SURPRISE, ARIZ., Jan. 24, 2017 – There’s still time to register for the 9th annual Sun Health Arizona Marathon, the West Valley’s largest running event, which takes place this year on Sunday, Feb. 19, President’s Day weekend.

azmarathon-headerThe event features a marathon, half-marathon, relay marathon and a two-mile fun run, each of which will have separate start lines with courses taking runners through several West Valley cities and Luke Air Force Base. All start times are in the morning. The finish line is at the Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale.

Proceeds from the Arizona Marathon benefit a variety of West Valley programs and organizations, including youth scholarships, area schools, Luke AFB’s Airman Awards, the local sheriff’s posse and more. Since 2009, the event has raised more than $250,000 for local charities.

While marathons, half-marathons, fun runs and relays aren’t new to the Valley, the Arizona Marathon was the first of its kind to specifically target the West Valley communities – both in terms of participants and beneficiaries.

Debra Undhjem, a West Valley resident, avid runner and founder of the Marathon, attributes the event’s success to a strong team of volunteers, an inclusive mission and a commitment to giving back.

“I love to run and I thought a running event could be an inexpensive, healthy and fun way to engage residents of all ages and to raise funds for those in need.”

Undhjem herself has completed 14 full marathons, including the Boston Marathon, and dozens of half marathons.

Sun Health is the marathon’s title sponsor, helping to elevate awareness and community involvement in an event that supports its mission to champion healthy living.

“The vision for this is event is to help keep people healthy and active in their environment,” Undhjem said. “Sun Health is a perfect partner to foster healthier communities. They’re helping us achieve our goal of ‘bringing communities together one step at a time.’”

Luke Air Force Base and nine West Valley cities partner with marathon organizers on planning and execution, and mayors from each city have endorsed it as a valuable community event.

To learn more and to register, visit

About Sun Health

A long-standing champion of healthy living and superior health care, Sun Health is a community-based nonprofit that provides pathways to population health through philanthropy, community wellness programs and services, and senior living communities and programs. Learn more at

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