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.
Someone may have just said “Throw me some beads, mister”.
That’s all I’m saying.
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.
Dust Bowl Races: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico
Riverboat Races: Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana
30 thoughts on “5 reasons to run a Mainly Marathons series”
Great recap…you got me considering it for about 5 minutes when I promptly realized my hubby would think I was INSANE 🙂
Oh c’mon, it’s not crazy – just fun. ;o)
Very cool! I just love when a race offers So many great things. Those medals are awesome! Glad I found you through the Friday 5 link up!
This series is just the best.series.ever.
The state medal is really cute (as is the food – of course). Thanks for sharing – I did not know this existed.
Well said! Mainly Marathons provides such a unique event. And I agree, it’s a great way to see the US!
That is some serious bling! And you make a good point of seeing America a different way. I’m not sure I could ever run that many half races in one week but you never know. #FridayFive
That’s the fun part – you don’t have to. There were all combinations from 1-5 with people volunteering and sightseeing on the days they weren’t running.
Awesome girl! Congrats on such a great accomplishment!!! And I LOVE the bling!!! 😉
Thanks! And yeah, the bling is pretty darn awesome.
I couldn’t have said it better myself! Great seeing you out there!
This totally sounds like a lot of fun. I have kids in school too and can’t just up and go but boy the thought.
I know. I keep looking at the Heartland Series that’s in June and wishing I could go…
Wow, that bling is amazing, and that food! Yum 🙂 This sounds like so much fun.
It was fun. And the medal is just too awesome.
Sounds like an absolute blast. I’d love to do it one day!
For me, the hard part will be when I’ve done each series – how will I convince Beer Geek to do them again? LOL
This is extremely tempting….
YOU are awesome! Love this… and tempting, very … 🙂
Totally in love with the bling! It’s going to hand below your feet soon! What a fabulous way of traveling and doing what you love to do most 🙂 I might have to check this one out… 🙂
I would love to run any marathon series! Maine specifically would be amazing! I must be just as crazy because I don’t think you’re crazy at all.
So awesome, small town race series, love it! I think you are awesome, such an inspiration! I am glad I came across your blog today!!!
This series sounds awesome! I’m working up to a half….maybe I can run my first by next spring. And when the kiddos are old enough, it would be great to take them to see the sights as well 🙂
Visiting from SITS link-up!
I think that this might have to be on my list – I think I should try to find a series in Hawaii (one on each island, maybe!!).
Really cool – you have me thinking… of course I need those kids to get bigger so I can go off and do ALL THE RACES!
I wish they had a New England one… Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire. Those states are SO expensive to travel to. I’d like to rent an RV, haul the family with and see it all in one big bang. The rest of the states that I need for #RaceAll50, I already have designated wish-list races…
Actually @Run With Jess, Mainly Marathons do have a New England series. It’s new and will be doing the first run next year, August 24-30. They’ll be doing ME, VT, NH, MA, RI, CT and NY. You can do some or all to complete your list.
I just came across this post and I want to drink the kool-aid! I’m already researching info for next year. Living in NC, so that Appalachian Series would be a great place to start.
Wondering how you trained for them? I have done 3 halfs, and want to do 30 halfs in 30 states in 365 days……yeah, ok, I am crazy too! LOL
Seriously though, I would love to hear how you trained for halfs every day for 5-7 days.
I ran 5-6 days a week and just built the mileage up slowly. I would increase by 5-10% for two weeks and then have a low mileage week. Then I’d repeat. Towards the end I had a few 50+ mile weeks. I think I could have gotten away with less mileage, but the back to back runs were key to my training. I’d love to do 30 halfs in 365 days, but that’s not happening anytime soon. I hit 16 this year and may get in one more and I was pretty burned out on racing by the end.