Winter seems to be a good time season to run a marathon in Arizona. I recently receved a mail from Debra Undhjem informing me that next year, a new marathon would be organized in Arizona. Debra, the race director of the new IMS Arizona Marathon, answered my usual 9 questions to present her new race.
Hello, on February 15th, you’ll be organizing the first edition of the first IMS Arizona Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?
The IMS Arizona Marathon (IMS stands for Integrated Medical Services) is held in Arizona. It will run through 4 west valley cities (ie. cities just to the West of Phoenix, AZ). The Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is approximately 15 minutes away.
It is the inaugural edition. Why was it created in the first place?
We created the marathon to increase health awareness while showcasing cities of the west valley. Hosted by a non-profit organization, the IMS marathon committee is comprised of community leaders from all over the Phoenix valley.
What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?
The proposed route starts at the base of Estrella Mountain in Goodyear runs by the Cleveland Indians Spring Training Stadium continues to Avondale taking the runners by the Estrella Community College. The runners will continue running through Litchfield Park, home of the Wigwam Golf Resort and Red Door Spa. The course then takes runners by Luke AFB home of the F-16 Fighting Falcon finishes in Glendale at the Westgate Center home of Super Bowl XLII. The marathon will be a Boston Qualifier.
How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?
We expect more than a thousand runners to join us for this inaugural race. All types of runners are welcome. From 6 minute miles to 14 minute miles. For participants safety the course will close in 6 hours.
Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?
Half Marathon and team relay marathon
At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?
February is a beautiful time in Arizona. The average high 67 F.
Have you planned festivities around the marathon?
Absolutely instead of organizing a carbo dinner we are asking all local business to give us discount coupons so that our participants can have all sorts of options for the pre-race dinner. A band and awards ceremony will be immediately following the event.
The marathon finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Glendale before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?
We will have set-up information desks to help guide people to different areas of our city depending on their interest. ie; Golf, zoos, Grand Canyon, lakes, desert hiking, jeep tours, mountain biking, relaxing by the pool.
In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Arizona Marathon?
We want all levels to participate…just put on your shoes and come play in the Arizona sun and be a part of this family oriented event!
Thank you Debra