Oct 15, 2010 7:01 PM
TUCSON - Thousands are expected for what's called the toughest road marathon in the world; the only long-distance uphill race in the U.S.
Twenty-six miles to the top, and more than 9,000 feet above sea level, the Mount Lemmon Marathon will be run this Sunday.
"I have no idea what to expect," says Mt. Lemmon business owner Jessica Kraus.
Kraus says she's ready for one more thing: more business. In fact, she's opening early.
"I normally open at 10, but I will be up and running at 7," she says.
"I'm going to try running half of it," says Mt. Lemmon resient Dennis Cozzetti. He's always wanted to be part of a marathon on Mount Lemmon's highway, "and now here's an opportunity," he says.
But for him, the full marathon is just too much.
"I realized once I started training that I couldn't do the whole thing," Cozzetti says.
"This is a tough mountain," says Mount Lemmon Fire Chief Randy Ogden.
With thousands of runners climbing 6,000 feet, emergency crews have to be ready.
"I think we're going to see some cardiac issues, some heart issues, some difficult breathing, and just some overall exertion," Ogden says.
So if you plan on running this marathon, you can count on "breathtaking" views and hopefully, some nice weather.
"I hope it doesn't get rained out," says resident Karen Shunk.
"Hey, welcome to Mt. Lemmon to all the people from around the world," says Cozzetti.
For more information on Sunday's event, and to register for the marathon or half-marathon, visit: