Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Help! Where the Hell Do I Go?

So I really need advice. I am trying to pick the marathon to run in the fall that just might qualify me for Boston. I've only run one marathon (this past January - RNR Phoenix). I need to shave 13 minutes off of my time. I'm 42, so I need a 3:50.

Since I live in Colorado, I am training at 5280 ft., so I'd prefer to go to a lower elevation to take advantage of altitude training. Obviously I want kind of a flattish course (within reason), good weather, something in Sept/Oct/Nov, and a fast course. Is that too much to ask? Right now, without much research, I'm thinking about:

St. George, UT
Twin Cities, MN
Las Vegas (Rock 'n Roll has picked up Vegas this year; I happen to LOVE anything Vegas, plus I hear you get to run through a wedding chapel and stop to make love to Elvis whenever you want)

If you've done a marathon or a half that has a marathon as a choice (or you're planning on one), how would you review it based on:

-type of course (flat vs. hilly vs. moderate)
-typical weather
-support on the course
-numbers of people (did it feel crazy crowded)
-has anyone ever died on the course?
-is there beer at the end?
(I'm funny)

Seriously, sometimes I wish I were 80 because then I could run a 5:30 marathon and still qualify for Boston.


  1. I did the Vegas half last year and loved it. But I also run in SF and it's hilly so anything is better than that. I'm hoping Vegas is 10x better b/c RNR picked it up this year :)

  2. Sounds like a tough decision. I have absolutely no advice to offer because i have NO chance of qualifying any time soon. Good luck!

  3. You are hilarious! I loved reading your blog. I am doing my first half marathon in over 15 years in a couple of weeks (Ft Collins) and then my goal is to run a full marathon in the fall or next spring. I would LOVE to qualify for Boston!


  4. My main criteria is course flatness and weather. I don't need the crowd support, and I don't drink beer. Vodka however, I do. :o)

  5. I did Twin Cities in '06 and the course is awesome. Tons of crowd support, and I don't remember much in the way of hills. And I would definitely come cheer for you! :)

  6. You know I have not yet picked my fall run...I think I'm still nervous about this injury keeping me from even finishing in may. I WILL THOUGH!!

    I'll let you know when I start looking...I probably wont' pick one until June. My qualifications...well I love crowd support and I want moderate hills...Chicago wouldn't work for me and SF was horrible!

  7. One consideration is the number of people running. You don't want to chance injury trying to get through packs of slower runners in the first several miles of the race.

  8. If it were me, I think I would go for Vegas!! I have not run any of them (my experiences have been Florida based), but I think Vegas would be very entertaining. For me I like a lot of entertainment on the course. Having run both the scenic only course, and the high entertainment course I find that I enjoy courses that have as many mental diversions as possible.

    Good luck with your choice, I too am trying to find a fall race. I can not decide whether to go with a local race that I have run before (in my back yard, flat and warm but a little boring) or do the Marine Corp in DC (which has hills and may be cold, but I think would be interesting). I don't know, decisions, decisions!!

  9. Oh, c'mon, it sounds like qualifying at 42 is well within your potential! I don't know about those marathons but I'm going to do my best to be in Richmond, either running or cheering, which certainly would involve beer, and not just at the end. :)

  10. im running the rnr vegas this december. i think it should be fun bc.... its vegas! of course my husband will be gambling away our life savings as i sweat it out in the desert.
    ive read that the st george is a really good marathon to bq bc a lot of it is downhill and really fast..

  11. Come to Cali!!! CIM is in December in Sac and its in the top 6 of boston qualifiers :) I ran it last year and PRed by 20 minutes! I am def doing it again this year. Las Vegas would be really fun too!!

  12. I haven't done a marathon yet. I am in NY and if I was to do one around here, I would probably go with the Steamtown Marathon in PA. IT has a 955 ft elevation drop and according to the website, "Ranked as one of the fastest official Boston Marathon qualifying courses!"

    I have never run it myself, but when I am ready for a marathon, that will probably be the one I do.

    Good luck!

  13. Yep! It actually qualifies you for both 2010 AND 2011 :) I think the cut off is maybe in Feb or when it sells out? There was still room after this Dec.

  14. Um, can't help you there, girl. It would be a freaking miracle if I ever BQ'd (and that's only because I really don't want to work that hard).

    I WILL tell you that I'm planning on running Richmond this year.

  15. Houston is very flat, but it is in January...