stick with the 3:30 lol. And I decided to stick with her, though the pace did feel fast.

While the pace felt fast, I am really proud of myself for running MY race. At one point, Erica was like, “Suz, don’t over do it” when we were going uphill. But where she sails downhill, I chug uphill. Remember this post? I can’t tell you how many people I passed while going up hill. GLUTES, ENGAGED. But I knew that it was my strong point, and that it would be good to use those muscles rather than my quads which I knew would take a beating, so I semi ignored that advice and kept chugging lol. (Love you, Erica). She got ahead of me, ultimately, and I let her–I wanted her to run her race, I would run mine. But I kept her in my sights, and nearly caught her at one point, but that was when I decided that  a bathroom visit would be necessary for overall success (lost about 75ish seconds there). That was around 15/16. Then I put in my headphones. I took an FRS at about 9 or 10, beans started around 14, and by the time I went to the bathroom , life felt better, even though we were going uphill into wind. (There were people complaining about this, and while I wasn’t enthused by the prospect, HELLO I train in Chicago, thank you. We lack terrain, but we make up for it in wind from all directions.

Not much to say after that–water at every aid station after about 14, and quads started burning at around 20. And then really burning haha. Last FRS around then? Didn’t use my ginger (other than beforehand). Was tracking Erica like the whole time (keeping her in my sights up ahead) and then all the sudden lost her (found out she went to that bathroom as well). But by then I had seen that there was a pacer ahead, so I worked on closing that gap for the last 5k, ultimately catching him at 25 and then running like all get out after that (downhill and tailwind part), then turned the corner and a little bit more then BOOM headwind but I was finishing so I DIDN”T CARE. As we got closer to the finisher chute, I saw that I was coming in around 3:29 and I was just in shock and so I pushed as hard as I could.

susie garmin phoenix marathon results

I by accident hit the button about 5 seconds in and didn’t realize for about 15 seconds (hello it was dark) so this the discrepancy.

Final Results:

phoenix marathon results susie full


It might have been a “small” race, but screw that, I was 8th in my division and top 50 female! H*!# S#!+ Sorry. I freaked out. Also, my halfs were the best that I have run period since the Team Challenge Virtual races of the fall and my best half in a race since my PR in 2013. So yeah, I’ll take it! And, considering that I made that bathroom stop in the second half, I kind of ran even halfs, lol. I did haul ass the last bit and made up a lot of time but shhhhhhhhhhh.

Don't miss my Phoenix Marathon Race Review and Recap to run your best race! |

Because you know that I gotta.

Bottom Line:

A fast, course that if you play your cards right can be a major PR race for you. But don’t be fooled by the course elevation map–it will still make you work for it. I would say register for it early at a good price if you decide to do it, and make sure to do plenty of comprehensive strengthening–not just quads or glutes or whatever. If you are looking for a well run race for a spring PR and don’t need to be dazzled by the course or the crowds (like an MCM or Twin Cities), give Phoenix a thought!

Check out this Phoenix Marathon race review and recap to run your best race! #runchat #phxmarathon Click To Tweet

I’ll come back with some reflections later, but for now I think I have said enough!

Thank you for reading and coming along on my marathon journey–I guess now I have to keep it up, huh? I mean, I am going to running  a little baby marathon next April…. SQUEEEEEEEEE

What is the one thing that can make or break a race experience for you?

When was the last time that you accomplished something that literally blew your mind?

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Have you read these gems?


  • Reply Runcolbyrun

    YAAAAAAAAAAS. Read this with a big old smile on my face and even let out a “Boom!” to which #FritoBeagle yipped. Even she is proud! You’re my hero Susie. So impressed. And I will see you in Boston. Hell. Let’s hope I’m running it with you. But if not, I’ll be cheering WILDLY! Xoxo

    March 3, 2015 at 6:02 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I hope you are running it will me! Either way, you, me, and that Frito Beagle are going to cuddle so hard…..

