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2016 Red Mountain Half Marathon and Relay set for October

Caroline Sekaquaptewa (Hopi) running the Red Mountain Half Marathon in 2015. Photos submitted by Caroline Sekaquaptewa

Later this month, marathon runners will be racing through the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community for the eighth time.

The eighth annual Red Mountain Half Marathon and Relay is scheduled for Saturday, October 29. The race starts and finishes at the Salt River High School Athletics Building, north of the school track, at 4827 N. Country Club Drive. About 200 individual and relay runners from the Community, other Native American communities and the general public are expected to race, said Michelle Long, who is helping with the marathon’s promotion.

Caroline Sekaquaptewa (Hopi) will be running the race for the fifth time, one time as part of a relay team. She comes from a running family and uses it as training for a winter race. Her fastest race time was 90 minutes, she said. Sekaquaptewa is in her 13th year as an early childhood education teacher with Salt River Schools.

“Where I’m from, running is part of my culture,” she said. “We’re not running to win; we’re running for everyone.”

The 13.2-mile race is along paved roads and is being billed as a “flat run through farming areas” of the Community. It includes stretches of dirt and runners are asked to run on the right side of the road, with traffic. The race begins at 6:30 a.m., with a four-hour cutoff time.

Water stations will be located throughout the route, which includes three medical stations staffed by Community nurses providing general first-aid needs.

Siblings Wayne and Caroline Sekaquaptewa after the 2014 Red Mountain Half Marathon.
The day before the race, youngsters 12 and under will complete the 2016 Red Mountain Youth Progressive Half Marathon. Over a 10-week period that started on August 22, participants had to complete 12 miles as part of the progressive half-marathon. On October 28, the youth runners will complete the final leg of the race (1.1 miles), which starts at 6:30 p.m. at the same location as the half-marathon and relay. The race is in honor of Shania Singer, a 15-year-old Phoenix runner who collapsed and died after finishing last year’s half-marathon.

Relay teams will consist of two to four runners, and transportation to exchange points will be provided. Relay legs vary from 3.25 miles to 4.1 miles.

“I encourage people to come out and walk and run, whatever they can do,” Sekaquaptewa said.

If You Go

Most of the Red Mountain Half Marathon and Relay takes place on dirt, and the course leads through scenic areas of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, with Red Mountain in the background.

Runners can park on the south side of the school track. Parking is not allowed on the north side in the start and finish area.

The registration fee is $35 for individual runners and $140 for relay teams.

Race bib number and T-shirt pickup is October 28 from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Salt River Fitness Center, Community Service Building #32, 10005 E. Osborn Road and from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Salt River High School Track, 4827 N. Country Club Drive. There is no race-day packet pickup.

- For more information on how to participate, visit goo.gl/LWVHDV.

- For a map of the route, visit goo.gl/dfrXlX.

- For questions, contact Michelle Long at (480) 362-7320 or email michelle.long@srpmic-nsn.gov.