Monday, October 28, 2013

My Marathon Bucket List.

When I was in college I made a life bucket list. One of the top five things I wanted to do was complete a half marathon. Now, three halfs and a full later, I figured it would be fun to make a branch of bucket list. One just for marathons. They are in no particular order, just as I remembered them. 

1. Disney Marathon - Orlando, Fl. 

Who wouldn't want to run in the happiest place on earth? Characters line the streets waiting for photo ops with runners, costumes are completely encouraged and a little bit of Disney magic along the way. Sign me up! 

Disney holds a really special place in my heart. I got engaged in Cinderella's Castle back in 2008. I am very lucky to be able to cross this bucket list race off in 2014, competing in the Goofy Challenge. Half marathon on Saturday and full marathon on Sunday making 39.3 miles over the weekend. 

2. Chicago Marathon - Chicago, Ill. 

I am very drawn to the city of Chicago without ever visiting (which will change in March for the outdoor hockey game). There is something that has to attract the attention of 45,000 runners each year. With a fast course in the beginning of October, it seems to be a win-win situation for all. 

3. Big Sur International Marathon - Carmel, Ca. 

Nature is awesome, and it is clearly on display at the Big Sur International Marathon. Crossing bridges overtop of huge gorges and beautiful coastlines attract runners from all over to participate. I am drawn to this race because it makes you really take in the experience. You can't miss it, it surrounds you the entire time. I feel like I need to be a little older to run this marathon to truly enjoy what it is. 

4. Marine Corps Marathon - Arlington, Va. 

When my family came over to America in the early 1900's, it was so my great grandfather could have his family serve in the United States Armed Forces. An Irish Veteran, each of his three sons joined the service for World War II. My grandfather was the lone Marine. From there my father joined the Marines straight out of high school. I am privileged enough to have (and had) these amazing me to show me what true strenght is, that I could only hope to do this race one day. 

5. Niagara Falls International Marathon - Niagrar Falls, Ontario. 

To get the opportunity to say that I ran through two countries in a race would be pretty amazing. This race is also always in October which provides the most beautiful scenery in upstate New York/Ontario. Running with Niagara Falls next to you and a flat straight away finish, sign me up for sure. 

6. Toronto Marathon - Toronto, Ontario. 

For a large city, the Toronto Marathon only draws about 3,000 participants yearly. It is a very fast course. Mostly downhill and along water. It is in May, so the breeze off the lake would be a welcomed addition. I love Canada. I think it is a wonderful country and want to explore more of it. I have never been to Toronto and would love to make my first trip for this race. 

7. Rock and Roll Las Vegas - Las Vegas, Nv. 

Las Vegas is an interesting enough place as it is. So, let's shut down the strip one night and let some crazy runners run a marathon. Sounds like fun! Sign me up! I went to Vegas a few years ago and I only really liked it at night. I also really want to see how on earth they pull something like this off. 

8. The New York City Marathon - New York, Ny. 

Growing up about an hour and a half from NYC, we always took field trips up to the city to see broadway shows, visit the financial district or even to go see a sporting event. Even in the aftermath of Sandy, the marathon seemed to be the biggest controversy. Yet, professional football games continued with sold out crowds. (I need to stop myself now before I rant). In any case, I never have any interest in going back to NYC, except to run this race. Shutting down the city for 40,000 people to run seems nearly impossible, but on my race bucket list for sure. 

9. Gettysburg North South Marathon - Gettysburg, Pa. 

I am really lucky to live in Pennsylvania, even though I don't always love it. There is so much history in the Keystone State. Gettysburg is a truly amazing place, and if you even have the opportunity to go there you will understand why it draws the attention of so many. Runners are split up in teams, the North and the South. The team with the highest score wins. This is a young race, but the concept is great as you race through the historic battlefields and town. 

10. Boston Marathon - Boston, Mass. 

I have no idea if I will ever get the chance to qualify for Boston, but if you are doing a race bucket list, it better be on it. I remember sitting on my computer watching the lead pack cheering for Shalane to run faster. I left for work and got a text from a friend about the bombings. I wanted to throw up. I felt so awful for those runners, and was instantly scared because my first marathon was less than three weeks away. I love seeing the amount of people who are not afraid and want to protect the honor of the Boston Marathon. Hopefully one day. 

So that is my marathon bucket list. If there are races I need to do plead lets me know! I am open for traveling to new places and love that I can do it while participating in the sport I love. 

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