      March 3, 2015 at 4:25 pm
  • Reply Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie

    My slow little butt cannot even fathom running a marathon that fast – you are incredible!! It’s interesting to see the 10k, half and marathon all have different starting points. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a race course like that.
    Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie recently posted…Weekend Recap: Martinis and Pho BacMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 6:03 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      It was really interesting, but kinda cool because it gave you new little countdowns!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:18 pm
  • Reply Heather @Fit n Cookies

    Geez, the Pittsburgh Half is more than the top price of the marathon you ran! That’s crazy and stupid. Anyway, back to you. Love that there were plenty of bathrooms- you know I’m a fan of that too πŸ˜‰ Funny that they all needed fires and heaters for 50s.. what I would do for that weather now! hahah Proud of you for sticking with the pace and pushing yourself! Those are awesome times, and 8th place?!?!?! Whoa! Division or not, that’s an awesome stat!
    Heather @Fit n Cookies recently posted…The Lunge Burner WorkoutMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 6:21 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You would be surprised–even I was cold. But then again, I guess that isn’t saying much. Thank you!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:18 pm
  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    I teared up a little for you! You made it happen! So strong, girl!
    My one marathon was that experience for me. I may not be fast, but it is something I never ever ever ever thought I would be able to do.
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Kale PastaMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 6:23 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Aw, Julie!!! That is seriously the sweetest thing. I totally respect the one-time marathon. I thought that would be me. But then I changed. But the fact that you were a one-time marathoner a) means that you are still a marathoner and b) that you are seriously badass because you did it nevertheless!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:20 pm
  • Reply Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    I am still just so amazed by you. But then again, you worked hard and you earned this! It sounds like a really fair course, and one I would consider at some point for sure. YEAA for Boston 2016!!!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…A Look Back At February 2015My Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 6:25 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think you are spot on calling it a “fair” course. It really was–it had downs and ups, and flats and winds, and equalizers. Thank you so much Lisa. You are next!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:20 pm
  • Reply Sarah @pickyrunner

    I AM SO FREAKING HAPPY FOR YOU!!! Seriously, I couldn’t be more proud. You crushed this race, went in with a few goals but they weren’t the be-all-end-all and guess what? You surprised yourself. I prefer small, quiet courses so this actually sounds like a great race for me. Maybe someday… Now you should sign up for Newport full this fall with meeee πŸ™‚
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…Competitive DriveMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 6:26 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hey–if I don’t get into NYC I’ll consider it! And thank you so much Sarah–you know how much your support and your text means and meant to me. I think that is what I love about running–I just keep surprising myself!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:23 pm
  • Reply Pam and Christine

    I am so excited for you. Working hard and accomplishing a huge dream of qualifying for Boston is amazing. I love your final thoughts on the Phoenix course. Runners get taken in by what looks to be an awesome course where they can fly and let’s face it, a marathon is a challenge no matter where it is held. We have a very fast and flat course here where I live (Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon) and the course is probably as good as you get in terms of elevation changes,. It was the perfect race for me to run to qualify!
    Pam and Christine recently posted…Let’s rock some races!My Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 6:28 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so, so much. I think we all have our “perfect” qualifier races–where it all comes together to give us just the right amount of challenge to bring out the fight in us. And that was this for me!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:24 pm
  • Reply Meg Bollenback

    Congrats on an amazing time!! You should definitely be super proud of yourself for that. I haven’t been to Phoenix before but it looks like a great place to visit. The cactus picture cracked me up….so Arizona.
    Meg Bollenback recently posted…{GIVEAWAY!} French Broad Chocolates’ Signature Chocolate Truffles!My Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 6:36 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! and I know–because #Arizona lol

      March 3, 2015 at 4:17 pm
  • Reply Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner

    That was so much fun to read-You are a rock star!! Your hard work really paid off sister. Congrats!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Curried Lentil Soup-Meatless MondaysMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 6:36 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, D. It is weird–at the time I didn’t feel like I was working as hard as I could have, but then I look back and I realize what I really did!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:17 pm
  • Reply Montana Ross

    Once again, so excited for you! I’ll be watching you next April going “hey, I know her!” πŸ™‚
    Montana Ross recently posted…Motivate Me Monday + Weekend Snapshots: Letting Out My Inner Little KidMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 6:41 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! And I can’t wait πŸ˜€

