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Sedona’s 8th Annual Marathon


A record number of participants raced through the beautiful red rocks for the 8th Annual Sedona Marathon Event.  Last year winner Brian Tinder of Flagstaff, Arizona took an early lead and finished the Sedona Marathon in first place with a time of 2:49:21, setting a new course record! Gary Krugger from Flagstaff, Arizona came in second place with a time of 2:54:24 followed by Steve Geertgens with a time of 3:12:20 from Seattle, Washington.


In the Full Marathon Women’s Division Polly Cambell from Tucson, Arizona came in first place with a 24 minute gap between her and the second place finisher, with a time of 3:06:55. Jean Herbert from Alberquerque, New Mexico came in second place with a time of 3:30:51 followed by local resident, Ultra Marathon runner and Sedona Running Company co-owner, Lindsay Scheiwiller with a time of 3:37:07.


In the Half Marathon Men’s Division Runners from Northern Arizona dominated.  In the Men’s Division the overall winner was Christopher Gomez from Flagstaff, Arizona with an outstanding time of 1:15:39. Caleb Schiff, also a flagstaff resident, came in second with a time of 1:20:44, followed by CJ McClure from Scottsdale, Arizona with a time of 1:24:52.


In the Women’s Division Michelle Grey from Flagstaff, Arizona battled for first place with a triumphant time of 1:40:00. Second place finisher, Shannon Zanelli from Albuquerque, New Mexico, came in less than a tenth of a second later with a final time of 1:40:05. Third place finisher is Rachel Haughwout from Flagstaff, Arizona with a time of 1:41:58.


In the 10K Men’s Division, Aaron Biah from Flagstaff, Arizona won with a time of 37:12:14. Benjamin Belisle of McGill, Nevada came in second place with a time of 40:57:40, immediately followed by Leif Seed with a time of 41:21:70 from Winslow, Arizona.


The 10K Woman’s Division first and second place were taken by 13 year old Allyson and 14 year old Karen Arellano, sisters from Cottonwood, Arizona with superb times of 41:59:20 and 45:39:00. Third place finisher was Corrin Kalinich from  Flagstaff, Arizona.


The 5K Men’s Division’s first place winner was Chad Carroll, from Fairbanks, Alaska with a time of 12:38:80. Second and third place was a tough match between Gary Plank, 13:12:10, and Thomas Boggess, 13:23:50, both residents of Flagstaff, Arizona.


In the 5K Women’s Division Mykala Seresun local resident of Sedona took first with a time of 13:48:60.  Valentina Nyhart, a 14 year old from Flagstaff, Arizona came second with a time of 14:28:90 and Eve Wilson of Sedona took third with a time of 15:13:50.


Congratulations to the more than 2,400 participants who completed the Sedona Marathon Events: Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K.


Trail Runner Magazine ranked Sedona as the “Top 3 Most Beautiful Trail Running Cities in America”. Sedona was also featured as January’s “Rave Run” in Runner’s World Magazine! It’s no wonder the Sedona Marathon Event continues to expand, marking Sedona as one of the elite outdoor adventure capitals of America.


The 8th Annual Sedona Marathon Event is produced and directed by the Sedona Chamber of Commerce. Final results will be posted at www.SedonaMarathon.com on Race Day, February 2 by 7:00 pm. The 9th Annual Sedona Marathon Event will be held on February 1, 2014.

Submitted by Kegn Hall, Sedona Chamber of Commerce 

Below, is the feature written for Flagstaff Business News by Jonathan Zaun

Sedona has always been known as a destination all its own, with the strikingly scenic area south of Flagstaff attracting millions of tourists every year, and while the surrounding scenery is here to stay, the months following the holidays have traditionally been viewed as Sedona’s economic slow season. Lacking the signature festival, concert or other annual event most cities use to attract visitors when the weather turns, Sedona has typically seen tourist revenue fall while winter melts away into spring. But for the last eight years, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and local business owners have helped their city go the distance by hosting the wildly popular Sedona Marathon Event.

