Over 50,000 athletes and spectators attended the 5th Annual BMO Harris Bank Mesa-PHX Marathon on Saturday, February 25. The sold-out Mesa-PHX Marathon was a certified qualifier for The Boston Marathon, and brought together experienced and amateur athletes alike for an exciting day of running, cheering, and celebrating at the finish line of our Mesa Riverview shopping center in Mesa, Arizona.

Whether they were running a 10K, half marathon, full 26.2 mile race, or joining in on the kid’s 1K fun run, participants had motivation to finish strong knowing that festivities were in store when they crossed the finish line. It was boasted as “the best finish experience ever,” as 10,000 athletes were able to cool off and refuel with an elaborate variety of food, drinks, and services.

The full marathon award ceremony began at 10:30 a.m. with winning categories ranging from Top Finisher, Masters, and Division Awards. Polina Carlson finished in record time for the female marathon runners, with Teklu Deneke placing first for the male runners.

Mesa-PHX Marathon’s 2017 runner’s course

Runners, spectators, and guests were able to fuel up at the food trucks, have faces painted, and enjoy a relaxing post-race massage. Tents from the race’s sponsors lined the streets at Mesa Riverview, while activities for all ages occurred throughout the day.

In addition to the Mesa-PHX Marathon and post-event activities, it was Opening Day for the Chicago Cubs. Fans had the opportunity to ride the free Mesa Riverview shuttle, which is available for all Cubs spring training home games and provides transportation to and from Sloan Park. The trolley does pick-ups every 20 minutes from 11 a.m. until 30 minutes after the last out and is located behind The Brass Tap and Matta's Grill & Cantina near Chili's.

The eventful day was all for a good cause as runners and spectators were able to raise money for the Phoenix Marathon Foundation -- a program that provides scholarship funds for high school students who have participated in running-related athletics and are dedicated to the pursuit of higher education, and also supports Mesa Counts on College. In 2016, Phoenix Marathon Foundation had over $80 thousand committed in scholarships.

With our pivotal $5 million redevelopment of Mesa Riverview in 2014, we hoped to create a special destination where families and neighbors could gather. Hosting the Mesa-PHX finisher’s line not only offers runners and spectators a place to celebrate the marathoners’ accomplishments, but also brings steady foot traffic to the center -- a win-win for all. Missed out on the fun? Check out the photos below!

Teklu Deneke crossing the finish line taking first place for the men’s full marathon

Polina Carlson crossing the finish line taking first place for the women’s full marathon

Women’s first place winner (right) sports her BMO Harris Bank Mesa-PHX Marathon medal

Families cheered on runners as they crossed the finish line at Mesa Riverview

Kids took full advantage of the fun post-race activities

Cubs spring training-goers piled into the free Mesa Riverview shuttle to Sloan Park

Clark, Chicago Cubs mascot, greeted spring training attendees