It is TBD how I'm going to feel after this whole thing shakes out,
if when we make it over the finish line. Am I going to be a runner for life? Will I begin searching for my next conquest soon after MCM? Hopefully we can turn our thoughts to planning our Oregon trip. Or...will I be burnt out, over it and never want to run again?
I'd like to think that my enthusiasm for training and the joy I've found in running thus far will continue. It's hard not to look to the future and think about the other races out there, after all there are so many different ones, all with something unique to offer and located in some fun place or city I would love to visit. A recent Runners World article about the best marathons for first timers got me doing just that.
So, consider this my "if I had a marathon bucket list" list, and preliminarily, this is what would be on it:
The New York Marathon: I mean, how could it not be? It's "the" marathon (unless you're fast, and then I guess to you, that might be Boston - which will not be on this list because that requires speed...and qualifying). Who doesn't love New York City, especially in the fall? This race definitely has the "name" factor going for it. Not to mention the celebrity appeal. But I think the main draw for me is the screaming supportive crowd is basically 4 deep for the entire course. I can't even imagine that. Love that the course makes its way through all 5 boroughs involving the entire city. Minus two points for the fact that to get in you either have to a) face the lottery or b) pay up...a lot.
Big Sur International Marathon: Consistently named as the most scenic marathon, as far as a destination/vacation race for me, this would be my number one. I've never seen the beauty that is the Northern California coastline. Why rent a convertible and drive it (like in the movies), when you can really take it all in by spending hours running it? I'm sure the views you experience are a great distraction from the pain and hilly course. In fact the more I research it, watch videos of the course, and see pictures the likes of this:
...the more I want to sign up...like right now. I'm pretty jealous of all you NoCals out there that can experience this on a regular basis.
Walt Disney World Marathon: Big fan of Disney World, huge. After all, it's the most magical place on earth. I can't get over how much fun it would be to run through all 4 kingdoms passing the characters along the way - snapping pictures as you go with the disposable camera provided for you. To boot, it's in sunny Florida... in January. I could imagine for those runners with children this is like killing two birds with one stone: take your kids to Disney World and accomplish your goal of running a marathon or half. Only negative is you might be limping the day after while your kids are running from ride to ride in the parks yelling at you to hurry up.
Napa: I can't imagine anything better than recovering from your race with a wine tasting, or four. The perfect way to really earn your wine and food - not to mention the beauty of the course as you're running along the vineyards. Additionally, it has a small field size of about 2,400, so you would never feel too crowded. The hubster and I are visiting wine country for the first time ever in late September, and I couldn't be more excited. The timing of this trip will mean that while there, I'll likely have to run the distance of at least a half marathon for MCM training, so I'll get a little taste of running in this:
and then some of this:
Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon in Phoenix: I have some family friends that live outside of Phoenix and I had the pleasure of visiting them and the state of Arizona for the first time last year. It was more beautiful than I imagined and I'm just looking for an excuse to get back to Carefree. This race is held in January, which I'm pretty sure is the only month I would attempt to run outside in the desert.
My "brah" and me after hiking Black Mountain
Rock 'n' Roll Mardi Gras: It's New Orleans. During Mardi Gras. See comments above for Napa regarding wine and gourmet meals. Except sub wine for hurricanes. One of my favorite cities in the world. Enough said.
This list is strictly stateside. I could write an entire separate post for all of the international races I would love to participate in....which basically encompasses any race located in a foreign country that I long to visit (and yes, I included Hawaii, even though I know it's in the US...but for me getting there, it might as well be in another country.)
What about you? Do you have any favorites I need to add to my race wish list (that I may or may not wish for come October 31st)? Have you run any of these yourself?