The 8th annual running of the Sedona Marathon will be held on Saturday, Feb. 2, with more than 2,500 competitors flocking from around the globe to push their bodies and minds to the limit. Along with the full 26.2-mile marathon course, which winds its way amidst the splendor of Sedona’s signature red rock spires, participants have the option of running a half marathon (13.1 miles), or choosing between more leisurely 5K and 10K races.

Entering just its eighth edition, the Sedona Marathon has quickly staked its claim as one of the world’s foremost destination races, with the area’s deceptively high elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level providing even the most experienced of marathoners with a new challenge. Consisting of a winding course that weaves in and out of the Coconino National Forest, the Sedona Marathon event has garnered rave reviews from respected runners the world over. Japanese sports reporter Hajime Nishi declared the event to be among his 10 most favorite worldwide marathons, while National Geographic Adventurer Magazine tagged Sedona’s foray into the destination marathon industry in its widely read “instant weekend adventure” feature.

Describing himself as a “marathon junkie,” the winner of the 2009 Sedona Marathon, Chuck Engle, offered his insight on the event following his victory more than three years ago.

“The Sedona Marathon was deceptively challenging, amazingly beautiful, and incredibly fun,” he said. “Definitely a must-do marathon.”

Kegn Hall, who serves as the public relations and events manager for the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, reserved her praise for the event’s renowned inclusiveness, noting that runners and walkers of all capabilities and skill levels are welcome to participate.

“One of the hallmarks of the Sedona Marathon is that the racers come from all walks of life,” she said. “In 2012, participants flew in from the farthest reaches of the globe, from the countries of

Canada, Japan, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Brazil and Afghanistan. The youngest

athlete was three years old and the oldest was 84.”

Hall also reaffirmed the Sedona Marathon’s implicit goal of sustaining Sedona through the slow season.

“In August 2011, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce took over the Sedona Marathon, ensuring that one of Sedona’s signature events would continue to bring participants from around the globe during an economically slow period, and providing much needed support to area businesses,” she said.

According to Jennifer Wesselhoff, the president/CEO of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and the race director for the Sedona Marathon, the annual series of races and its associated events have indeed energized Sedona’s local economy by providing a valuable influx of visiting runners, along with their supporters, family, and friends.

“This event is an important economic generator for our community, and in 2012, it generated $1.5 million in direct spending in Sedona,” she said. “This year, Sedona Marathon registrations are currently up 250 percent compared to this same time last year, and nearly 70 percent of those registrants are new participants.”

Local businesses have also taken the opportunity to provide direct sponsorship for the Sedona Marathon, with the iconic Pink Jeep Tours leading the pack as the event’s lone Gold Sponsor. By lending their likeness and logo to the runners’ distinctive race bibs, and providing participants with 15 percent discounts on their next jeep excursion, Pink Jeep Tours has positioned itself at the front of a long line of local patrons supporting the Sedona Marathon.

“Pink Jeep Tours is proud to be a sponsor of the Sedona Marathon,” said director of sales and marketing Mike Hermen. “We look forward to welcoming runners from near and far during the first week of February.”

In addition to Pink Jeep Tours, several other local businesses have become sponsors of the event, including Sedona Running Company, Oak Creek Brewery, and most of the city’s prominent hotels and lodgings. To reward runners for choosing the Sedona Marathon from the growing list of destination races, these local sponsors have generously provided every participant with a bounty of discounts on merchandise and services.

Avid marathoner and local entrepreneur Lindsay Scheiwiller, who owns Sedona Running Company along with her husband Adam Gifford, knows first-hand how rewarding the Sedona Marathon can be. She broke the finish line first for her age group in the event’s half marathon race just last year. When asked about the impact of the race on her business, Scheiwiller observed that hundreds of customers had visited her store during the run-up to the 8th Annual Sedona Marathon.

For anybody interested in testing their physical endurance while taking in miles and miles of pristine views along the way, details and registration information can be found by visiting SedonaMarathon.com, or by calling the Sedona Chamber of Commerce. FBN


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