Officially titled Ethan's Run: Hope for Heart Defects, this half marathon, 10K and fun run race got its start thanks to the inspiration and the efforts of the Skidmore family here in Mesa, Ariz., who started the race in 2010 to honor the memory of their infant son Ethan and raise awareness of congenital heart defects and the needs those born with them have, as an estimated 40,000 children are born with CHD every year.
Born with a condition known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome, Ethan faced daunting challenges and required multiple surgeries and hospitalizations in his young, and tragically short, life. Though brief, however, his life has become an inspiration both for his family and to the lives of those he touches today through this race, the proceeds from which are donated to the Congenital Heart Foundation at Phoenix's St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center.
For the race itself, runners in the half marathon follow an out-and-back route that starts and finishes in the community known as Las Sendas, which lies just to the northeast of Mesa, here in what is known as the East Valley section of the Phoenix metro area. A little further to the east lies the 3,648-acre Usery Mountain Regional Park, and in the distance runners will also be able to see the nearby Tonto National Forest as well as the Goldfield Mountains.
From the starting line on North Red Mountain Road, runners first make a quick stretch south along Red Mountain and then head back north again, and then turn right onto Eagle Crest Drive. This begins what is essentially one long, clockwise loop around the Las Sendas area, along Eagle Crest Drive, Ridgecrest, McDowell Road, Hagley Road and Thomas Road before bringing runners back onto North Red Mountain Road for the race finish.
Runners can expect some challenging hills along the half marathon route, organizers note, as the course heads gradually uphill for the first 3 miles and then makes a long, gradual downhill through the middle part of the race. There is a final uphill stretch over the last couple of miles before runners head into the finish line area. Following the 7:50 AM starting time for the half marathon, runners will need to complete the race by 11:30 AM.
Weather & Climate
Located in central southern Arizona, roughly 20 miles east of downtown Phoenix, the city of Mesa typically experiences mild to moderately warm temperatures in the late winter, and usually sees little precipitation throughout the year. In February, the city's average monthly temperatures range between 71°F and 45°F -- on the day of the race (Feb. 12), the average high is 71°F and the average low is 44°F -- while rainfall totals average just under an inch for the month.
$45 for the half marathon, if registered before January 28, 2011
$50 on Jan. 28 and after
To reserve your spot in the late winter 2011 running of Mesa's Ethan's Run Half Marathon, 10K or Fun Run/Walk, register
online at Active.com.
Half Marathon Course Map
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