2020 Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon draws thousands of runners

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Brenda Kochevar

2020 Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

Brenda Kochevar, Reporter

A huge crowd of runners participated in Rock ’n’ Roll Arizona Marathon on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020.

Northeast Valley News spoke with runner Reece Andrews near the finish line at Tempe Beach Park.

Reece ran with a few friends and talked about his marathon experience.

“It was challenging. Very character building. At mile 9 I was comically cocky, I thought it was going to be very easy and then another 17 miles later I was humbled. My legs are sore,” Andrews said.

Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series offers a race for all ages and abilities.

Race choices included the marathon at 26.2 miles, the half marathon at 13.1 miles, a 10k, a 5K and kids rock!

Depending on which race the runners chose, they either began in Downtown Phoenix or near ASU Tempe.

They raced throughout the valley on courses that finished at Tempe Beach Park.

The race-course was lined with live local bands, cheer squads, hydration stations and cheering spectators.

Runners and walkers alike were welcomed as long as they could finish within the course time limits.

Northeast Valley News spoke with runner Henry Ward, a Tempe resident originally from Boston and his third time completing the Rock ’n’ Roll marathon.

His advice for beginning runners wanting to attempt a marathon… start with shorter races and work up to running a marathon.

“You know you don’t have to run the whole thing. It’s okay to stop and walk a little bit of stretch. You’ve got to take in a little bit of calories and it’s important to hydrate too. Once the sun came up today it got a little bit warm so take in a little bit of extra water. Electrolytes too, it’s dry it’s the desert and if you just take in water and stuff you kind of deplete yourself of all the important nutrients that your body needs. So, take in some electrolytes,” Ward said.

At the finish line, runners enjoyed the Rock ’n’ Roll Arizona Marathon Finish Festival which included various food trucks that refuelled runners as they listened to a live concert with rotating bands.

Northeast Valley News spoke with a slightly stiff and sore runner, Jesse Milioto, Scottsdale Community College Student and a videographer known to nevalleynews.org.

Milioto recalls seeing a 90-year old finish the marathon and was inspired to attempt it himself.

Millioto tips for success, a proper diet, training and a playlist that motivates.

All three propelled him to complete his third half marathon on Sunday.

“It was worth it,” Millioto said.