As you know, I'm running another marathon. This time, I decided it was time to branch out from the local venue and race somewhere a bit further away. My primary reasoning was that I wanted something that was:
2) Not quite as challenging
3) At a location that could provide some relaxation following the race
I also didn't want the costs to be too high, which means I'd like to drive there. So, I took a look on over at marathonguide.com's marathon map and searched for a spring race. I came up with a few options.
- Charlottesville Marathon: April 9, 2011 - Considered to be run on a scenic course, but also has some hills. Would provide for a good venue post-race, with wineries nearby and could stay at a bed and breakfast for a relaxing weekend.
- Pittsburgh Marathon: May 15, 2011 - Has been recommended to me by others, but has some larger hills in the 2nd half of the race. A May race could mean the potential for a hot day, which would not be what I trained most of my running in.
- Shamrock VA Beach Marathon: March 20, 2011 - Considered to be a fast course, with minimal elevation changes and bands on the course. Winds could be a factor. Supposed to have a killer post-race party. Lots of goodies! Beach setting would be nice for relaxing after the race.
There were some other races I considered, but I ruled them out early, because they required farther travel or were similar to these races, but not as enticing.
After reading race reports and looking into lodging, I decided on Shamrock. I found beachfront lodging within 5 blocks from the race start (and finish!) for less than I would have paid to stay at any of the other locations. Plus, I'll be able to stumble back to the hotel after the race...I know it is going to be a LONG 5 blocks at that point though. Lastly, I'm just looking forward to relaxing after the race, as we'll be staying an extra day to make it a long weekend.