The 10th Annual Mesa Marathon, presented by Mountain Vista Medical Center returns to Mesa on Saturday, Feb. 12 after the event’s cancellation in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. This Boston Qualifier event brings over 7,500 participants from more than 20 countries and all 50 states, placing it among the largest races in Arizona.
The event supports a wide range of local businesses that benefit from tourism, with visitors traveling from as far away as Tokyo and attracting elite runners, including Olympic medalist Molly Seidel running in the event this Saturday. The Mesa Marathon partners with dozens of local non-profits in Mesa who volunteer at the event, with many receiving donations that feed back into the community, including the Mesa College Promise in partnership with the City of Mesa.
“This community event wouldn’t be possible without the incredible volunteer support we have here in Mesa. Having the opportunity to work with a wide variety of volunteer groups is just one perk, but when we are able to donate back to these organizations for their hard work, everyone wins,” said Adam Flowers, who oversees over one-thousand volunteers for the event.
“Investing in education has been a longstanding tradition at the Mesa Marathon and we are proud to continue to do so by making a contribution to the Mesa College Promise. They’re doing important work to fill a gap for qualifying students, helping them to accomplish their goals. This ultimately leads to a stronger community and a stronger workforce.”
Naasir Trent, one of this year’s Mesa Marathon volunteers and a freshman at Mesa Community College (MCC) studying Kinesiology, is supported through the Mesa College Promise Program. He was connected to the Mesa Marathon through the Promise Program network.
“The people at the Mesa College Promise program really, really care,” said Trent. “They wanted to hear my story and help me as an individual. When it was tough to get into an advisor, Maria the program coordinator, went out of her way to connect me with someone, specifically in my field. They reach out a whole lot with tutoring opportunities and everything. They’re a lot more hands on than I thought they were going to be.”
The flagship Promise program began in the fall 2021 semester with a commitment from The City of Mesa enabling eligible students to attend MCC for two years with Arizona resident tuition and fees fully covered, access to an iPad for the semester, an assigned academic advisor with career and financial advising. In addition to these services and financial support, a focus of the program is helping students make connections with businesses in fields related to their career goals. By giving students access to real-world experiences through service-learning and internships, it sets the program apart from a basic financial support program.
It is partnerships like these that keep the Mesa Marathon as a thriving event in the community. On Saturday, the Mesa Marathon welcomes runners of all ages and skill levels with a beautiful race course that begins below the large white Phoenix sign painted on Usery Mountain and ends in the Mesa Riverview shopping plaza. Marathon runners will experience nearly 1,000 feet of net elevation loss with distances of a full marathon (26.2 miles), half marathon (13.1 miles), and a 10K are all available, as well as a 1K distance for children.
Residents are encouraged to plan for road closures near the route with traffic delays Saturday morning from 4 a.m. until approximately 1:30 p.m. The City of Mesa’s Transportation Department offers one-on-one planning assistance this week and on race day. Call (480) 644-4882 or email email@example.com for customized rerouting recommendations. Additionally, Mesa provides an interactive detour map to help drivers navigate the route closures, at mesamarathon.com under the “race week” tab.
To learn more about the Mesa College Promise Program visit mesacc.edu/mesa-promise.