      March 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm
  • Reply jennifer f

    Great job! oooooh, and I like the look of that elevation chart!
    jennifer f recently posted…5 Unexpected Ways to Enjoy GrapefruitMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 6:49 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! But I will say that looks can be deceiving…. haha

      March 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm
  • Reply Michele

    Love this, a big congrats again! My PR race was also a small quiet and flat one. They can be quite boring but I think it’s the way to go for a PR. Incredible! And Boston 2016 – YES!
    Michele recently posted…Have I Mentioned That I Used to Run Barefoot?My Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 6:56 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I agree–it makes you sit there and concentrate, and you don’t have to fight your way through. It makes such a difference.

      March 3, 2015 at 4:15 pm
  • Reply Hollie

    I agree that it wasn’t as fast as it was advertised. I actually thought it could have used more aid stations, especially between miles 13-16.

    Great job and awesome job BQing. Sad we couldn’t meet up though!
    Hollie recently posted…Flights From HellMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 7:07 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I definitely think that those “downhills” by the end were more of flats. But whatever. I’ve seen worse haha. Thank you–and we’ll find a time and place to meet!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:15 pm
  • Reply Annmarie

    I am not sure how I missed that someone stole your Garmin, WTF?! People suck. Glad you were able to replace one ASAP. As for the marathon all I have to say is YOU F**KING ROCK! You are amazing and an inspiration! Congrats, friend!!!
    Annmarie recently posted…Blogiversary GiveawayMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 7:17 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Yeah, annoying and stupid but it worked out πŸ˜‰ And I love you. That is all.

      March 3, 2015 at 4:14 pm
  • Reply AK @ NutriFitMama

    You did awesome! Great job! Totally deserved it- and Boston 2016 sounds awesome!
    AK @ NutriFitMama recently posted…5 Ways To Take Care of YOU + Tuesday MotivationMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 7:17 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! I’m pretty pumped, even though it feels like forever from now!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:13 pm
  • Reply Bri

    Yeah Susie!! If I can get in before registration cuts off (I qualified with 3:33, two minutes under my qualifying time), I will see you in Boston 2016!!!!
    Bri recently posted…[Book Review] Lose It Right: A Brutally Honest 3-Stage Program to Help You Get Fit and Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind by James FellMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 7:18 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Yyyyyyaaaayyyyyyy Why must a year be so far offffffff

      March 3, 2015 at 4:13 pm
  • Reply Pragati // Simple Medicine

    Tummy troubles. That usually kills a race for me. It’s totally uncomfortable and just plain sucks. You’re a beast! I’m proud of you and happy that I found you on the internets and got to follow your journey.
    Pragati // Simple Medicine recently posted…The Truth About SugarMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 7:43 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Aw, thank you. I’m glad that you found me on the internets too!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:13 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    Heck yeah that is awesome. Personally I think this is the perfect size race and temps for a BQ. I think larger races provide way too many obstacles (people mostly) to have to deal with at the start. Sounds like it was a great race. And I am totally with you and that whole “Phoenix Marathon” thing. Rock and I were just talking about that. I did the Boston 13.1 last year and it was way the heck out about 30 miles from Boston. The only saving grace is that the weather was gorgeous and the course followed the water for awhile. Otherwise, what a bust when you think you are doing a “city” marathon.
    Sarah recently posted…Tackling Long RunsMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 7:53 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      PREACH. I agree with you on all points re: the right race and re the fact that “city” is apparently a sliding scale!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:12 pm
  • Reply Jess @hellotofit

    I AM SO AMAZED RIGHT NOW. Loved reading this re-cap, even though I’m not a marathon runner. You rock, lady!!
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…Link Love #7 and getting dressed upMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 8:08 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! I think that we can all relate in the struggle and the joy. And I always find it so interesting how the events are directed!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:11 pm
  • Reply seetinarun

    YAHOO!! What a recap! WHAT A RACE!! So excited that you’ll be running Boston. Colby and I will be there at the top of Heartbreak Hill if we’re not on the course ourselves. Congratulations!!!!!

