The Connection Runners + travel

Rookie mistake

Just didn't see this coming..

As I was planning for my 10th marathon in as many months - the 24 hr Around the Lake race in Wakefield, MA with its 7pm start - I forgot one little detail.

To register.

I went to the site last week and saw REGISTRATION CLOSED and was floored. Already? Really? I did the 12 hr ultra portion last year and recall signing up right around the 2nd week in July. But all events were filled to capacity - the marathon, the 12 hour, and the 24 hour - and an email request to the race director was promptly shot down.

Like a dumb, completely avoidable penalty (in this case one by rugby player Sam Burgess, above) I am shaking my head in frustration.

But now it's time to shake it off, and make things right.

Back in September when I was planning out this 12 marathon challenge I had several potential gaps in the race calendar - April was one, and July was the second. I did two marathons in the month of May, so that got me right back on track, and Mad Marathon was the ideal race for July - but running the 24 hr Race Around the Lake was supposed to make up for going to Montreal in June instead of doing Lake Placid. Wakefield was an hour drive away, didn't require a hotel stay, flat and an evening race which I loved doing last year. Easy logistics, and fit into the schedule nicely - or so I thought.

So with three races to go, I need to find one more marathon before 10/2/11 to complete my 12 in 12.

Seeing that I don't live in Hawai'i - they have two marathons in September, one in Maui and two weeks later Kauai (note to self) - I am scrambling a bit to find something that works.

Worst case scenario (and hardly 'worst' I admit) is that I can run the Hartford Marathon on Saturday, October 15th. If I did Hartford, my entire family could attend - parents, sisters, friends - but technically speaking my challenge was 12 marathons in 12 months, not 12 marathons in 12 months, two weeks.

Symantics, yes, and I'm doing this for myself so in the end what difference does it make? - but I would still like to find a race between now and the Smuttynose Rockfest marathon on October 2nd.

I would prefer to keep travel at a minimum, I have flown to 4 races already and logged some serious miles on the Volvo (three trips to Vermont, two to Canada) this summer.

These are some possible choices - if anyone has run any of them in the past, I would appreciate any feedback:

(Note: I've ruled out both Rochester and Yonkers on 9/18 - I am doing my first sprint triathlon, and though I would be willing to drop that and run 26.2, those two races aren't compelling enough options.)

9/24 Hamptons Marathon - East Hampton, NY - appealing but a real hike
9/25 Adirondack Marathon - Schroon Lake, NY - beautiful, but a big drive
9/25 Clarence Demar Marathon - Keene, NH - possible, near the VT border

The Clarence Demar Marathon is two hours away, so that would require the least amount of driving. The following week is Smuttynose, so if I do run in any of the races above for #11 then Smuttynose seven days later will basically wind up being a recovery/Champagne run (using Tour de France/cycling lingo a 'Champagne stage' is when the race has already been decided and the leader in the Yellow jersey basically savors the victory and celebrates on his way to the Champs-Elysees.)

So still thinking things over. Smuttynose would be a nice place to finish up as it's just a few miles from home, I can prepare my own pre-race meal (my Pappardelle alla Bolognese!) and not have to endure another long car ride home post-race. Hartford could be fun as well, I'd have a bit more time to rest and then a big post-race bash would be a nice way to wrap this up.

Either way, I have a bottle of champagne I can't wait to uncork after crossing the finish line of #12!

(And yes, I've officially signed up for Quebec City Marathon 8/28 and Smuttynose 10/2... ... )

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Rookie mistake + travel