I know that many of you think I’m certifiably crazy. After all, I chose, not once, but twice to run five half marathons in five days. (Spoiler alert: Center of the Nation 2015, I’m there.) But, if I’m crazy, I had plenty of company and I think YOU should join me next time (and nobody is saying you have to run all five – I’m only running one in the Appalachian Series and two in the Independence Series).
Here’s why the Mainly Marathon series rock!
1. The people
Honestly, I’ve never met a nicer group of runners and volunteers. And by nice, I mean obnoxious and hilarious. And supportive. Some of the runners have run 1000s of marathons. Some of the runners were running their first half marathon. No matter what you were doing or how fast or slow you were doing it, everyone was proud of you. Everyone cheered you on. I think I’m smiling in every single picture – and none of those smiles were the forced ones you do when you see a photographer. Each time I finish a series, my facebook friends numbers grow and I look forward to seeing my new friends at the next series.
2. The bling
Have you seen this bling??? I thought Dust Bowl was awesome, but the Riverboat bling? Unbelievable! You get a medal just for showing up, states medals each time you finish a state, and then a 5 states finisher medal when you finish all five days. Seriously awesome.
3. The food
When told about all the yummy food choices she’d have during the race, Kim’s friend’s response was “So, this will be a calorie positive event.” Yes. Yes, indeed. If you want you could definitely eat more calories than you expend. The aid table was much like that of an ultra – cookies, hard boiled eggs, gummy bears, sandwich pieces… I think one day there was even chicken soup. So, if you run so you can eat, this is truly your race series. (Photo credit: Kim at Just Trying is for Little Girls)
4. The organizers
There are so many things I could say about Clint and his traveling band of gypsies, I mean, race crew. They were super organized and always so upbeat and friendly. And they don’t just run a super organized race! They do an awesome job celebrating and supporting the runners with plaques for first time runners, caboose awards for the last to finish (no runner is left behind in this series!) and celebrations of milestones. At Riverboat this year, one of the runners hit his 100th marathon and another reached Sun status as a Half Fanatic (52 half marathons in 365 days. See, I told you I was the sane one).
5. The opportunity to see America
Most of these races are held in or near small towns in areas of the US where most of us don’t vacation unless we have family. I’m pretty sure I’d never have gone to the tip of the panhandle of Oklahoma without these races. And who knew there was actually a Louisiana Purchase State Park? And Mud Island in Memphis has a scale replica of the Mississippi river. Bet you didn’t know that… Between the last two series that I’ve done, I’ve seen volcanoes, dinosaur tracks, Indian mounds, and random other things that Beer Geek deemed important. (What can I say? He put up with me training all winter and then accompanied me to each race, I can go look at Bubbleland with him…)
I know what you are thinking. You are thinking “she’s drunk the kool-aid” LOL. But really, both the Dust Bowl and the Riverboat series were completely awesome experiences. If we had the finances to do it (and didn’t have kids who have school LOL), I’d run every series. Maybe someday??? Who knew that following an RV around the country running races in small out of the way places would end up on my bucket list?
Especially when received in the middle of 5 half marathons.