A Challenge to Race in the New Year

Some of you may know that one of my goals is to complete a half marathon in every state.  As of right now, I have 46 more to go!  At this rate, I will finish when I’m… 70.  Yes, 70!  It’s a little daunting, but one day, Daniel and I were watching TV and saw a story about people retiring and dying… and decided that having goals into your senior years might be a good thing after all.

My friend, Mary, did the last half marathon with me in Rhode Island.  When she excitedly asked about the next one, we ended up signing up for the Phoenix Marathon in Mesa, AZ slated for late February 2016.  Admittedly, these races can be addicting; you are surrounded by people with the same goal in mind… finishing the race!  Sometimes you hunker down and suffer alone; other times, you chat with each other to pass the time away.  I always go faster when I’m talking to other people, although sometimes I have to stop talking and drop back, so I don’t use up all my energy.  The goal, after all, is to finish without injury.

In addition, I saw an event featured on runnersworld.com where a race director was organizing a free event in Millinocket, Maine.  The tradeoff for not having to pay for the event is to make a contribution either online to support their library, spend money in their town when you’re at the event, bring something to the event to help others out, etc.  Millinocket used to be a mill town, but the mills closed, so they are running into hard times.  I’ve signed up for the event but won’t know until late September whether I’m able to make it or not as I do have a calendar conflict that I’m trying to work around.

I started marathon racing the hard way, from the full to a 5k, then a 10k, and now only half marathons.  I don’t think there is really a wrong way, but most people probably start with a 5k.  Those are fun, generally very family and walker friendly, doesn’t cost a lot, and occurs all over the place.  Some are for charity, others for community spirit and fun.

I would encourage you to sign up and train for at least 1 event in 2016.  You can search for races in your area through active.com, runnersworld.com/races-places, and other sites.  For those of you who have already been thinking of signing up for something or have already done so, which events are they?


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