    March 3, 2015 at 8:19 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      OMG if you are on the course I don’t know what I will do.

      March 3, 2015 at 4:09 pm
      • Reply seetinarun

        Well, you are probably safer if we are on the course running it ourselves than if we are at the top of Heartbreak Hill, half in the bag and screaming our heads off at you as you crest. ‘Cause that’s how we roll when spectating.
        But we’ll be there – one way or another!
        seetinarun recently posted…Riding the wave. And Running for Another.Β My Profile

        March 3, 2015 at 4:53 pm
        • Reply suzlyfe

          Bhahaa I’ll take what I can get!

          March 4, 2015 at 3:19 pm
  • Reply Carly @The Next Finish Line

    Wahoooooo! Congrats on an awesome race!! And great breakdown/review of the event in general πŸ™‚ Yaaaaay for super-fly-fast races, you rock!
    Carly @The Next Finish Line recently posted…A Sad Day in the MountainsMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 8:24 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! It was crazy running downhill like that–and trying to pace yourself during it!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:09 pm
  • Reply GiGi Eats

    I think if I were to run a marathon…. I would go – check out the expo and then get so distracted in there that I would miss the race entirely! I AM PROUD OF YOU – that you DIDN’T!!!! You are a freaking ROCK STAR! πŸ˜‰
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Food Babe? More Like Food BitchMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 8:53 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you GiGi! You do your elliptical, I do my run πŸ˜€ We all have our crazy.

      March 3, 2015 at 4:08 pm
  • Reply Shawna

    Shawna recently posted…2 Things TuesdayMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 9:12 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hahaha you are amazing.

      March 3, 2015 at 4:07 pm
  • Reply MaryBeth at The Thrive Blog

    CONGRATULATIONS! What an accomplishment!

    MaryBeth at The Thrive Blog recently posted…Move Weekly Recap 2/22-2/28My Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 9:14 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! I am really proud of myself πŸ˜€

      March 3, 2015 at 4:07 pm
  • Reply Megan (The Lyons' Share)

    way to go, Suz!!!! Awesome race and awesome recap!! Congrats!
    Megan (The Lyons’ Share) recently posted…Every bite you take…My Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 9:26 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much! It was a great experience that I am so thankful for.

      March 3, 2015 at 4:07 pm
  • Reply Sara @ Lake Shore Runner

    So proud of you Suz!!!! You have me itching to run just reading this post πŸ™‚ Way to go you so deserve all the success you have had. I know it was not easy – enjoy it!!
    Sara @ Lake Shore Runner recently posted…Tried it Tuesday #16: 5 Favorite Instagram Editing Apps + Florida RecapMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 9:32 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Sar, We need to get our run on soon! I misses you.

      March 3, 2015 at 4:06 pm
  • Reply Rae

    Still so exciting! Boston, baby! I had a similar experience at my half in November when I PR’d by 18 freaking minutes. Crazy!
    Rae recently posted…Manic Monday – 03/02/15My Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 9:39 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Isn’t it the coolest feeling? Like HOT DAMN look at me go!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:06 pm
  • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    So excited for youβ€”Boston 2016! The Phoenix course sounds nice, especially since I prefer smaller races (less crowds!). It’s so true what you say about training in the wind from Lake Michigan, it’s harder than hills when winds comes from all directions!
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Must-Have Spring Running GearMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 10:02 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      It was great having the smaller crowds for sure–smaller even than Twin Cities, which is another FABulous race–check out my recap of it. This one might have been faster, but TCM is more scenic and energetic. I ain’t hatin, though!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:05 pm
      • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

        TCM does sound so amazing, and your recap makes me want to run it sometime! I’ve been wanting to visit Minneapolis for some time now (just not in winter!), and what better reason to visit somewhere than for a race?
        Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Nuun Active Hydration Giveaway!My Profile

