I spend hours researching race offerings, reading race reviews, looking at race websites, and running calendar scenarios (no pun intended). If it weren't for the cost, I would run a race every weekend! But I am trying to be realistic and limit myself to the races that make the most sense for me from a timing, logistical, and value proposition perspective. Although, a woman can still dream, right?
I generally prefer races that are 15K or longer because distance is more of my overall focus. I'm not as big on 5Ks because I feel like I can easily run and time a 5K on my own. Plus, I find 5Ks more difficult than longer races because 5Ks are pretty much a complete sprint, and I much prefer running slower paces over extended distances. However, there are a couple of exceptions to the 15K minimum distance that will draw very strong consideration - those being the Home Team Charity 10K and the Mad Dash to Madison 5K. (The Chicago Blackhawks sponsor both.)
Here are the races I've already signed up for this year along with some races that I am considering (considerations are denoted in italics):
- March 18 - Get Lucky Half Marathon. This is an inaugural race and they are still finalizing the details. The timing is good, though, so assuming the registration fee and course are reasonable, I am about 90% sure I'll sign up for this.
- April 22 - Home Team Charity 10K. Expensive, but by far the most fun I've ever had at a race. Last year I got to meet Tony Esposito and Grant Mulvey (Hawks legends), saw the White Sox and Bulls championship trophies in person (unfortunately no Stanley Cup), and got my picture taken with South Paw (White Sox mascot)! Benny the Bull and Tommy Hawk (Bulls and Blackhawks mascots, respectively) were also there but Adam is wary of Tommy Hawk after an incident from a Hawks-Penguins game last year (NOTE: said incident occurred at approximately 3:15 PM that day).
Adorably fuzzy White Sox mascot!
- April 28 - CARA Lakefront 10-Miler. Hopefully Cricket Hill won't bury thy flatlander.
- April or May TBD - Chicago Spring Half Marathon. They have had trouble setting a date due to the G8 Summit in Chicago. However, this is a comparatively affordable race and I wanted to redeem myself after last year's weather disaster.
- July 22 - Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon. My first RnR race ever. I was able to take advantage of an 11.11.11 registration discount otherwise this race would be too expensive for me.
- September TBD - Mad Dash To Madison 5K. I'm 50-50 on this because of its timing in proximity to the Chicago Marathon, but it's part of Blackhawks Training Camp Festival!
- October 7 - Chicago Marathon. No further words necessary.
- November 3 - Really Big Free Marathon and Half Marathon in Henderson, NV. I'm signed up for this but am not sure if I'll maintain my registration due to the travel involved. The course is extremely hilly. But you can't beat free registration, right?
- November 9-10 - Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. Even though it's on the expensive side and requires travel, I would love love LOVE to run this race. Food, running, and Disney are three of my favorite things and this race combines all three! Last year this race took place the week before the Chicago Marathon, so I thought I'd have to make a choice between the two. I was thrilled when they announced the later date this year!
- December TBD - Rock N Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon. This is a stretch due to the travel required and because it's so expensive, but it would be an awesome experience to race on the Strip!
- Any of the Disney races
- Honolulu Marathon and really any race in Hawaii
- Big Sur
- San Diego
- Domestically, I obviously wouldn't turn down the opportunity to run New York, Marine Corps, or Boston (though I will probably never qualify for Boston).
- Le Marathon du Medoc (southern France)
- Sparkasse 3-Laender (you run through Austria, Switzerland, and Germany!)
- Midnight Sun (in Norway)
- Any race in Italy
- Honorable mentions: Dublin, Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Portland, Victoria, Prince Edward Island, Edinburgh, London.
Allright. In a valiant attempt to avoid getting any more out of control than I already am (a foregone conclusion, I know), I'll just stop here.
In other words, I'll keep dreaming beyond comprehension...but I just won't put any more of it in writing!