Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 Spring Racing Plans

I'm officially ready to declare my Spring 2013 racing plans.  Although I've been training pretty seriously for a few months now, I hadn't been committed to any race in particular yet.  I knew that I'd probably want to run a marathon in Spring 2013 and had been eying the race calendars for all my options.  With a little guy around, my list of requirements has increased significantly, such that I can't just willy-nilly pick any race that sounds good to ME.  I have to put family first, so that means a few things:
  • Speak to Rebecca about my thoughts to make sure she is on board.  
  • The race must be family friendly, so Rebecca and Z can take care of themselves while I am out on the course.
  • Relatively easy to travel to, to minimize the stress of getting to the race, and the number stops we might have to make in the event Z needs a car break.
  • Obviously, a course that gives the potential for a fast time.
  • Occurs in the month of March, so as to not get in the way of Rebecca's racing plans in April and doesn't disrupt coaching the =PR= DTPers.
  • Mid sized race, so it isn't too lonely out on the course.
  • Preferably a new course that I haven't run for the added excitement factor.
So as you can see, there are a few parameters to consider.  With that said, here are my list of finalists:
  • 3/10 - Lower Potomac River Marathon: Somewhat local and would give the family the option of staying home in the event that weather isn't ideal for outside spectating.  However, this could be a lonely race, as it is limited to only a few hundred participants.
  • 3/16 - B&A Trail Marathon: I ran this last year and liked it a lot, and is close enough to drive to the morning of the race.  However, it is very lonely in the 2nd half of the race for the marathoners and given the wind situation last year, I had to fight for those last 13.1 miles.
  • 3/16 - Rock n Roll USA: One of the closest options available, so the convenience factor is high.  However, I've run this race twice already, and it is now on the large side (25,000+), with a new, tougher course (IMO) with the climb up Rock Creek Park.  I'd be giving up a lot of my list for convenience.
  • 3/17 - Shamrock Marathon: A little bit further of a drive, and I've run it before.  However, I could reserve a hotel right in the middle of everything (start, finish, post race party), we'd be at the beach (weather permitting this would be nice), and I really enjoyed this race the last time, despite my late struggles with the wind.
  • 3/24 - Ocean Drive Marathon: Another option not too far away that provides a flat and fast course.  However, it is a point to point race that tends to have a headwind, and would not be family friendly.
  • 4/6 - Charlottesville Marathon - Close enough to drive down the morning of the race and it considered a scenic course.  However, is considered hilly (hence the word, scenic) is runs into April, which I am trying to avoid.
At the end of the day, I think this became a no brainer.  While I am tempted by local races (notice I didn't even consider Reston, as it looks to be both brutal and likely lonely for the 2nd lap), the appeal of well run races supersedes all.  And in this case, Shamrock is the best among the choices.  As an added bonus, a bunch of our DTP runners will be racing there too, so I'll have a chance to see lots of familiar faces out there.  So that's the plan!

I'm returning to VA Beach to avenge for my performance there 2 years ago with family in tow.  It'll be nice to get away too!

Anyone else planning on racing Shamrock?  If so, hope to see you there!


misszippy said...

wow--we really looked at many of the same races! Shamrock and Ocean Drive both made my short list as well. I spend time every summer in Avalon, NJ, so I was pretty tempted by this one. However, the reviews all talked about brutal headwind, which turned me off. And I've run B & A half a million times and always thought that second half looked incredibly lonely, so you just confirmed that!

Good luck with your Shamrock training!

Alison @ racingtales said...

I think you made a good choice! I'll see you at Shamrock, although I'll be doing the half. Get your hotel now as the race has grown a lot in the last couple of years and rooms sell out FAST. We stay at Ocean Beach Club...the marathon starts right outside the front door. ;)

Kara said...

I would have strongly recommended the Lower Potomac one because it's my running club's marathon :)

It's flat and fast (and cheap!)plus the post race pasta lunch is really good.

Shamrock seems like a good race, I've never done it, but I've heard good things!


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