        March 4, 2015 at 11:32 am
  • Reply Jill

    Who are you?!?!? You are THE SUZE!!!!!! I’m still in awe but I already knew you were an amazing human being. So inspirational πŸ™‚
    Jill recently posted…Pisces for Life and Breaking up with WinterMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 10:30 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you Jilly. You are too sweet. It really made my day knowing that I had so many incredible people supporting me, regardless of how I ended up doing. But you know that I had to do it #likeaSuz to represent!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:04 pm
  • Reply meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles

    Congratulations! You ran one amazing race!
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles recently posted…Spring Preview 2015My Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 10:47 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! I think someone else inhabited my body…

      March 3, 2015 at 4:04 pm
  • Reply Courtney @ Running For Cupcakes

    EEEEEK so happy for you!!! You ran the most amazing race and you deserved it! I’m so glad everything fell into place for you. Reading about everyone’s recent marathon experiences has motivated me to get my booty back into some serious running (and hopefully blogging).
    Courtney @ Running For Cupcakes recently posted…Life LatelyMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 11:30 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      We (I) miss you!!!! I’ll run with you!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:03 pm
  • Reply

    Superb race recap. You’re so perefectly descriptive about the whole race and I was hooked to read every word and to imagine what it had been like! I’m even inspired now to write a bit more in-depth about the Great Scottish Run in September instead of my usual “Start, Main Street, Kingston Bridge, Finish” four word summary, lol. πŸ˜€ recently posted…Broccoli and Stilton SoupMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 11:45 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Haha thank you! I don’t remember all of the goods with regards to mile by mile and splits and stuff (I don’t think that people care about that, either, necessarily), but I feel like people like getting the full story–so that they can decide if it is the right one for them!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:03 pm
  • Reply Lauren @ ihadabiglunch

    Um HELL YEAH!!!! You’re a rockstar! Glutes, engaged! haha.

    I think we’re spoiled here in Chicago because if it’s a Chicago race, you’re literally running either along the lakefront or through the streets of the loop. Other cities SAY it’s a race in, say, Phoenix, but that’s probably just to get people to sign up…..

    I’m so proud of you! I’m doing a happy dance over here for ya!
    Lauren @ ihadabiglunch recently posted…Velvet Taco and The Chopping BlockMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 12:21 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      When I next see you we will get our joint happy dance on πŸ˜€ I’ve had some meh races here, but you are right–if you are running a Chicago race, you are likely in Chicago–or else there will be an uprising!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:02 pm
  • Reply Kay @ Kay Bueno

    Woah, you killed it. Top 50 women, daaaamn. You did great.

    I totally love the burning man description. But I’m not sure how I’d feel about the rest of the race, sounds like it wasn’t the most amazing for what Phoenix has to offer as a city.
    Kay @ Kay Bueno recently posted…Morning musingsMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 12:25 pm
  • Reply Erin @ Erin's Inside Job

    AHHH so exciting! I’m super proud of you. Thanks for walking through the whole race as well as your experience. I remember when I first met you and you said you had just signed up for this. How time flies. If I ever run a marathon I will channel your running power.
    Erin @ Erin’s Inside Job recently posted…How I Used GoFundMe To Raise Money For Personal TrainingMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 12:32 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hahaha omg you are right–I had JUST signed up! Wow, I feel like we’ve known each other so much longer than that πŸ˜€ I’m here to help!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:01 pm
  • Reply Ang @ Nutty for Life

    Wow! Congrats Suz! You did an amazing run. That’s so awesome. I really liked this recap because you hit every part of the race weekend but it was short and to the point haha.
    Ang @ Nutty for Life recently posted…Nutty For… Reads [3.2.15]My Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 12:43 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! Yeah, I try to keep this part as to the point as one can be, you know…

      March 3, 2015 at 4:00 pm
  • Reply Sarah Rosenblatt

    You are just so awesome. I’m so impressed by you!! 8th in your division?! Holy moly, girl. Good for you!

    March 3, 2015 at 12:59 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      SARAH WHO AM I? When I met you, I never had run further than 4 miles!!

