During this weekend's Nike training run, my pace group was chit chatting about what races we were training for. One girl mentioned that she was running the Nike full marathon this fall to "avenge" her race from last year. I could sympathize - I also ran the full last year and found it challenging on a number of levels (the hills, the course, the fact that it was unusually warm that day, etc). It sounded like it was a lot rougher for her - I guess she had stopped sweating during the last third of the race. Yikes!
Mine wasn't that bad... but I definitely didn't give it my best. The thing is - I'm OK with that. Nike full: 1, Audrey: 0. I was glad I did it but there was no way I would sign up for that again. My full list of grievances can be found here but in short, I personally thought the route of the second half of the course was just plain cruel.
So I started thinking - are there any other races that I wouldn't repeat?
Races I'm Glad I Have Run but Wouldn't Run Again
1. Nike Women's *Full* Marathon: see link above
2. Bay to Breakers 12K: It was definitely cool to see it from a sober runner's perspective (Update: I did the drinking version from 2001-2006), but next time I participate in this event, I want to be parked on a comfy lawn chair in Golden Gate Park watching the parade of drunken nonsense go by. BTW - I still have an unfinished race report for this one. Someday I'll finish it... someday...
3. Wharf to Wharf: This is a fun race that I think all bay area runners should do once. It's another point to point race from Santa Cruz to Capitola (beach towns). It's more of a fun run and it sells out every year at ~15,000 participants. The race also gets a ton of bandits so as you might imagine, the actual race is very, very crowded. For the entire 6 miles, I was trying to strategize on where to find the next open pocket to run in. Plus it's a huge pain trying to get back to the start using the provided shuttle busses. But the scenery is nice, the neighborhoods are fun to run through, and the finish line is about 100 ft from Margaritaville!
And just to show I'm not a complete bitter betty, here's my list of winners!
Races I Have Run and Would Love to Run Again
1. Nike Women's *Half* Marathon: The half is a wonderful experience and I think all women should add it to their "must run" list. I hate to exclude the men, but c'mon, the big draw for this race is the Tiffany necklace handed out by men in tuxedos at the finish line. But I also love how the event empowers women, teaches us that we are all athletes, and also supports the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. The course is very scenic and challenging as well. I didn't get accepted into the lottery this year but am hoping to earn a spot through the Nike club runs.
2. Walt Disney World Marathon: Definitely not one to run for a PR, but if you're a Disney fan, this race is so much fun! I loved running through the parks and there were tons of characters on the course to entertain you between the parks. I'm skipping 2009 but would like to shoot for the Goofy Challenge (Half on Sat, Full on Sun) for 2010.
3. Cleveland Turkey Trot 5 miler: This is a more of local race, but it's quickly becoming my new tradition. I like the idea of doing a race the day you know you're going to really chow down, especially when it's in your hometown.
What races would make your lists?