2016 marathon planning

As I look ahead to 2016 and the races I want to run, I for sure know I want to run Chicago again for my fall marathon. I also want to run a spring marathon, and I’m stuck trying to decide between running Grandma’s for the second year in a row – the 40th anniversary of the event – or the Fargo Marathon.

Fargo Marathon

I decided to make a pros and cons list. I figured, I’ll get my inner feelings on paper and that will help me decide which race is the clear winner.

Fargo Marathon

Pros:

  • Flat & fast = better chance at a PR and improving my qualifying time for Boston 2017
  • Don’t need to seek out hills for training. Good because Chicago is flat
  • Free lodging
  • See family, more supporters could come watch
  • Small town race = less congestion, easier to get around
  • Easy spectating for people who come to watch me
  • Cheaper entry fee
  • Knock out a marathon in another state, bringing my total to 6 states
  • More recovery time before Chicago training
  • Possibly only time I would run Fargo because family lives there now and may be moving next fall

Cons:

  • Small race, less prestige
  • Course may not be very exciting
  • Possibly running alone for portions of the race, no pacers or people to keep pace with
  • Long drive from home

Grandma’s Marathon

Pros:

  • 40th anniversary, lots of prestige and excitement
  • Cool finishers medal and jacket included with race entry
  • Hang out in beautiful Duluth for the weekend
  • Closer to home than Fargo
  • Familiar with the course already
  • Course is beautiful
  • More competitive race and will likely have a larger group to run with at 3 hour pace
  • June race, most likely warmer conditions than Fargo race

Cons:

  • Most likely less family support
  • Not a spectator friendly course
  • More expensive entry fee than Fargo
  • Cost of hotel/dorm
  • Wake up really early to get to start line in Two Harbors
  • Quick turn around before I have to start training for Chicago Marathon

This exercise helps my decision making process. However, I’m still not completely decided. I will let it simmer for a couple more weeks and probably register later this month or in the first part of January, before entry fees go up.

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