Focus on a race Interview

9 questions to discover a marathon : Flagstaff Marathon

23 Nov 2008 23:49
Jean-Loup Fenaux

I seem to have a crush on Arizona. We are back again in this beautiful state. This time we are heading to the city of Flagstaff. I will let Rick Swanson, our guide this week to introduce himself.

I am the Director of Marketing and Development at North Country HealthCare, a non-profit community health center in Flagstaff. I think the Flagstaff Marathon is a great fund raising event for North Country because it represents health, hard work, and a can-do attitude, which are great values for a community health center to promote.

Flagstaff Marathon Start
Credit : Flagstaff Marathon

Hello, on September 26th 2009, you’ll be organizing the Flagstaff marathon . Can you tell us where it is located?

The Flagstaff Marathon will be held at the Flagstaff Nordic Center, in the Coconino National Forest, 15 miles northwest of Flagstaff.

It will be the 4th edition of the race. Why was it created in the first place?

The Flagstaff Marathon was created as a benefit race for North Country HealthCare, a community health center in Flagstaff that provides quality healthcare for people regardless of their ability to pay.

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The Flagstaff Marathon is a completely off-road run in the Coconino National Forest. It is a challenging course at an altitude of about 8,000 feet (2,500 meters). The total elevation gain is 2,200 feet (670 meters).

How many runners do you expect on Saturday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We will limit the race to 250 runners on a first come first served basis. The race appeals most to avid trail runners.

Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?

There will also be a half marathon, a 10 k race, and a “kids kilo.”

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

Flagstaff is known for unpredictable mountain weather in September. It could be warm and sunny or cold and nasty. Temperatures at start time could be anywhere from 32 -50 degrees Fahrenheit (0-10 degrees Celsius). At the finish temperatures could range from 40-70 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 21 degrees Celsius).

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

We will have a pre-race pasta dinner with talks by experts on high-altitude running.

The marathon finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Flagstaff before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

Flagstaff is a hip, diverse college town with plenty things to do. The historic downtown has great local character and plenty of good restaurants. Martanne’s Burrito Palace is a favorite breakfast and lunch spot for locals. Pesto Brothers Piazza has great Italian food and supports the Flagstaff Marathon. Brix Restaurant and Wine Bar serves seasonal, farm focused, contemporary American cuisine. Flagstaff is within a couple hours drive of several national parks such as the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. Less than an hour’s drive to the south is the spectacular red rock scenery of Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of 42k195 to make them register for the Flagstaff Marathon?

The Flagstaff Nordic Center has a great vibe, the race is very well organized, and it supports affordable healthcare for the community.

Thank you Rick