Folks, if you have not done so, you can still register online for the 40th Annual Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff Half Marathon and 5K Fun Run/Walk, this year featuring a commemorative half marathon finishers medal for all walkers and runners who go the 13.1 miles! Register ASAP at https://register.chronotrack.com/r/25830
Festivities kick-off today, Thursday, with a special early packet pick up/registration at Run Flagstaff from 3 to 6 PM.
Join us Friday at 6 PM for the Fratellis Pizza Party and packet pick up at Thorpe Park picnic ramada (about 0.6 miles west of downtown). Pizza and drinks are FREE for registered runners. Family members and friends are welcome but we have a $5 donation for non-runners.Here is a map. http://bit.ly/2fuc4eo
On race day, please park in residential neighborhood west of Library, preferably on either Birch, Cherry, or Dale Avenues. Aspen street is where the race takes place so it would be nice not to have cars parked there! ABSOLUTELY NO PARKING IN LIBRARY OR CITY HALL LOT!
All races start in front of City Hall at 211 West Aspen Avenue.
If you are walking or walk/running the half marathon 6 AM start, please either pick up your bib Thursday or Friday evening. You can do so race day, just make sure you are to Wheeler Park no later than 5:45 AM.
At all packet pick-ups, please take your assigned shirt size. If you wish to exchange a size, please wait until after the race. Also, be sure to take your Pay N'Take 2 for 1 drink coupon! After you cross the finish line you can cool off by jogging two more blocks to east to redeem!
Half Marathon starts at 7:30 AM Saturday.
5K starts at 7:45 AM with kids dash following immediately after that!
During the race, please make sure your bib is visible to timers and Coconino Amateur Radio Club volunteers who will be tracking you for your safety! We also will have a course crew with vehicles. If you have any health issues during the race, do not hesitate to ask for help or first aid!
In the 5K fun run, medals are only awarded to top 3 overall male and female. We will announce the 5K awards at 8:30 AM.
For the half marathon, all walkers and runners will get a beautiful finishing medal and we will have awards announced at Charly Pub and Grill (just two blocks east of race start) at 1 PM. Doors will open at 12 PM for all runners.
If you have never done our race before, you are in for a treat. Do understand it is mostly on forest roads and trails. The first part of the race is the toughest as you climb about 400 ft between where you hit the Forest by Thorpe Park and mile 2. If you are from lower elevations, you should consider walking or jogging very slow for first 2 miles. It will pay off later, I promise. Miles 3 to about 3.75 is a bit rough going, a steeple chase of sorts. You will be running alongside a road that was closed after last year's logging operations. The best route with least rocks will have pin flags. Between miles 6 and 7.5 are some of the best scenery in Northern Arizona. Take it all in and smile for the many cameras on the course. Our volunteers can't wait to party with you.
The course can be muddy in places and there will be puddles on course that are easy to get around. The course will be well-marked with big sweeping arrows on every turn and plenty of flagging tape to guide you.
Half marathoners will have 8 aid stations strategically placed. If you need anything other than water or gatorade, please carry it yourself.
Two port-a-potties will be at the Junction Aid Station at about mile 5 and again on the return at about mile 9.
5Kers will have just the water aid station where just past you will turn around and head back to start exactly the way you came.
Maps of the race and all details can be found at http://www.flagstaffsummerseries.com/races/ - just click on BBBSF Half Marathon details.
We are very excited for Saturday as we are also honoring our 50th Anniversary of the agency serving Flagstaff. Please take a few minutes to read the column I wrote about why this race has endured so long - http://azdailysun.com/lifestyles/columnists/high-country-running-flagstaff-s-oldest-race-turns/article_f2669ad4-0e65-5653-b34b-edd481a6ccf0.html
Finally, thank you for all your support. All the proceeds from the race benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff mentoring programs. The Bigs and Littles thank you and many of our matches will be running the 5K together!
Best, Neil Weintraub
Voluntary director of BBBSF Dave McKay Memorial Half Marathon.