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Which marathon would you run again?


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#1 TDG

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 04:11 PM

With Boston in a few days, my mind is on marathoning.   So I came up with a game.   Pretend a genie popped out of a bottle and told you that you could run one more marathon in your life. After that you 'd have to stop.  (Before answering the questions below, read the rules and details)

 

Question 1:  Of the marathons you're run, which marathon would you run again, and why?  

 

Question 2:  If you could pick one you haven't run, which one and why?

 

Rules and details:

 

1. All logistics and qualifications would be taken care of, including having a ride to the starting line.  This will take away any arguments such as "I'd do New York again except it was so expensive" or "Obviously, Boston but I'm too slow now to get in".   The caveat is that this has to be an open race, you can't say you'd run the Olympics. 

 

2. This isn't a re-do opportunity; you'd be running the 2017 or 2018 edition.   What I mean is, you can't say "I'd run the 1996 Portland Marathon because I was in amazing shape and PR'ed."  

 

Of course, I wouldn't put this out there without adding my two cents (or nonsense) to the discussion.    

 

#1:  In a photo finish between Boston and Twin Cities, the Twin Cities wins.   It's where I got started in this crazy sport and that race is very special.   But like I said, Boston is right there too.

 

#2:  Hard to choose because there are a lot out there.  The short list includes New York, Big Sur, LGT Alpin Marathon but I think I'd choose Comrades in South Africa because if you're going out, go out big!  

 



#2 Torrey

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 05:42 AM

This game will unfortunately be boring for this low volume marathon runner.  And I say that because of the 5 marathons I have run, 2 have been at Austin, 2 have been at Phoenix, and one Boston - so I have already run 2 of those courses twice.  So I guess I can say I already have run both Austin and Phoenix again ;)

 

#1

Austin no longer runs the same course they ran back in the mid-2000's, but I really enjoyed my experiences there.  Cool city, great BBQ and Tex Mex food, and it was always fun getting to hang out with Angela and the Mizuno gang back when they used to sponsor it.  While the food still calls me, I'm not going to pick Austin (for the marathon, at least).

 

I had a great Boston experience last year.  It would be hard to duplicate that, with the training group I had preparing for it and then having not only Adam and Chris at the race, but also Angela and a larger Lizard family to hang out with.  An amazing experience, and perhaps I will have to do that again at some point - and even though it is the only marathon I haven't already repeated, it's not the one I am going to pick.

 

That's right... I am going to go with perhaps the most boring of the 3.  The Mesa-Phoenix Marathon.  And I only pick this one because it's the only one I am fairly confident I will do again. In fact, it's seems highly likely I will commit to doing it again in Feb 2018.  Definitely the least competitive field of any of the marathons I have run (both experiences here have been lonely solo efforts), and not exactly scenic.  But it is a fast course, at the time of year I prefer to have a marathon (late winter, so that I can train through the winter, which has weather to contend with, but very few other conflicts for getting long weekend runs in), and my parents are down there - so it is a good excuse to get in some family time.  I set my PR there, won a little prize money, and now feel like I need to go defend the master's title (and a new PR would be nice as well ;))

 

#2

Chicago and New York are both on my list.  A fast course with a fast field tips the hat toward Chicago.  But both of these are fall marathons, which complicates things with training in late summer (so many conflicts...) as well as fall (because we all know I live for cross country).  But one of these days I will figure out how to work one or both in.



#3 Lou99

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 07:21 AM

The hardest part of this game for me are your rules limiting us to what we are capable of today. Even giving a waive to current injuries, at 61 years old the benefits of a fast course are pretty much wasted on me, Hence, I am forced to select from the most interesting or picturesque of the marathons I have run, as opposed to the speedier courses,  

 

#1

Given the speed limitation, I would choose Pikes Peak Marathon. I always described this race as an ultra in the guise of a marathon as it ascends up the Barr Trail from around 6800 feet to over 14,000. And as difficult as that is, the descent has its own challenges. That said, the sheer beauty of the trail, the support from the local community and the joy of cresting the top and starting back down would indeed be a fine finale.Not to mention, it is one of the few marathons where one is almost guaranteed of negative splits.

 

#2

Of the marathons still on my bucket list, I would again lean towards one of beauty and challenge. There are so many to choose from including Medoc in the wine country of France and the Great Wall of China Marathon, along with many others. If I could pick just one though, keeping in mind that the rules of the game cover the logistics of getting there and paying for it, my swan song would be to run the Antarctica Marathon with no one but polar bears and penguins as crowd support. This would indeed be a fit finale.


