Remember a long time ago (yesterday) when I wrote that I was going to wait for my NYC Marathon rejection before I decided on a fall marathon? Well, I guess I lied. Not only did I already sign up for a fall marathon, but I am seriously considering a west coast relay race too!
I was looking at the Running In the USA web site to find a marathon. This is a great site that lists races in every state for the entire year. If you can't find what you want when or where you want, it's a good idea to check in again periodically because new races are added all the time. Today I came across the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon. The race starts in Schenectady, NY and ends right outside of Albany, our capital. The reviews say that the autumn scenery on the route couldn't be prettier and it is super FAST. Runner's World said it "produced the highest percentage of Boston Qualifiers" for four years straight. I'm already Boston Qualified for 2014, however I am looking for a nice PR. I am really excited about this race. There's just one crazy glitch. Apparently, train tracks cross the route at some point. The trains do not stop running for the race, so if you happen to get caught at the crossing while a train is going by, you have to wait. There's a timing mat and a race official there to record the interruption. They then subtract your waiting time from your final result. Odd, huh? Bring it on!
Relay race, you ask? Pete has run the Hood To Coast Relay in the past with some of his old college buddies. Today he asked if I was interested in doing it. I was kind of flattered because I always thought these big relay races were only for the hard core more experienced runners. Well, apparently they're not, but I'll go on pretending it's so.
Hood To Coast is 200 miles from Mount Hood to Seaside, Oregon. There are 12 runners on each team running 3 legs totaling 15-19 miles in less than 24 hours, closer to 18. The longest of the legs is 7.5 miles. Not bad. You get a 6 hour break in between each leg. The legs range in difficulty from flat to mountainous. The most difficult leg is the first one. It is downhill, but it is extremely steep, a quadricep's nightmare. Pete's friends' team's only requirement is running a sub-8 min. mile. I can do that!
Of course there are two issues here. The first is our children. Pete would also like to run. This means not only does someone have to watch our four children, but also transport them from Point A to Point B. Not crazy about that idea. The second issue is this race falls on the weekend of my second twenty miler in my marathon training plan. I can easily switch that long run for the 17 miler the next weekend, but I'm wondering if it still counts since the miles are broken up over a period of time? It's still within 24 hours. I have to research that a little more.
So anyway, I'm psyched! I went from nothing on the calendar after June to two really big (in my head) events. Mohawk is a done deal. Fingers crossed that Hood to Coast works out!