      March 3, 2015 at 4:00 pm
      • Reply Sarah Rosenblatt

        That is CRAZY! I always forget that. I used to do XC in high school- the 5k was my jam. Once it warms up (if it ever warms up!) I’m getting back into it. I did a little running in the fall, but then… winter. And exams. And blahhhhh.

        March 3, 2015 at 4:03 pm
  • Reply Nicole @ Fitful Focus

    Congrats to you, you super fast woman, you! How awesome to not only BQ but be 8th in your division and top 50 women overall? KILLED IT!
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…NASM Live WorkshopMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 1:25 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’m not really sure how it happened. I think it was a dream!

      March 3, 2015 at 3:59 pm
  • Reply Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles

    YAY! I loved the recap!! Such an amazing time and experience for you (and Erica!!) And 8th in the division–INCREDIBLE!! You, my friend, ROCK!

    March 3, 2015 at 1:31 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! I gotta give ups to Erica for sure!

      March 3, 2015 at 3:58 pm
  • Reply Liza

    Susie, you KILLED it! I just got so excited reading your recap! 8th in your div? Top 50 female?! Insane. Congratulations!!

    March 3, 2015 at 2:52 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’m still kind of soaking it in!

      March 3, 2015 at 3:58 pm
  • Reply Mattie @ Comfy & Confident

    Wahooo!! Congrats… that is a great time!! You should be so excited and proud. Great job.

    March 3, 2015 at 3:49 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you–I really am

      March 3, 2015 at 3:58 pm
  • Reply Sam @ PancakeWarriors

    What an awesome recap! Love how you break it down – felt like I was there with you πŸ™‚ I’m so happy you achieved your goals! Now you get to train for BOSTON!! woot woot. Enjoy your M&M cookies today love!
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted…Maple Vanilla Mixed NutsMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 5:12 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      you KNOW I did! Golly they were so good. Thank you so much for your support!

      March 4, 2015 at 3:20 pm
  • Reply Anna - Piper's Run

    It took me all day to read your recap πŸ˜‰ I had it open on my phone and read it in between meetings but couldn’t get through the whole thing at once. I may have read a little bit during a meeting as well!

    What a great recap of the whole weekend and your race. Congratulations…such an exciting experience. Hope your legs are starting to feel better πŸ™‚
    Anna – Piper’s Run recently posted…March: 5 By The 5thMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 7:08 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I know it was long, but it wasn’t my intention to have to take all day! lol. I’m glad that you didn’t give up on me πŸ˜€

      March 4, 2015 at 3:21 pm
      • Reply Anna @ Piper's Run

        It only took me all day to read because I was so busy at work and really REALLY wanted to hear about your experience!

        March 5, 2015 at 8:00 am
  • Reply Marcia

    This was so awesome to read. You dominated those splits! The elevation chart makes this course look easy peasy (as if any marathon is). Thanks for the warning that it is not. The last time my mind was blown was definitely my first BQ. Who knew that was in me?
    Marcia recently posted…Standout Post-Race TreatsMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 8:00 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! I’m pretty surprised by them myself. I can only hope that I have another BQ in me! I wouldn’t mind multiples of those πŸ˜€

      March 4, 2015 at 3:22 pm
  • Reply Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes

    Amazing. This sounds like an awesome race and SO SO SO proud of you for getting your BQ!! I have only run BIG marathons…2 MCM’s, registered for my 3rd and Paris…I’m not sure I could handle a smallish one!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Tried it Tuesday: A cure for aching feet and a new protein bar!My Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 9:11 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I remember you saying that about TCM–but don’t knock it till you try it! It’s a bit more of a mental game, but it is pretty rewarding.

      March 4, 2015 at 3:22 pm
  • Reply Beth @ Running with the Sunrise

    Woo hoo, way to go , Susie! You sure killed it during the race! Congrats on your spectacular finish! Hope your legs are recovering well!
    Beth @ Running with the Sunrise recently posted…March Giveaway: Cork Yoga Block SetMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 9:13 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! My inner quad is a little strained, I think, but I think rest will take care of it. Being nice and gentle with it.

