another poll-help me choose my fall marathon!

OK, so I can’t be a trophy wife, but maybe I can be a Boston qualifier in 2009. My only question is where should I try for it? Yeah, I know it may be early but these things fill up mad fast…

So right now-the decision is between the “fall 4” and for entertaiment’s sake I have a poll in the sidebar πŸ™‚

Chicago
Pros-flat and fast, crowd support is as great as NYC, my 1/2 and marathon times would get me a preferred start
Cons-too early=warmer weather?, more travel expenses

Marine Corps
Pros-conveniently located (no need for plane travel), have heard very good things about the course and crowd support, perfectly timed (end of October)
Cons-no corrals by pace?

NYC
Pros-home field advantage, need I say more?
Cons-too hilly to try for a PR? Plus have done this one twice, might be better to try something else…

Philadelphia
Pros-conveniently located (no need for plane travel), have some course familiarity thanks to doing the Philly Distance Run
Cons-a bit late for my tastes (marathon mania will have worn off by the time I’d have to do my last long run), possibility of too-cold weather (29 degrees anyone?), no lineup control at the start?

Right now-I am sorta leaning towards Marine Corps but am open to any other suggestions!! (And there is a place for an “other” write-in vote) However-no spring marathons, as the plan is to race nothing longer than a 10-miler or a half this spring. Year-round marathon training could lead to burnout…another note-I’d prefer to not do a race with a backup in mind…solely for financial reasons-2 marathon fees may not be in the budget…

And any words of advice to sway me one way or the other on the races I’m thinking of would be very helpful πŸ™‚

What should my Fall 2009 marathon be?
( polls)

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14 thoughts on “another poll-help me choose my fall marathon!

  1. Hmmm…I KNOW I’m biased, but I’d take the home field advantage any day of the week. Not only that, but I think the home crowds are better too.But…if i were you, I’d sign up for Chicago, so that if something crazy happens weather-wise, you can defer to a later marathon for another attempt so you don’t waste your training.Either way, best of luck in chasing that B.Q. I’m sure with another year of training and experience, it’s totally going to happen for you this fall!

  2. Those are all really big races – it seems like you’d be better off picking something small so that you don’t have to worry about zigzagging the crowd?Niagara Falls is a great course, but the wind can be unpredictable. If you get lucky with it, it’d be the easiest PR, but the odds of that happening are slim.What about Hartford? I found the course really easy, it’s an easy trip from NYC, and it has enough people to be a really fun race but not crowded.

  3. Ansky-thanks for the vote and your report! I’ll definitely have to read some of your other reports (I grew up in Bergen County and am always looking for out of town races)Laminator-I just edited my post-for now, I want to assume there is no backup race in mind. Really don’t want to pay 2 entry fees if I don’t have to-and wouldn’t Chicago just equal crazy weather anyway? :)Laura-thanks for the Hartford recommendation-that might be a consideration. I find that I like races with a lot of crowd support (and I guess I got lucky last year getting decent start assignments)-and wasn’t sure how the crowd support in Hartford was.Keep them coming, guys!! πŸ™‚

  4. You’re ready to BQ, and your NYC ’08 was so close that I don’t know how you couldn’t if you pick any of these flatter courses. I agree with the Laminator that Chicago offers you the option of doing a later one if necessary. But I’ve heard that those first few miles are horribly crowded. It also means you’ll be training harder in hotter weather for an earlier marathon.MCM has a great reputation. I don’t know much about it, but it must be pretty good.Philly offers you the longest training period and therefore you might feel more confident in your training. Since you start tapering on the day of NYC, I never found the lack of marathon madness mattered. It’s mostly flat; way easier than NYC. Also visually one of the nicest courses I’ve run. And close by, too: a $10 bus ride.And by the way, this year Philly was 26 at the start, not that balmy 29 that you speak of. Do Philly, flygirl.

  5. If I pull one in North America this year it’s def going to be Montreal. I don’t know anyone that’s done it or anything but I’m an architecture freak and the idea of frenchies yelling at me in tongues sounds brilliant. It’s either that or Space Coast. Anything that starts with a shuttle launch is cool with me. I’m swaying more towards Athens if I can get in. It’s only a couple days after my 30th so it’s really quite intriguing ;-).Good luck!

  6. NYC, Philly — for logistics and cost!How about Steamtown or possibly hamptons? Ok so it was a monsoon at the hamptons last year, but im 100% itll be scenic if there wasnt any rain πŸ˜‰

  7. One race I’d like to throw at you is Houston. I ran it in 2005 and it’s an really flat course. If I remember correctly, there are 3 hills and none of them are even close to cat hill. As far as a marathon experience, I had a great one. Flights and rooms are pretty cheap and there is lots of stuff to do. It’s usually over MLK weekend so you don’t really have to take time off work. There is plenty of stuff to do downtown…. You can try to run Chicago and Houston and still have plenty of time,. If you BQ in Chicago, you can switch to the half, or transfer your entry. Training for a January Marathon wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be. There were a few cold days, but it wasn’t bad at all. The weather was perfect. The post race stuff is really good. I can’t say a single bad thing about it. Hamptons is also a pretty good one to try.

  8. lots to think about!! :)Skylight-maybe you and others can shed light on this one-when running Philly, how long after were you able to recover before having to start back up training for Boston? I’m guessing it wasn’t long, and I know myself, I may need more than that. I didn’t take a lot of time off after NYC this year, but then again, I stayed in short distance mode. I guess that is what I meant about the timing. Something to think about, I do know it’s a great race.Chia-very creative reasons for picking our marathons :)Moz-Hamptons is on my birthday this year so definitely no go :-p As for Steamtown, my quads are screaming at the thought of the downhills :-PYan-I’ve heard good things about Houston (especially the half)-for now, I’d just like to keep January as a recovery month-but it is definitely something to consider down the line…

  9. I ran Philly and then did another week or so of VERY easy running before I stopped entirely for over three weeks, and then started up again Jan. 1st. This is not an issue. You’ve been running long enough that when you run your third marathon(Philly) and then take 5 weeks off completely (like I basically did), the fitness level should come back pretty quickly. Today I mapped out my 15 weeks ahead of me, and I’ll still be able to get in three 20 milers before the race. My first long run will be 12 this weekend, ad building up from there.Also – don’t worry too much about training hard for Boston… just enough to get through it. Do your first Boston just to enjoy it!

  10. I liked Marine Corps a lot, but Philly seems like a good choice, too. I’d say either one of those, depending on when you’d like to run it. But I think you already knew my sentiments πŸ˜‰

  11. flygirl,It’s not on your list, but I’m intrigued enough by the Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon that I’ve signed up for it. The timing is perfect, it’s October 11th. It’s not your usual trail marathon- it’s a fast, flat rail trail, with 1200′ ft descent. The race ends at a place called Hobo Camp- how adorable is that?! There will be no crowds, even fewer spectators, but apparently a good percentage of the field qualifies for Boston (14% in the past). Of course it has the downside of being in remote Northern California, but if you sign up for it, and want a road trip buddy, I’m in (although the closest airport is Reno). Sarah, Berkeley, CA

  12. Happy New Year and I will let others advise you on the BQ site, I just wanted to say after reading your last post and this one that (a) you will be better than a trophy wife and (b) no worries because timing is everything as you know from running (which is life) and you have the looks and the coolness so when you least expect it kaboom. :)ps I guess I will do NYCM again because October is playoffs/World Series and I get aced out of those. I would be all over MCM if I could.

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