After a short break in the interview series, we are back on track. In August, we discovered the IMS Arizona Marathon. . This week, we’re flying back to Arizona to visit the Sedona Marathon. Karen Livesay, the race director kindly accepted to answer my questions.
I’ll first let Karen introduce herself.
I have been excited to produce outdoor athletic events since 1996 across the western states, permitting over 3500 miles of roads and trails, and am happy to have come home to roost and produce events in my home town, of which the Sedona Marathon Event is one.
A breast cancer survivor and an avid horsewoman, I appreciate that we can offer visitors an opportunity to experience our small town in an intimate way while they enjoy world class amenities, arts, eating, resorts, spas. I am proud that we have been able to benefit the charities with which we are affiliated.
Come run in Sedona and you’ll never be the same again – we are truly a bit of heaven on earth.
Hello, on February 7th 2009, you’ll be organizing the Sedona Marathon . Can you tell us where it is located?
The Sedona Marathon Event takes place on city and county roads and travels into the surrounding Forest Service areas on paved and dirt roads.
How old is the marathon and why was it created in the first place?
The inaugural year was 2006. Sedona, well known for arts and culture, is often forgotten for its recreational appeal. With the demise of tourism after 9/11, this little town which is so tourism dependent needed a new event to draw people from all over the world to enjoy our region for its beauty and recreation, hence the Sedona Marathon Event emerged as an economic boon to the area as well as a means for local, regional and national charities to benefit.
We also felt strongly that health was and continues to be a critical issue for our children and the generations to come and we could play a role in encouraging all ages to Get Off the Couch!!
What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?
The route is not one on which a fastest time can be obtained as visitors to the web can see the elevation gain and loss and the actual routing in detail. However it is one of three Boston Marathon qualifiers in the state and is a great high altitude training run even for the uninitiated as its elevation goes from approx. 4100 to 4600 feet. It is on a scale of 5-7 of difficulty depending on where you hail from originally.
How many runners do you expect on Saturday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?
We are expecting 2000 participants in 2009 and besides elite high altitude runners, we welcome and encourage people of all ages and skills to come out and even walk the courses as long as they can finish in the alloted time.
We even offer free introduction to health training seminars entitled ‘Off the Couch!!’ all through the fall and into winter to inspire and encourage even kids and families to come out and walk and get healthy. We are lucky enough to be able to have world renowned Runner’s World columnist and musculoskeletal therapist Phil Wharton lead these raining seminars so we’d encourage all visitors to take advantage of these even if they are not registered for the Sedona Marathon Event, as part of out give back to the community.
Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?
We also have a half marathon and a 5K that cover part of the same marathon course – all begin from the same start and finish at the same spot.
At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?
February is one of the lowest precipitation months of the year in Sedona and the average daytime high’s are in the low 60’s with night time temps below freezing.
Every year we have had great weather on race day. But as it is winter we do tell people to be ready for from rain to sleet to snow if it does choose to be wet and on part of the marathon course dirt roads it can be a clay surface as well as rocky. But our Sedona vortex gods like to smile down on our event and every year so far has been incredible.
Have you planned festivities around the marathon?
We have a race day expo and are cooking up some fun uptown late race day activities for visitors and locals.
The marathon finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Sedona before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?
We would encourage visitors to check on our sponsor page as we get nearer to the event and see what local businesses are excited about welcoming everyone to town for our Sedona Marathon Event.
There are so many things to do here, from spas to fine dining to shopping. Even our registration site Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, is a world famous tourist destination.
In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of 42k195 to make them register for the Sedona Marathon?
Come to Sedona to follow your own road, picking your own race and time and style, running in one of the 10 most beautiful spots in America (USA Today) with a small town welcome and a world famous resort feel.
Thank you Karen
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