      March 4, 2015 at 3:23 pm
  • Reply Erica @ erica finds

    I actually did not mind the course of the not Phoenix part #itsuglytoo. I am in awe of that last 10K you ran and perfect splits sans bathroom stop. I am beyond excited for you to crush your goals and for you to head to Boston in 2016. It is an amazing experience, too. What a fun weekend. Like always, I can’t believe it is over… until the next time!
    Erica @ erica finds recently posted…Tried It Tuesday: Pura D’Or Premium OrganicMy Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 10:23 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’m glad that I have Shamrock to look forward to! Otherwise, i would go into major Erica withdrawal. You killed it yourself, lady! And seriously–I wouldn’t have run the race I did without you!

      March 4, 2015 at 3:24 pm
  • Reply Kristen

    Congrats on the BQ!!! This is super exciting. You are so fast girl!
    Kristen recently posted…Zion Half Training: Week 10My Profile

    March 3, 2015 at 11:44 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! Who knew these legs could fly like that!

      March 4, 2015 at 3:25 pm
  • Reply Mar @ Mar on the Run

    SQUEEEEEEE is right!!! congratulations my friend on ALL fronts (top 50 female and top 8 division?? yegads!) you worked hard and you deserve it. <3
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…Race Recap: St. Pat’s Day DoubleMy Profile

    March 4, 2015 at 8:52 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much Mar! It is still a bit surreal.

      March 4, 2015 at 3:25 pm
  • Reply Jen @ Pretty Little Grub

    Great race recap! You put a lot of things into words I couldn’t figure out how to say.
    I’m still so pysched for you that you BQ’d. I was thinking about you all day long!
    Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted…This is why I run – The social side of Phoenix MarathonMy Profile

    March 4, 2015 at 9:05 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much Jen. We must meet again ASAP. And you were so close to you 210. You totally have that (and more) in you!

      March 4, 2015 at 3:26 pm
  • Reply Brianna @ I run He tris

    This is so so awesome!! Congrats on such a great race!
    Brianna @ I run He tris recently posted…I’m baaaack!My Profile

    March 4, 2015 at 10:14 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you Brianna. It was really cool and still kinda blows my mind!

      March 4, 2015 at 3:28 pm
  • Reply Renee @ Bendiful Blog

    WOMAN! YOU ROCK!!!! Congratulations!!!
    Renee @ Bendiful Blog recently posted…Change It Up WorkoutMy Profile

    March 4, 2015 at 11:58 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you!

      March 4, 2015 at 3:27 pm
  • Reply Ange @ Cowgirl Runs

    Holy shit your splits are fucking impressive!!!!
    I have a LOT of work to do if I ever want to BQ, but seeing how much you’ve managed to improve your marathon time gives me hope!!
    I’m seriously considering Phoenix next year, if only to get out of Calgary for some (hopefully) warmer weather!
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Mac & Cheese Challenge #3My Profile

    March 4, 2015 at 12:14 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      It is a great course to go south for the winter for–none of the riff raff of Disney races, and it is a very straightforward course for a BQ attempt. If you just wanted to fly south, maybe consider NOLA.

      March 4, 2015 at 3:29 pm
  • Reply Nicole.@thegirlwhoraneverywhere

    I looooooooveeeeeeeeeeeee this recap! I am still so excited for you, you brave, fearless, gutsy girl!!!!
    Nicole.@thegirlwhoraneverywhere recently posted…Guest Post: Q&A’s for my Marathoner in Training: SIL!My Profile

    March 4, 2015 at 3:18 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You are the sweetest!

      March 4, 2015 at 3:29 pm
  • Reply Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate

    Who the hell are you?! A beast, that’s who! Waita go girl!! Congrats!
    Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate recently posted…Whole30 Review: Pros and ConsMy Profile

    March 4, 2015 at 4:03 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe


      March 5, 2015 at 1:41 pm
  • Reply Post Marathon Recovery Nonsense - Suzlyfe

    […] The Phoenix Marathon Review and Recap […]

    March 5, 2015 at 5:17 am
  • Reply Smitha @ Running with SD Mom

    I am so so so happy for you!!! That you got to meet me! Haha! Seriously that was a bad ass race you ran. The wind was the one thing I did not plan for! At all. Can’t train in wind if you don’t have any. Everything else I encountered once or twice in training. Oh and long boring stretches of Brown Road?! Wake me up when it’s done!
    Smitha @ Running with SD Mom recently posted…#ItWentDownAtPHX – My First Marathon – Part 1My Profile

    March 5, 2015 at 7:23 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      hahahahaha so much Oh, look, another plot of land. Oh, some concrete and an empty house. Thank goodness for the oranges.

