Hi my name is James Tevault and I'm known as the office athletic guy that enjoys training and racing in the East Valley. This past November I finally completed one of my major accomplishments, Ironman Arizona. As exciting as an experience as that was I'm just excited about several upcoming events including the Rock n Roll Arizona Marathon which is every January. This event is timed perfect after the holiday feasts and with temperatures typically 60 degrees. I ran RNRAZ Marathon again a few weeks ago with big expectations of qualifying for Boston Marathon. Unfortunately, I didn't reach my goal, but I still finished with a respectable time of 3:29. Overall it was still a great experience because it was a gorgeous day for a long run. The race organizers did a good job with the logistics of the race and everything was smooth from the Expo at the Phoenix Convention Center all the way to the finish line at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. I'm fortunate to live in east Mesa because there are so many great places to train whether you're a runner, cyclist, swimmer, etc... I have spent many hours and logged even more miles over the past 4+ years running the streets of Mesa and the Valley of the Sun. In addition to running in town on the streets or canals there are plenty of trails just minutes away. This past Saturday I hopped on my bike and rode on the historic Apache Trail towards Tortilla Flats. This road along the Superstition Mountain allows anyone to experience the true beauty of the Sonoran Desert. The next day I laced up my running shoes to run hill repeats near Usery Recreation Center. This is another great place to run, enjoy the trails, or the new smooth pavement on a road bike. One time while riding on Usery I noticed a coyote and slowed until he ran off the road, but as I began pedaling I heard paws hitting the ground behind me as another coyote began chasing me! That may make you think twice before training out here, but I love experiencing nature and have seen everything from a pack of javelins to the wild horses when riding Usery loop.

As I continue to train for upcoming races I would encourage you to consider running the Phoenix Marathon this March 3rd with me. The inaugural event features half marathon distance then both half and full marathon courses in 2013 . This is going to be a great event starting at the top of Usery and running downhill to the finish line near one of Mesa's finest golf courses Longbow Golf Club. Register now for the Phoenix Marathon and you can run with John Rhode's the winner of Biggest Loser Season 12 and Mesa resident. More information

Phoenix Marathon on March 3rd

Good luck with all your training and upcoming races. -James

(Author: James Tevault - Mesa CVB Director of Sales)