Many of you know that I live in the gently rolling region of central North Carolina. We are not flat, but we certainly are not hilly either. This is a generally rolling place on the map, between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the mountains to the west. I live about an equal distance inbetween the two.
I guess because I grew up in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in NY, my affinity for the mountains has continued well after leaving that area almost 20 years ago. Although I don’t get out to western NC a whole lot, I do love it. It’s peaceful, and laid back. Much slower of a living out there than it is here. I love relaxing in a mountain rental, taking in the sights and sounds, going for hikes and of course running.
If you are an avid reader of my blog, you know I have chosen several marathons to run in the challenging environment of the mountains. I’ve run the Asheville Marathon at Biltmore Estate, the Asheville City Marathon, the Blue Ridge Marathon in Virginia, and most recently Big Cottonwood Marathon in Utah, and the Great Smoky Mountain Half in Tennessee. Even though mountain races are a lot tougher than flat races, I really prefer them for the beauty and challenge of the varying terrain and elevation.
Where am I going with this? Well, two big surprises came my way recently and I wanted to share them now. As my goals and plans for 2015 take shape, deciding between a plethora of races is always a challenge. I love adding new races into the mix, and, well, running favorites again. I will be heading back to Asheville in March to run the Biltmore race. Not the marathon this time around, but the Half. I have been chosen to be the Pace Leader for the 1:45:00 group in the Half. I have paced several Half Marathons and love it. This opportunity is a welcome one, and I will be more than happy to have anyone join my group, as you run for a new PR.
My second mountainous surprise is that I am now registered and ready to take on a new challenge and new marathon in May. The name of the race is actually the New River Marathon. It takes place on May 2, 2015 in the area around the New River in Todd, NC. It’s a small, homegrown event gaining popularity. I’ve had it on my radar for two years now, and the timing finally works out. I will head to the mountains for a two to three day retreat and run a marathon, too. Do you know how thrilled this makes me?
How do you feel about running hills? Mountains? Do you prefer flat race courses? Do you shy away from races that may be tougher because of the elevation changes?
I love a mountainous challenge, and cannot wait for these two big events on my 2015 race calendar.