On your marks, get set, go! Every year visitors are invited to cheer on runners as they give it their all in the Mesa Marathon.
The Mesa Marathon features a marathon, half marathon, 10K, and kids 1K races, offering people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to participate and cross the finish line. Those that do well in the marathon have the chance to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
The marathon, half marathon, and 10K begin at 6:30 a.m and runners have 6.5 hours to cross the finish line in Riverview Park. During race day many participants will experience a faster-than-normal pace given the overall loss of elevation from start to finish. Spectators are invited to cheer for runners at various points along each route.
In the early morning, runners line up for the marathon below the Phoenix sign on Usery Mountain. When the race begins participants will make their descent through Mesa, passing Fat Cats and Las Sendas Golf Club early in the race. Throughout the marathon runners will experience roughly 1,000-feet of net elevation loss.
The half marathon begins on the corner of McDowell and Norwalk descending down to Riverview Park. This gentle downhill route is great for first time half marathon runners. As runners make their way past Arizona Museum of Natural History they can look down MacDonald Street to spot a dinosaur bursting out of the museum wall. Further down the route participants will pass Freeman Farms, home to Visit Mesa's beehives.
Beginning at Fitch Park and winding through historic Downtown Mesa, the 10K is a beginner friendly course with lots of spots for spectators to cheer runners on. Pop into Organic Bean Cafe or Jarrod's for a delicious cup of coffee while cheering for runners. Ready for lunch and locally brewed beer but don't want to miss the race? Stop at 12 West or Chupacabra and sit on the patio to watch the runners while sipping craft beer.
Finish the day by cheering for young runners in the Kid’s Marathon starting at 12:00 p.m. This free, non- timed race for children 12 and younger will begin at the road between the Hubbard Family Swim School and Makitto Sushi. Participants get to run through the finish chute and under the arch used for the finish line of the marathon, half marathon, & 10K.
The day before the Mesa Marathon participants and the public are invited to attend the Mesa Marathon Expo held at Riverview Park, home to the Chicago Cubs spring training stadium, Sloan Park. The expo features a wide variety of vendors showcasing running clothing, gear, accessories, and more. Participants are required to visit the Expo to pick-up their race packets.
There are many spots to cheer on runners throughout the marathon. Community organizations are invited to take over an aid station along the course to go all out to cheer on the participants including playing music, wearing costumes, and making fun signs. After the race, runners will vote on which group gave the best boost in motivation. The winning organization will receive a financial donation.
Spectators staying at Courtyard by Marriott Mesa or Sheraton Mesa Hotel will enjoy a short walk to the finish line. Spectators further away from the route can drive to Riverview Park and make use of the ample parking.
People commuting throughout Mesa should follow the Mesa Marathon map to avoid road closures.
Mesa Marathon participants will need to park in their respective race’s parking areas and must ride the buses provided by Mesa Marathon to arrive at the starting lines. After the race, a free shuttle service will be available to bring runners from the finish venue back to their cars.