      March 5, 2015 at 1:42 pm
  • Reply Lisa @ RunWiki

    You are a complete stud! What an amazing race and, yes, just because of the downhill race profile that does not mean we don;t work for it! My hometown race Mountains 2 Beach has a gradual downhill and people always say, “but it’s downhill, ” you know what? I still ran my ass off and worked for that PR just like I would in most of my races. I am so excited for you! Does this mean I need another BQ so I can meet up with you in 2016? I better get training!
    Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted…Comment on The One Thing Your Running Is Missing @Kohls #MakeYourMove by LisaMy Profile

    March 5, 2015 at 1:35 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      One of my best friends gave me a Brooks running shirt that says “stud” with the picture of a muffin–so there you go! I’ve heard that M2B is a beeeeast and gets your quads like what. Um, yes please BQ so that we can run together. That would make my life!!!

      March 5, 2015 at 1:40 pm
  • Reply Pete B

    Congrats on the PR! Way to rock the last 10k!
    Pete B recently posted…I Saw Vince Vaughn and Lady Gaga on my Run YesterdayMy Profile

    March 5, 2015 at 3:26 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! My VMO’s beg to differ–they got a little strained ahaha

      March 5, 2015 at 4:09 pm
  • Reply Corine (Zucchini Runner)

    LOVED your recap! Congratulations on your finishing time! Wow! Sounds like you had a great race. Majorly impressed with a 75 second port-o-potty stop too. haha!
    Corine (Zucchini Runner) recently posted…Phoenix Half Marathon RecapMy Profile

    March 5, 2015 at 7:17 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! And I think that 75 second stop saved me in the long run haha

      March 6, 2015 at 8:26 am
  • Reply Angela

    Great race and great recap! I agree on several points. Where was the music? And not as scenic or downhill as I hoped, especially in the second half. You paced yourself so well and killed the race! Congrats!
    Angela recently posted…Phoenix Marathon 2015 Race RecapMy Profile

    March 5, 2015 at 9:21 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! But at least we had a coyote warning πŸ˜€

      March 6, 2015 at 8:26 am
  • Reply Eric

    Fantastic job on the BQ! I don’t know what it is, but I can never make it through a marathon without having to hit the restroom either. Also I think we might be kind of the same person. I was 8th in my age group at Little Rock, finished 51st out of the guys, and had a time of 3:28:42. Pretty eerily similar if you ask me.

    March 6, 2015 at 8:03 am
  • Reply Jane @janerunswild

    Thank you so much for your recap! I saw it when I searched for Phoenix marathon reviews and am glad I did! I just signed up for the marathon in hopes for another BQ. You ran so well, I am hoping I can do the same! Any other suggestions for the race, please send them along. Happy running!

    November 6, 2015 at 9:27 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Best of luck! So glad that you found my review, and feel free to email me if you have questions!

      November 6, 2015 at 9:32 am
  • Reply Helly on the Run


    Very accurate report my friend. I love this race and people see the elevation chart and swoon BUT holy hell those little hills sprinkled in kill you (me). And yeah, Mesa is not the prettiest of cities to run through but whattareyougonnado? I think if people want the desert Arizona race, Lost Dutchman is THE marathon to do. Not easy, but you get the full monty scenery.

    You are such beast mode status I cannot even handle it.

    January 29, 2016 at 4:32 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Haha a little late πŸ˜€ but fashionable, I feel, πŸ˜€ One day I’ll come back and run a real AZ race πŸ˜€

      January 29, 2016 at 7:21 pm

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