The Backyard to Vineyard Challenge they call it. An all new event at the Asheville Marathon & Half at Biltmore Estate. What began as just a marathon in 2013, the folks at IDaph Events have added a Half Marathon in subsequent years, and now have added a double (for double trouble).
Crazy runners (like me), are gearing up for a beast of a challenge in mid-March. Now just four short weeks away I will be running/pacing these events in the mountains of North Carolina. A Half Marathon that celebrates the beauty and history that is The Biltmore Estate, on Saturday March 12th, followed by another pass by the glorious Estate during a 26.2 mile journey through gardens, hills and vineyards the following day. Sounds crazy, right? Well, at least 100 runners are up to the challenge and will receive a commemorative award and special finishers jacket reserved for only the most crazy to finish both events.
This will be my second attempt at running a Half and Full on back to back days. The first time I tried something like this was last July. It’s a very exciting prospect, but not easy. For those of you that have completed two Full marathons back to back are just a bit crazier than me. For now! I will attempt the Full/Full challenge one day in the near future.
So, how does a runners prepare for a challenge such as Backyard to Vineyard? I believe a good dose of mental prep is in order, along with the physical. Being mentally prepared to tackle 39.3 miles over the course of two days will more than likely be easier for me than the physical part. I’m already in talks with my legs and feet, believe me! I know I can do it though! I’ve done it before, and at elevation. This time it won’t be any easier, in fact the course is tougher by a long shot. I will be as ready as ever to conquer!
As a runner, what is your proudest accomplishment? Have you ever tried any crazy challenges that are out there? I love to hear your stories.
BQ-ing was my proudest accomplishment, as it took years to do! My next might be an ultra, but unsure– I will wait to run Boston first! Happe running!
How to prep? I would run a couple back-to-back long runs on the weekends. So, if you’re planning to do a long run of 18 miles or whatever, do it on Saturday, and then throw down 8-10 on Sunday. Build up that muscle endurance and get used to the feeling of running on tired legs.
As for challenges, I’m probably going to run this 10k/5k challenge in my home town on Memorial Day. You run a 10k at 8 a.m. followed by a 5k at 9;30 a.m. Both races are over hilly terrain. It’s not the distance that’s intimidating, but the hard efforts required for each race, and the possibility of cramping up in between. Should be an experience no matter how it goes.
I’ve actually run a challenge like you are doing once before. It’s here in my hometown. A 10k, followed by a 5k right afterward. About a half hour inbetween. It was totally fun, however, I didn’t have the legs to pull off a super fast 5k after really pushing it on the 10k, plus the course is super hilly filled with tons of turns. Have fun with it!
Good luck! I’ll be there for the Full Marathon on Sunday! Looking forward to this race and experience!
Oh, that’s awesome! Have you run it before? This will be my third trip to Asheville. Such a fun and challenging race. I will be pacing there, probably both days. Do you have a goal time for the Full?
I have not run it before, but i am really excited. I’ve heard its a pretty course, and to expect some off-road. I’ll probably start with the 4 hour group and see where things go from there.
What group are you pacing? Any advice?
I actually think I will be the 4:00 pace leader, so I’ll see you there! Miles 2-6 are fairly uphill, so manage your pace well. Second half has some tough spots, and some hills as well. It’s challenging.
I ain’t scared of hills! Hahaha. 😉
Sounds great. The flying pig takes us on a 3 mile climb and then keeps the hills coming after that. I’m no stranger to hills. This’ll be cool!
Yep, see you there! Fingers crossed for 50 degrees and no wind.