On Feb. 12, the sixth annual Sedona 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." Last year French national newspaper "Le Figaro" was here covering the race.
Featuring four races, the full marathon, a half marathon, a new 10K and a 5K race this is an ideal community and family activity. The marathon introduced the new 10K race this year in response to the many requests that they received. The 10K is (6.2 miles) perfect for those who want to push themselves further than the 5K but not go all the way to the half marathon (13.1 miles). The 10K is USTAF certified, as are all of the Sedona Marathon races. TSM is one of only two USTAF certified events in Arizona.
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 10th and continue right through Saturday evening with a past race celebration featuring a beer garden, live music and dancing.
To mark its sixth year the Sedona Marathon, in partnership with Page Springs Winery, has created "Follow your Own Red" a delicious dry red wine. The artwork on label for the wine was done by renowned "New West" artist David DeVary, who created a special commemorative piece for the marathon last year.
David DeVary's extraordinary series "Cowboys and Cowgirls with Attitude" features pieces that are coveted by collectors internationally. DeVary believes that the Western cowboy and cowgirl are American icons and paints them as such using gold, silver or copper leaf, much like the icon painters of old. The contemporary work captures the values of the West with interest, beauty and sense of good being. He says of his work "I'm not painting history; rather, I'm trying to capture the feeling, strength or confidence of the American West. Like the traditional western artist, I'm fascinated with this romanticized, idealistic West."
This special piece for the Sedona Marathon is titled "Follow Your Own Road" and captures the independent spirit that the Sedona Marathon celebrates and honors in its racers. Sedona local Tanya Sonn was the model for this painting. There will be a wine tasting reception on Thursday the 10th, 6:30pm, at Goldenstein Gallery in uptown Sedona. The reception is free and open to the public. Goldenstein Gallery is located at 390 N. State Route 89A.
Throughout Friday the 11th race registration takes place at Tlaquepaque world renowned destination. Registration opens at 10am and continues until 9pm at "Tlaq." Bibs, forms, chips - come and get 'em and enjoy wandering around the Mexican colonial village filled with shops and restaurants.
The customary pre-race pasta feed will take place on Friday the 11th. This year's location is Olde Sedona Bar and Grill. This all you can eat carb fest is always a big hit. The Olde Sedona Bar and Grill has expanded the Pasta feed hours, it goes from 11am -9pm. They are also having live music and dancing from 9pm to 1am. The entire public is invited to join the athletes and carb-load the night before the race.
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. Local favorite Shondra Jepperson is back emceeing marathon for the 2nd year.
The public is invited to join the Sedona Marathon on Saturday, February 12 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 the Sammy Davis Band. There is no one like Sammy to get the crowd moving.
The celebration begins at 3pm, with Sedona Marathon Awards starting at 4pm: First through fifth places for the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 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. Winners of the "Most Inspiring Photo Contest" and 6th Annual Biggest Loser contest will be awarded as well.
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 an updated listing of events or to register for the 6th Annual Sedona Marathon go to www.sedonamarathon.com or call 1 (800) 775-7671.