Here it is. My 2016 race schedule. Well, tentative race schedule.
I think if you’re trying to run in all 50 states, or is someone that just enjoys participating in races, you’re constantly thinking about which race/where to go/what to run next. I’ve been thinking about my 2016 race schedule since January 2015 (and I already have 2017 and 2018 in the works). I’m a planner. I also love to travel, and in order to make that work with my limited vacation time, I have to plan in advance.
My parents are going to Cambodia in November, and I’m hoping to join them for a week. Afterward, I’ll probably split and head solo to Thailand for a bit. This trip will eat up at least a couple of weeks, and so I won’t have as much free time for domestic travel this year, which means I won’t be able to cross off as many states as I did in 2015. No worries though, I’ll just make it up in 2017. 😉
Earlier this month, I thought I had most of my 2016 mapped out, but then discovered that one of the races I was planning on doing was sold out! The race is in MAY and it’s already sold out. It’s the Wallis Sands Half Marathon in Rye, New Hampshire — had no idea Rye was a hot spot and that Wallis Sands was that popular of a race. I’m thinking they just cap it at a low number of participants. The original plan was to run Wallis Sands on Sunday, May 15 and the Maine Coast Half Marathon in Kennebunkport, Maine the day before on May 14. The cities are about 30 miles apart, and I figured knocking two states out in one weekend would help save on travel costs. But I guess I won’t be doing those two states back-to-back this year. I’ll try again next year.
I searched for other races that I could do back-to-back that would enable me to cross two states off in a weekend. There were several, but the timing wasn’t ideal. So for now, this is it:
1. April 16 — RunAPalooza — Asbury Park, New Jersey
The first half marathon of the year will be in Asbury Park, NJ. The race starts and finishes in Asbury Park and goes through iconic Jersey Shore towns. I have a couple of colleagues from New Jersey… I’ll have to ask them if they have any thoughts on the area and/or suggestions for places to eat.
2 and 3. June 11 — Hatfield McCoy — South Williamson, Kentucky and Williamson, West Virginia
My most challenging race of the year will likely be the Hatfield McCoy Double Half Marathon. The first 13.1 miles is in Kentucky, and the second 13.1 miles is in West Virginia. The races will be timed separately. I believe there’s a 3-hour time limit for the first half, and no time limit for the second half. The course takes runners through the history following the Hatfield-McCoy feud (home, shooting sites and graveyard). There’s also a significant change in elevation (i.e., hills!), which adds to the challenge. #Ihatehills
4. July 31 — SF Half Marathon — San Francisco, California
Since #Ihatehills so much, you may wonder why I chose to run in San Francisco for my California race. It was hard to choose a California race because the state is so big. So many races to choose from! My top choices: Big Sur Half Marathon (not actually in Big Sur — it’s in Monterey Bay, and it’s a fast, flat PR course), San Diego Half Marathon, and San Francisco Half Marathon. I chose SF because, well… go big or home, right? I’ll get to say that I ran San Francisco’s hills! Obviously, it’s going to be a tough race. But what I think is cool is that if you’re only running a half (as opposed to the full marathon), you get to choose which half you want to run — first half or second half. (You don’t typically get to choose.) I’m running the first half, which is slightly hillier, but takes me over the Golden Gate Bridge. This is same race my colleague, Kevin, ran. He liked it a lot. Hopefully I will, too.
5. September 10 — Brewers Mini Marathon — Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I’ve never been to Wisconsin. What I hear it’s known for is cheese. The name of this race makes me think of beer though (yes, I am aware of the baseball team), and participants do get two free beers after the race. Free beer is always nice. The course begins and ends at Miller Park and crosses several Milwaukee landmarks. In addition to the beers, runners will also get a Brewers ticket voucher for a free game this season.
6. November 6 – Rock n’ Roll Savannah – Savannah, Georgia
I hear Savannah is a charming southern city similar to Charleston. I loved Charleston when I visited last January, so when people told me they were similar, I knew Savannah was going to be a top choice for my Georgia race. This will be my only Rock n’ Roll race of the year (I did 4 last year!), and likely my last race of the calendar year (unless I find something good to squeeze in at the end). Also, this race isn’t definite — depends on my schedule for my Southeast Asia trip, which I’m unsure of at the moment.
Where are you running in 2016?
P.S. The DC area is getting hit with a blizzard this weekend. I’m all ready: