A pair of husband and wife running duos put their athletic prowess to the test in the 7th Annual Sedona Marathon running events, which drew more than 2,000 runners to the scenic Coconino National Forest, known for its red rock formations and challenging running paths and trails.
Just outside the confines of Sedona, which “Good Morning America” has called one of the top-10 most beautiful cities in the United States, Chris and Dawn Schur competed in the event’s 10K run, as did former Payson High vice principal and town vice mayor Tim Fruth. Fruth’s wife, Carolyn, entered the half marathon.
Tim Fruth finished the race awed by the beauty of the countryside, but sorely tested by the 28-degree temperatures at race start and the rugged knolls and inclines that can leave the best of competitors gasping for air.
“Maybe the most memorable run I’ve done,” Fruth said. “If the scenery didn’t take your breath away, then the hills took your breath away.”
Fruth also praised the organizers, saying, “It’s awesome the way Sedona put it together. It was very much town supported.”
Chris Schur, competing in the 50-54 years men’s division, finished the 6.2-mile race in a very commendable 52:28. He was 17th among all of the male runners and third in his class of 19 entrants.
In the same 50-54 years men’s division, Fruth was timed in 53:04, also a very respectable time considering the cold temperatures and the rugged, hilly course.
Fruth was fourth among the 19 entrants in his class.
Dawn Schur entered in the 50-54 years women’s division and was clocked in 1:41.06.
Carolyn Fruth, a Boston Marathon veteran who has also competed in an Iron Man triathlon, was timed in at 1:51.32 over the about 13.1-mile half marathon course.
She competed in the 45-49 years women’s division and was third among the 40 in her class.
Tim Fruth departed Sedona at race’s end lamenting about what could be in the Rim Country. “It is too bad that Payson cannot come up with events of this magnitude to attract visitors into town who spend the night and spend their money.”
For Chris Schur and Carolyn Fruth, the Sedona event was another in a long list of running accomplishments.
In 2011, Schur competed in the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, touring the course in 1.49:48.
Schur also competed in the 2006 Rim Country Challenge half-marathon, finishing in 2.30:32.
Fruth is a fixture on the running scene having participated in a myriad of events around Arizona.
In October 2011 she finished 10th in her age group at the Soma Red Rock Triathlon in Tempe and in 2010 she ran to an age group third-place finish at the Seventh Annual Deuces Wild Ironman Festival Triathlon in Show Low.
In April of 2009, she finished the grueling Boston Marathon in 3:34, 26 minutes faster than the 4-hour goal she had set for herself.
She also has competed in several 4.2-mile Pat’s Runs in Tempe; several times finishing among the fastest in her age division. Fruth says her goal before she hangs up her running shoes is to compete in the New York Marathon and the Ironman Kona Hawaii.