|It was probably a good thing Al didn't see the decorations we had for our 50th half marathons in Cleveland and St. Louis last fall. It may have spoiled the surprise.|
|Ron, Al, Susan, and Caryn at the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Expo|
Just to keep things lively, we gave Al a scavenger hunt game in the form of a bingo card. He had to find and take pictures with (among other things) a Marathon Maniac, an original Half Fanatics shirt, a Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Tour Stop shirt, an SA2LV participant, the drum core cheer station, and a Boston Marathon jacket. He successfully found them all.
After hitting the expo, we did lunch at True Food Kitchen. This is an excellent place for people with food sensitivities, featuring vegan, vegetarian, gluten free selections and items designed to fit an anti-inflammatory diet popularized by Dr. Andrew Weil. The presentation is about as good as the food too!
|Al is a big fan of Despicable Me. Good thing too, since we three "accidentally" wore our minion shirts that day. |
Not embarrassing at all!
Dinner was followed by a special dessert, ice cream sandwiches at Slickables. Slickables will be an absolute MUST the next time we visit Phoenix. They serve fresh premium ice cream inside cookies fresh baked with natural ingredients for $2 apiece. So good, you'll want to experiment with different combinations and can still do it on a budget. The selection depends on the day you get there, but they had my favorite snickerdoodle cookies to put around a good scoop of chocolate chip.
Race day was more of the same. Custom Bib designed by Caryn, ordered from Races 2 Remember (R2R FB page).
Even with the focus on him, Al still found time to help us. He remembered the low-tech video camera I used in San Antonio and Las Vegas and I mentioned I wanted to do the same for our Antarctica trip coming up. Al set me up with a new hat mounted Garmin Virb camera that can be controlled by a Garmin Fenix watch. I've been having a blast playing with the new features. RNR AZ was a great road test. I was able to capture some good footage on Antarctica before the battery gave out after three hours in near zero temperatures.
|Shot from the hat-cam Garmin Virb. One of many that turned out well and many more that didn't.|
|Al and his Double-Down medal, enjoying a post-race refreshment with Ann Wessling - BINGO!|
It's certainly a different perspective for me. We love coming back and we have the health and the means to do it. Some people aren't as driven or as lucky. It's good to keep in mind that we may not always be able to do the things we enjoy.
But in the mean time, keep enjoying it.
250 half marathons. Maybe some day, when I grow up, I'll be like Al.
2014 was the 11th year for Rock 'n' Roll Arizona. The course changed slightly this year to finish in Tempe Beach Park instead of the parking lot of Sun Devil Stadium. Competitor once again did a great job recruiting volunteers for the full and half marathon courses. Weather was pretty ideal, but like it always is in Phoenix, it was pretty dry. Hydrate well when you're in town for this race.