Lou

#4 Melissa83

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 11:39 AM

This finally made me count how many marathon I've run, which is apparently 11.  I've only repeated CIM (3 times) and Chicago (3rd time coming in 2017), and New York is an easy choice for question #1.

 

#2 is a bit trickier, but I'd probably go with London. Berlin is a close second.  I really enjoy larger marathons where the ability to run on those streets/courses are really limited to marathon morning. 



#5 andicamp

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 02:53 PM

#1 is kind of a toss-up between New York and Boston for me. Chicago was actually my favorite experience of those I've run so far (which is those 3 plus Portland, San Francisco, and Victoria - dropped out of CIM and Newport and switched to the half at Philadelphia), but Chicago for me was such a perfect storm of terrific conditions (weather, course, logistics, fitness, health) that there's not really much I could do to improve my experience there. 

So I guess then I'd lean towards New York if I really had to choose. Side by side, I'd say the only thing that I liked better about Boston is the finish. Boston has a way better finish than New York. And now that I've written that down, I'm realizing that when I think about my unfinished business at Boston, my mind pictures being able to run that last half mile or so at full effort on a good day, and really being able to revel in that terrific finish. When I think about going back to New York, and picturing myself running there again, I see the whole course and the whole experience. I just love New York City as a place way more than I love Boston. 

And of course, NYC is in the fall, and when I'm a marathoner, I'm definitely a fall marathoner by nature.

 

#2....  I guess maybe Twin Cities? I've already run the big ones in this country, and traveling to Europe for a marathon doesn't really appeal to me (although traveling abroad for a WMA track meet definitely does). I've heard lots of good things about Twin Cities. It's in the fall, it usually hosts the masters marathon championships, the logistics are good (early start, no shuttle bus - which I know are not supposed to be considerations, but I can't help it!), and I think it's supposed to be relatively fast.


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#6 DC2PDX

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 11:01 AM

Question 1:  Of the marathons you're run, which marathon would you run again, and why?  

 

Definitely the Marine Corps Marathon-my hometown race. It was my first marathon ever and I had never even run a 5K when I decided to sign up for that adventure. I signed up because a friend of mine was serving in Iraq and in DC, the Marines stationed there have to volunteer at the marathon, so I took pictures for him.  I've done it 3x. First off all, as a DC/NOVA native, end of October is my favorite time to be in DC-cool, crisp, beautiful leaves. Second, it's just an awesome, inspiring race.  You will have hot Marines in their desert fatigues clapping and handing you water, it's impossible to slow down too much when you have someone whose biceps are the size of your head and has probably seen a lot more hardship in the world than you have telling you you're doing a great job and keep going.

 

Also, I was very, very inspired by the military service members.  Units will run together and if one of their members has a prosthetic limb, they will put him or her in front, holding the unit flag and American flag, and the rest of the unit will follow him. It's amazing.

 

Question 2:  If you could pick one you haven't run, which one and why?

 

Probably Berlin. My Dad served in the Army in Berlin. I'd love to go with him, do the race, and make it a family trip so he could show me all the places where he lived and see the historical sights.


The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.
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#7 Lou99

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 12:45 PM

 

Question 1:  Of the marathons you're run, which marathon would you run again, and why?  

 

Definitely the Marine Corps Marathon-my hometown race. It was my first marathon ever and I had never even run a 5K when I decided to sign up for that adventure. I signed up because a friend of mine was serving in Iraq and in DC, the Marines stationed there have to volunteer at the marathon, so I took pictures for him.  I've done it 3x. First off all, as a DC/NOVA native, end of October is my favorite time to be in DC-cool, crisp, beautiful leaves. Second, it's just an awesome, inspiring race.  You will have hot Marines in their desert fatigues clapping and handing you water, it's impossible to slow down too much when you have someone whose biceps are the size of your head and has probably seen a lot more hardship in the world than you have telling you you're doing a great job and keep going.

 

Also, I was very, very inspired by the military service members.  Units will run together and if one of their members has a prosthetic limb, they will put him or her in front, holding the unit flag and American flag, and the rest of the unit will follow him. It's amazing.

 

Question 2:  If you could pick one you haven't run, which one and why?

 

Probably Berlin. My Dad served in the Army in Berlin. I'd love to go with him, do the race, and make it a family trip so he could show me all the places where he lived and see the historical sights.

 

I have run Marine Corps twice and enjoyed it tremendously (everything but Hains Point and the endless run around the Iwo Jima statue at the end). The support is very impressive and the race is extremely well organized, It's the only race I have ever run where the volunteers are calling out "Looking good, SIR!". :)

 

I strongly recommend Berlin as well, but not for time. It is very congested for the average citizen racer (3:30 plus) and narrows here or there along the course causing further congestion, Definitely plan a good week or two for sightseeing. Berlin is an amazing city. If your dad is adventuresome, you might plan a train ride over to Munich as well. Oktoberfest takes place that time of year and can be a once in a lifetime experience.


