Wednesday, April 20, 2011

9 Marathon States complete

  I just completed my 9th race state.  So I decided since I am new to this blog thing, to give a few words on each race state so far, in the future I'll write posts on each race:

Utah - Home state, St. George Marathon is my favorite, guess I am partial to it because it was my first race.  But still after running several states its still very high on my overall list, they have the BEST organization and volunteers!
But I've also ran the Top of Utah Marathon, which is also a great and beautiful race especially if you like a lot of up hill at the end and of course beautiful fall leaves.

Florida - Disney World - They've improved this race since I ran it.  But when I ran it, it wasn't one that would have topped any of my lists.  Running the full and half marathon at the same time and then after a few miles putting all 30K runners into small 2 lane roads and then into the smaller roads in the different Disney parks, it was difficult to get through.  But so many wonderful choirs out on the course singing their Christian songs, I really like that part and of course getting to run through all the Disney parks.

Arizona - Phoenix is much cooler in January, fast flat course!  I ran the Rock and Roll series.  Not as much music as I thought there would be, but a really fun upbeat race.  The locals kept talking about a big hill, when we got to hit I would have sworn the elevation change may have been 5 feet, just a small bump in the road..

Maine - Bar Harbor, breathtakingly beautiful in the fall!  I LOVED this race, it's small but very well run.  You run the entire course on the small island through parts of the countryside and Acadia National Park.  I never got bored with all the beautiful fall colors (so many shades) running along side the Fjord's deep blue sparkling waters.  This was a hilly course, some pretty good hills at times.  But all at low elevation so being from Utah other than burning quads my lungs felt pretty good.  Highly recommend this race, it will most definitely be on my top 10 list...

Nevada - Las Vegas, so much energy in this race from the Strip, Loved it!  The race starts in corrals, and took about 30 minutes for me to get my turn to cross the start.  But there is lots of music and fun, I didn't concentrate too much on the wait.  I actually had my 3rd fastest time ever in this race.

Mississippi - Jackson, the most friendliest state and race.  I lost count after the first five minutes of the race of all the Thank You's I received by the spectators and volunteers.  Love the southern accents!  It was a colder race the day I ran, but beautiful scenery, up through some huge plantation home areas.  I tried to imagine as I was going through the historic districts how not so long ago this beautiful and peaceful place now, was at one time much into slavery, I would look around at all the different trails and tree lines and wondered how many slaves were hopefully able to escape... I know I have quite the imagination....  But this race was very well done, they gave a HUGE metal in memory of Elvis Presley's birthday and I'll never forget the people, never have I met so many nice and friendly people, even the homeless in one area were so pleasant and thankful to everyone who came to run...

South Carolina - Myrtle Beach, you can't really go wrong with a race right along the ocean front!  I came down with a horrible flu the morning of the race, so in all honest it was one of my most miserable races but because I was so sick.  But the course was very flat, and in such a relaxing atmosphere, I would really like to go back and run it again someday, but not so under the weather..  Loved the southern accents, they were a bit different than in Mississippi but almost just as warm and friendly.

Arkansas - Little Rock - Great race, the hills were hardly noticeable to me.  I was still sick from the SC race, turns out I had Bronchitis and a upper respiratory illness, no wonder I had a hard time.  But since this race was 2 weeks after SC, and I had been on antibiotics for 3 days, I was doing a bit better.  I just took the race a little slower and enjoyed the scenery.  I also met several incredible runners before and after the race that I look forward to seeing in future races.  This was also the first race that they handed out lipstick to, towards the end..  My only issue was after the race, none of the volunteers knew the bus system, I literally had to walk around another 3 miles just to figure out how to get back to my hotel, I was really hating all of that wondering around after 26.2 miles and all I wanted was a shower and a bed...

Tennessee - Knoxville - Very hilly course, but an absolutely beautiful race.  You can't beat that you are so close to the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains, which I recommend is a must see while there!  Most of the hills in this race were at the beginning, which I wish I had known ahead of time.  But then I rarely pay too much attention to those kind of details before a race. (Maybe I should...)  The first half of the race was much prettier surroundings than the second half.  But I really liked finishing on the 50 yard line at Univ. TN.

I'm having a great time with all this racing.  My times are not exactly where I'd like them to be, but so far my body is handling the back to back running quite well.  When training at higher altitudes running low elevation races make it a lot easier in the winter months when it is difficult to go out and get all the long runs in.
I've got a few races coming up that I am pretty excited for.
Meanwhile, I am working on turning Simply Enchanting into a full time business instead of just the part time as we have done in the past, and increase our linen rental portion.

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