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Sedona Marathon benefits the whole of the Verde Valley
Written by Andrew Pardiac   
Thursday, 30 January 2014 13:54

The Verde Valley hosts the first big festival of 2014, the Sedona Marathon on Saturday, Feb. 1.Managing Editor Christopher Fox Graham
Runners come from all over Northern Arizona, many of whom live outside our five municipalities of Camp Verde, Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Jerome and Sedona or the surrounding communities.
While the 26.2-mile marathon is the eponymous race for the hardcore runners, many more run the 13.1-mile half-marathon, while families run the 10K and 5K races from just behind Verde Valley Medical Center’s Sedona Campus out onto U.S. Forest Service land and back.
The 2,000 or so runners bring to the marathon not just a desire to improve their personal records by completing a strenuous physical challenge, but often bring friends and relatives to cheer them on.
The four different races take place early Saturday morning. While the full marathon is effectively a day-long affair, the shorter races are over by noon. The runners and their entourages take the weekend to enjoy Sedona and the Verde Valley and are always looking for other activities in our valley.
Many of the tourists coming into the Verde Valley stay at local hotels, motels and resorts. They contribute thousands in tax revenue to our local economies. While the race itself takes place in the red rocks of Sedona, the whole Verde Valley sees the benefits. Many area restaurants, wineries, galleries and stores notice an uptick in business on the marathon weekend, which serves as a litmus for how strong or weak the spring tourist season will be. It also serves as a loose indicator about how some of the Verde Valley’s other big festivals will turn out.
For instance, expect to see an increase in the number of people attending the First Saturday Jerome Art Walk, which coincides with the marathon. Many of the marathon runners themselves will be resting their weary muscles that night, but their family and friends will be out meeting local artists and maybe buying an artwork or two.
Our staff will be out this weekend at the Sedona Marathon as well. Sports reporter George Werner and photojournalists Jordan Reece and Zack Garcia will be at the finish line and along the race route shooting photos of top finishers as well as local runners from the Verde Valley for publication in our three newspapers next week, Wednesday, Feb. 5.
If you’re not already planning on wearing running shoes and racing, come out and cheer on our friends and neighbors who pit their bodies and minds against the racetrack.

 

Verde Valley Weather

Fair

54°F

Cottonwood, AZ

Fair
Thursday
Sunny
47°F / 84°F
Friday
Partly cloudy
47°F / 82°F
Saturday
Showers
39°F / 55°F

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