It's not often you get to run a Tucson race in the rain, so you can count yourself lucky if you cruised the new 3.1 mile course around the TMC campus at the 6th Annual TMC BE Tucson Women's 5k.
With a capped field, over 275 runners played in the rain, including a band of hearty male milers.
Produced by the joint partnership of the Southern Arizona Roadrunners and Run Tucson, the TMC BE Tucson event raised $2,000 for the non-profit SAR and $2,005 for the TMC For Women Campaign (thanks Rachel!!). If you want to make an individual donation to the TMC For Women campaign, please see http://www.tmcaz.com/makingherstory.
If you want to see some great photos, check out our friend Kerry Whelan's Goatographer page on facebook.
Full results can be found here: http://azroadrunners.org/results/detail/betucsonresults2017.
If you think you won an age group award, please visit The Running Shop at 3055 North Campbell Avenue to get your prizes. If you did not pick up your wine glass, the Running Shop will keep them on hand until March 15th.
In the 5k, TRP's Lauren Reasoner, 32, easily bested the field in a time of 18:36. Reasoner has been on quite a roll lately, winning numerous local races and narrowly missing the sub-3:00 hour mark in a recent marathon. At TMC BE Tucson, she took the early pace and was never seriously challenged by the field -- and it was a crowded field up front with some of Tucson's best runners over the past decade and more.
Second place went to Jennifer Tetrault, 27, in 18:534, who is coming back to racing after time out for graduate school. Tetrault outran three-time Olympic Trials Marathoner Paula Morrison of The Grinder's, 43, who took third in 19:01. Morrison is one of the best runners in Tucson history, with a marathon PR of 2:45, and she's making her way back into racing shape after the recent birth of her daughter. It was an honor to see such a fast field mix it up among the raindrops.
The oldest finisher was 75-year-old Beckey Kendall in a time of 49:09, but she had plenty of company in the 70+ division, as seven other women in the age division finished the race -- proving yet again that Father Time should not mess with Tucson's tough women.
The Men's Mile was won by UA student Cheyenne Grabiec in 5:13, while Robert Lipsey held true to his promise to not let anyone finish behind him.
Now, on to some of the other great aspects of the race. First, even a low-key event like this takes about 40 volunteers to make it work. The SAR Board has done a great job of supporting this race and volunteering to make it successful. We're especially grateful to the creative minds of Linda Whelan and Maggie Happe -- and the artistic vision of photographer Kerry Whelan. Special thanks to Michelle Hawk for handing all the race course operations and helping keep us safe!
Additional shout-out to TMC's Jim Tucker, Mary Atkinson, Julia Strange, and the gang at TMC security and facilities!
Here's a partial list of race weekend help, including volunteers from azroadrunners.org, tucsontrigirls.org, and The Workout Group:
Finally, we cannot do this sort of stuff without all the help from our sponsors. Tucson Medical Center provided funding and resources (not just parking control, but hot coffee!!).
Walgreens provided funding for the operations, while the Running Shop provided packet pickup and all those great wine glasses to the first 300 registrants and the age group awards.
Muscle Milk was on hand, while Rincon Air Conditioning and Heating was out working instead! Thanks to the BEYOND-TUCSONFoundation for handing out items after the race!
Special thanks to our media partners, including our friends at Tucson Morning Blend, Tucson Lifestyle, Cox Communications,My92.9, and the Arizona Daily Star.
The next event Tia and I produce is the TMC Meet Me Downtown weekend. Follow the www.azroadrunners.org links and take advantage of early pricing for the 2017 Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown and the TMC Meet Me Downtown weekend, including the Friday Night Festival of Miles and the TMC 5k Night Run.
Questions? Please feel free to contact me via email or at 520-991-0733.