Well, friends, it’s time to do this all over again. While we are just barely into the month of Fun Running, it is long past the time to pick another marathon to tackle this fall. I hesitated and missed registration for Twin Cities before it filled. With many of the “big” ones also full – Chicago duh), Marine Corps, Nike Women’s – this may be a difficult process.
When I selected the Illinois Marathon out of a multitude of options this spring, it was a combination of the flat course and proximity to the homeland that won me over. While I am still on the lookout for a course on which to run a big PR, and definitely have preferences regarding size and logistics, I have only one requirement this time around:
It must have an accompanying half marathon, because my friend Bridgette has agreed to take this adventure with me. Hooray!
I typically make these types of life decisions via spreadsheet. However, I think this document may be just as effective a place to weigh my options – and there’s room for feedback from anyone who actually takes the time to read it! Here we go – viable options for Octoberish marathoning.
Quad Cities Marathon – Moline, IL, September 26. Travel by car approx. 7 hours. A little on the long side. And September is really soon.
Prairie Fire Marathon – Wichita, KS, October 10. Travel by car, approx. 2 hours. How’s that for scenic?
Kansas City Marathon – October 16. No travel required. But I don’t wanna.
Des Moines Marathon – October 17. Travel by car, approx. 3 hours. Another scenic option… if you’re into farmland.
Long Beach International Marathon – October 17. Danica says it’s the best. Flights to both LAX and LGB are pretty convenient and affordable, all things considered.
Rock N Roll Denver – Denver, CO, October 17. Cheap, direct flight. Altitude. Ouch.
Toronto Marathon – October 17. Flights aren’t cheap.
Indianapolis Monumental Marathon – November 6. Too far to drive, but flights are pretty cheap. Is it worth paying to fly to run a smallish midwestern marathon?
Bass Pro Shops Marathon – Springfield, MO, November 7. We could drive to this one. Very little information is available online, but I have a sneaky suspicion it might be hilly.
Rock N Roll San Antonio – November 14. Flights are reasonable, and while Rock N Roll races are ridiculously expensive, at least the early bird entry rate hasn’t expired yet.
Philadelphia – November 21. Flight price is so-so. Entry fee is just as much as RnR.
Route 66 – Tulsa, OK, November 21. Another spot we could get to by car. Reasonably priced. I wish it was a little earlier in the year.
So there we have it. Not an exhaustive list by any means – the best resource for a complete marathon calendar is probably at www.marathonguide.com. But it looks fairly likely that our fall running adventure will be contained to the Midwest/Plains states. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, especially since we are planning a little excursion to Phoenix in January. The more I look at this list, the more I am considering Des Moines or Wichita in October, then making a go at Tulsa at the end of November. But that sounds a little bit crazy, especially for someone who likes to rest a LOT after a long race.
Any words of wisdom from the running masses?