Sedona Marathon hosts big weekend

Feb. 6, the fifth annual Sedona Marathon, Cinco De Marathon, takes place once again bringing in participants from around the globe. In its four year history the marathon has received international acclaim, Japanese sports reporter Hajime Nishi has named the event one of his top 10 favorite world-wide marathons and National Geographic Adventurer Magazine featured it as one of the great "instant weekend adventures."

Featuring three races, the full marathon, a half marathon and a 5K race this is an ideal community and family activity. Participants are able to walk in all three races as well and one of the hallmarks of the Sedona Marathon is the racers come from all walks of life. Its history has featured runners like Simon Whitfield of Canada who took a silver medal in the Beijing Olympics last summer to families that cross generations walking the 5k together. Last year the youngest "athlete" was 3 and the oldest was 84.

The Sedona Marathon Event has expanded in acclaim and also scope. Once again numbers are up for the marathon and participants are arriving from as far away as Singapore. Events surrounding the celebrated race begin on Thursday the 4th and continue right through Saturday evening with a past race celebration featuring a beer garden, live music and dancing.

In addition to special rates for private consultations with Sedona Marathon participants, Phil Wharton is also offering the pre-race tune up workshop that Wharton Performance developed and uses with Olympians and the New York Marathon on Thursday, Feb. 4, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Nicknamed "The Mechanics" by USA Today, the Whartons (Phil and his father Jim) are internationally known trainers, therapists, and authors who established their practice in 1989 and changed the face of human performance. They have worked with luminaries in the sports world from professional football players to Olympic gold medal winners. They have personally trained over 500 Olympic medalists. This year they were also named to the Dr. Oz top 100 experts list. Registration is required for this event as there is limited space available. For reservations email: info@whartonhealth.com

On Thursday at 4 and 7 p.m. the Sedona Film Festival is hosting the Arizona Premiere of My Run. Terry Hitchcock, the man whose epic journey is featured in My Run, will be at the screenings along with the film's director Tim Vandesteeg. Please call the Sedona Film festival for tickets at (928) 282-1177.

Throughout Friday, race registration takes place at Tlaquepaque world-renowned destination. Registration opens at 10 a.m. and continues until 9 p.m. at "Tlaq." Bibs, forms, chips - come and get 'em and enjoy wandering around the Mexican colonial village filled with shops and restaurants. The Sedona Marathon Expo is also taking place at Tlaquepaque throughout the day running until 8 p.m. The Expo will feature large variety vendors including those carrying cutting edge athletic equipment.

The customary pre-race Carb load will take place at the Radission Poco Diablo from 4-8 p.m. on Friday evening. The entire public is invited to join the athletes and carb-load the night before the race. There is family style seating. Sedona Marathon's team of experts will be on site to answer last minute race questions. Trainers include: Richelle McMaster, Pilates by Richelle; Robbie Blacknall, Phoenix Personal Trainer; Bobbi Calero, Sol Terra Multisports; and Steele Sacks, owner/trainer of regional Snap Fitness centers in Sedona, VOC and Cottonwood For a menu and pricing please go to www.sedonamarathon.com.

The Sedona Gallery Association's 1st Friday Tour is also taking place this evening with many galleries hosting to welcome racers. The SGA Tour takes place from 5-8 pm. For more information please go to www.sedonagalleryassociation.com.

The race headquarters is located in the upper lots of the Sedona Cultural Park and the start and finish are in the same location right next to race headquarters. Race parking is located at the Red Rock High School across the street. There is no race parking at the Sedona Cultural Park. Racers are encouraged to arrive early to get the best parking.

Spectators can also come to cheer the race-course within city limits. Once the race enters into forest service land however, the Red Rock Ranger District forest service wants no spectators in order to minimize traffic and ensure racer safety.

The public is invited to join the Sedona Marathon on Saturday, February 6 after the race at Tlaquepaque's Plaza de la Fuente for the Sedona Marathon Post-Race Awards Ceremony & Cinco de Marathon Celebration featuring a Beer Garden hosted by the multi-award winning Oak Creek Brewery and Grill and live music and dancing with Platinum featuring Rosemary and Frankie Chavez.

The celebration begins at 3pm, with Sedona Marathon Awards starting at 4pm: First through fifth places for the Full Marathon, the Half Marathon, the 5K and the Kids 5K will be awarded during this event with great prize packages and special ribbons will be given out to winners of each age category.

All spectators, volunteers, race participants and friends of the Sedona Marathon are invited to attend this special ceremony and community party to enjoy the celebratory festivities.

Come out, join the fun, and support the marathon by welcoming runners to town, participating in one of the races, the events or by volunteering. For more information and a full listing of events or to register for the 5th Annual Sedona Marathon go to www.sedonamarathon.com or call 1 (800) 775-7671.

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