Since I’ll be doing some traveling around to complete my 50 states/50 races quest, I thought I would review some of the more well-known races I have participated in. I previously talked about the Rock ‘n Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon and the Dirty Girl Mud Run. Since then …
October 2013 – Lucy Town Inaugural Half Marathon, Jamestown, New York
I am all about Lucille Ball, so when I found out about this race not too far from my home, I was all in! There is not too much to the City of Jamestown, but we arrived the night before so we could go to the expo and explore a little. When we went to pick up our packets, the expo vendors already had packed up and left! In our packets, however, were tickets to the two museums all about Lucille Ball and I Love Lucy, which I thoroughly enjoyed! Included with the race fee was a pasta dinner the night before, which was very nice and quite tasty! I enjoyed the race itself, it rained a little then the sun came out and there was an incredible rainbow. The little after party was just enough, and my daughter came in second in her age division (her first half marathon ever) so all in all, it was a nice race. Since it was the first year, it was a bit small; but I’m sure it will continue to grow. The best part: the finisher’s medal!
January, 2014 – Walt Disney World Marathon, Orlando, Florida
I also am all about Disney! We go at least every other year (in fact, we are going to Disneyland in December!). So when it came to choose my first (and maybe only) marathon, how could I not choose WDW? Of course, this race is held in January, which is fine weather in Florida, but my training was going to take place in the dead of winter in Buffalo, New York! Luckily I learned to dress appropriately for the weather, and actually really loved running in the snow! (The light, fluffy snow, not the icy snow blowing in your face with 40 mph winds.) Morgan and I headed down and of course Disney itself was amazing. But here’s my take on the race: First of all, you have to get there EARLY and it is pretty cool, so definitely have an old jacket or long sleeve shirt you won’t mind leaving by the side of the road when you warm up (which we did not have). You are in your corrals a LONG LONG time, so you pretty much rely on the guys at the microphone for entertainment. I was feeling pretty excited and proud that we were running our first marathon. At this marathon, though, they have lots of alternatives where you run multiple races and are classified as Dopey, or Goofy, or Dumbo. I certainly give those people a ton of credit, but this was OUR first marathon, and I wanted some credit for us too! So when the announcer said who’s running their first marathon, it was very anti-climatic to his asking, but who’s Goofy, or who’s Dumbo? I felt like running “just” the marathon wasn’t enough. I know that was my perception, but it still bothered me. The race itself started off with fireworks, and there were tons of photo ops along the way. Some of the rides were even open for the runners! After the race you have a photo taken and then are shuffled into a square area. I sat on the ground and immediately was told no sitting, go to first aid if you want to sit down! We just hopped on our shuttle bus and went back to the hotel. I would definitely run the WDW marathon, but if I knew then what I know now, I would not have chosen it for my FIRST marathon. It was great to accomplish with my daughter, however!
**Note – if you are in Downtown Disney, I highly recommend you check out the Fork and Dine AMC theatres. Full restaurant and bar, full wait service, while you sit and watch a movie!
April, 2014 – Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon
I always have wanted to see the Oklahoma City Memorial, and since my sister lives there, this was the perfect race for myself and my two sisters (Sole Sisters) to run together. This would be my oldest sister, Laura’s first race ever, so we decided to do the relay. Deciding who would run which leg was probably the hardest part, but since we wanted Laura to experience the feeling of crossing the finish line, and Robin is the best morning person, we decided Robin would do 1 and 2, I would do 3 and 4, and Laura would do 5. Oklahoma City has some crazy weather; it was pretty rainy and cool, and the race ended up being delayed for about two hours because of lightning on the race route. We all just sat around in various parking garages, and it was about to be canceled when we finally got the all clear. By the time my first leg came around, it was sunny and downright hot! The wind was crazy and instead of enjoying the sights, most of the time I had my head down trying not to go backwards! We ended up coming in second in the Master’s Division (maybe because there were only two teams in that division), but we got a really nice trophy! I enjoyed this race and really was awestruck by the beautiful memorial. Oklahoma City is a nice size and has lots of restaurants and things to do. We had a great time all in all.