Lou

#8 andicamp

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 04:41 PM

Oh, I forgot all about MCM! I don't think that changes my #2, but it's definitely one I'd like to run.


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#9 Tim

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 08:43 AM

Answer #1 - For me, a tough choice between Boston and NYC. Both are near the pinnacle for run-of-the-mill runners such as myself. Having done both multiple times, Boston has the history and the "prestige". NYC has the sheer enormity of it all - the number of runners and the insane-ness of the spectators. Maybe I'd pick NYC only because then I wouldn't have to train for a marathon thru the chilly, wet Oregon winters again. :smile:

 

Answer #2 - Another tough choice. I'd like to do any of the remaining WMM events that I haven't done, like Berlin, London or Tokyo. Tokyo might be the most interesting, simply from the complete culture change, and the fact they are marathon crazy over there.


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#10 Runman

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 12:23 PM

#1. London. Running through London is absolutely amazing. The start in Greenwich Park is easy to get to logistically - no getting on a bus 4 hours before the race just hop on the tube about 90 minutes before the start. Running around the Cutty Sark is likely the strangest .1 mile of a race one will ever do. Crossing the Tower Bridge and then shortly thereafter running down a street that is amazingly small and finding out later it is called "Small Street" makes you see where the British get their sense of humor. Finally the finish. 400m to go and there is Buckingham Palace on your left, you make a right and run onto The Mall with a line of Union Jack's flying on both sides of the course. London has to be run to truly appreciate the city itself. Tokyo is a close second because as Tim says they are marathon mad there, but the weather....Brrr......(I ran in it late March in 2009 and it still snowed a little at the finish, now the race is back to February)

#2. Auckland is one I'd love to run for the opportunity to run across the Auckland Harbor Bridge, but until I run Berlin and complete the WMM challenge, I support Berlin has to be the first choice of one I would run.



#11 BrianH

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 06:03 AM

Since I'm not fast, I prefer physically and mentally challenging races.
1) Silver Falls trail marathon.
the race I've done the past 3 years and hope to continue for years to come.
2)Comrades, in South Africa, has been on my wish list for years.

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#12 SusanB

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:57 PM

1. It's close between Twin Cities and Boston. Twin Cities is a beautiful course in Minnesota in the fall. Good size with lots of people to run with and good support but not overly crowded. Boston atmosphere is amazing but logistics are more complicated than TC.

2. Right now NYC is on the top of my list. I've done Chicago and Boston and would like to experience the last WMM in the US.

#13 Joe D.

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 05:28 PM

Great post!

Question 1: Definitely the 5th Avenue Mile in New York City! Oh, wait, marathons :wink: Of the eight marathons I've run (Las Vegas International, three Bostons, the Flat Marathon on Sauvie Island, Timberline Marathon, Mt. Desert Island Marathon in Maine, and the Pocatello Marathon in Idaho), there are things I love about each of them. Boston is incomparable, but I think it's a toss-up between Mt. Desert Island and Pocatello. Pocatello was a great experience, with an early pre-dawn start, and a peaceful, rural, downhill first half. I was ecstatic to get my A+ goal of a PR that day, and I finished 3rd OA. But I don't think I could improve on my memories of that day, so I have to go with the Mt. Desert Island Marathon, which has a beautiful point-to-point course along the coast of Maine with a section through the woods of Acadia National Park. The fall foliage was glowing with bright shades of orange and yellow. My aunt and uncle live in the area, so I was already familiar with much of the course, and there would be room for improvement in my time and stamina. IF I ever ran another marathon, I'd like to do that one again.

Question 2: I think I'd go with the Paris Marathon, just because a European destination marathon would be fun, and because my parents were on vacation in Paris once when the marathon was going on and they reported having a great time watching the runners making their way along the banks of the Seine. Sounds like a fantastic experience in one of Europe's great cities.


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#14 Carre H.

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:36 PM

I would run Philly again. It is a very fast course, and the weather is usually ideal for marathoning.

Tough one...probably London. I have never been there.

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#15 JPHimmelberg

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 05:51 PM

Of the ones I've done I have to say Boston but NY and Oslo are close behind. Boston is well, Boston. My last NY was immediately after 9/11 and I don't think that emotion can be matched. The Norwegians are awesome and Oslo finishes in Bislet Stadium, a big draw for fans of Coe, Ovett, and the other great 80's milers.


Of the ones I haven't done, London is high on my list. Berlin and Amsterdam interest me as well.




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