Friday, June 8, 2012

On the hunt for a spring marathon...

Living in Orlando, the spectre of Disney hangs over our lives like some sort of demonic rodent bent on owning the souls of retirees and transplanted northerners. As a runner, I always have my finger on the pulse of the running community out here, and the 20th anniversary of the Walt Disney World approaches. Organizers went out of their way to improve the course this year by including four theme parks, a run on the driver's track at the Daytona Experience, and a lap around the infield at the Wide World of Sports Complex. Having done two and had mixed experiences at both, I am not a big fan of Disney races. The crowds are large and the prices are high. Running the parks is quite the surreal experience, and one can periodically slip into a state that subconsciously implies that the bright colors and childish music is the spooky facade of some distributing Twilight Zone episode... You know, that one where the kid is some kind of magical, super-being that creates worlds and forces people to live in them. Frontierland? You better pretend you're a cowboy or that little bastard will dissolve your face off with his mind. On the flip side, the sights are amazing and the party/swag is nice.

A running buddy is debating this year's Disney Marathon, and I told him I'd jump in if he did. I've finished two marathons, but both were destination-type races in Los Angeles and Dublin, Ireland. Running one in my own back yard would be a unique experience. Fortunately, my race schedule alone for the next 6 months requires me to be in excellent shape come the new year (the Disney race is in January). Add in a few long runs around Thanksgiving, and I expect to be fine.

But, given that I train in Florida, I'm debating running another race, as well. Getting in shape is hard enough for one race given local heat and humidity. If I'm to that level of fitness, I feel I should take advantage of it. I'm looking for something in the spring, and figure I might as well travel to this one. Anyone have any suggestions?

Paris would be nice, and I have seen a few ads that have an Oslo Rock 'n' Roll race. I'd love to do Chicago, but I don't think they have a spring race... only fall.

Something in the Orient would be nice, too, and I've given thought to the Great Wall Marathon in the past. But, though I enjoy traveling solo, I feel something like a China trip needs to be done with a group. Unfortunately (though, not surprisingly), I can't get anyone to commit to that particular race with me.

So, I'm looking for input. Any races you've run that are well-organized or especially nice? Great crowds? Beautiful course? Or, what about races to avoid because of boring routes or horrible organization?

Shoot me an email/drop me a comment and give me some insight.

Thanks! Best Blogger Tips

No comments:

Post a Comment