Sunday, September 15, 2013

My Top Five

My Top Five Races

In the years since I’ve gotten serious about running races, I’ve learned a ton.  I’ve learned about pacing, fuel strategy, and hydration.  Gone are the days where I just showed up at a race, ran as fast as I could and hoped to survive.  Likewise, I’ve also learned what I like about the “events.”  From the size of the expo, the course layout and the support.  I’ve learned what I like in running/racing events and what I don’t like.

Here’s My Top Five Races:

#1  Virginia’s 24 Hour Run For Cancer, Hampton, Va:  My first Ultra (2007) and this is THE race where I learned the most.  The Race Director is a fellow Ultra-runner and someone who knows personally the cost of cancer.  This race is well organized, well supported and is an Ultra-running event, as much as a race.  Hosted at Sandy Bottom Nature Park, the course is easy and forgiving, but after running this event four times (66 laps) I kind of love and hate this place.  I’ll be running it again this year for a fifth time.

#2  Richmond Marathon, Richmond, Va:  When I first heard of this marathon, (2005) in a Runners World feature on being the friendliest marathon in America, I knew I wanted to run it.  And the fact that every 6 or 7 years it falls on my birthday…this race quickly became a favorite.  I’ve run this event three times, and each time found a good size expo, well organized starting line and plenty of crowd support along the course.  Other than the bridge at mile 17 the course is flat and fast…  I will be running it again, what else is there to do on your birthday?

#3 Monument Ave 10k, Richmond, Va:  40,000 runners running a inter-city 10k.  I’m sure at first glance you’re thinking no way this event could be well organized.  And likewise I’m sure your second thought was no way can you run a PR with that size of a field.  Well I’m here to tell you after running this event in back to back years (2012, 2013)….it is a well coordinated race, with no logistics issues. AND I set a PR both years (2013 = 46:21).  How they get 40,000 people down 6.2 miles without major issues is a mystery to me, but how I set a PR is easy.  With that many people in the race, and a wave start, you always have targets in front you.  I used these to motivate me to run just a little faster.
#4 Run For The Dream Half Marathon, Williamsburg, Va:   With a start in Colonial Williamsburg and a finish on the track at William & Mary college this half is tough.  The course winds thou the historic buildings of Williamsburgh and then ventures out on to the colonial parkway.  Once out on the roadway you’re faced with a number of nice climbs.  The only real draw back for me, the expo is rather small but is offset by wonderful views along the run.  I ran the first two races (2011, 2012) in the three year history of this event.  A downer was that last year they moved the date and I could not make it.

#5  Marine Corp Marathon, Washington D.C:  My first of the Marathon "MAJORS" (2012).  It’s the Marine Corp Marathon, that alone elevates this marathon into my top five.  It’s run in and around of our nation’s capital…firmly making it a favorite.  Crowd support is outstanding with an emotional aspect which includes, tribute miles, support signs and memories of fallen heroes.  All the patriotic highlights along the course have firmly cemented this marathon as one you (I) will never forget.  The expo is out of this world, the start is crowded, the finish is breath taking and our nation’s capital as a backdrop make this a must do race.

And Honorable Mention:  Medoc Mountain Meltdown 50K+

Those are my top five races, Which race is YOUR favorite?    

1 comment:

  1. Your race calendar looks great!! If Richmond wasn't such a drive, I'd run that 10K too. Looks fun! Happy Training!