A Unique Opportunity

Every now and then something really special happens.  Something that just doesn’t happen every day.  This coming weekend one of those moments in time will occur for me.

Most of you know that I love to pace races.  I will be pacing a marathon for the first time in 2016.  I’ve had opportunities to do this in the past, but have just not jumped at it.  Half marathons though are another story.  I think I’ve paced somewhere around 10 Halves over the past few years.  It’s such a fun way to give back to my fellow runners and the running community in general.

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The unique opportunity that I am talking about is kinda cool.  This Sunday, at the Bull City Race Fest Half Marathon, site of my first pacing experience a few years ago, my son and I will BOTH be pacing.  We are pacing together!  Father and son.  We are pacing the 8:30 per mile pace group.

This will be my sons first pacing job.  I cannot wait, it is going to be so much fun.  Pacing together will give us the unique opportunity to run side by side for the entire 13.1 miles.  Normally he is out in front of me, or he is running a Half and I am running a Full.  This time we get to run together, be vocal, and help our fellow runners get to the finish line.  Talk about a unique opportunity!  Thanks to Bull City!  These race photos should be really great!

Oh, and I haven’t forgotten about a recap for the Chicago Marathon.  I have been gathering my thoughts for a few days, and as soon as I have enough time to write them all out I will.  Just a small teaser though, it was another fantastic time in Chicago.  An amazing race of epic proportions.  If you haven’t, you’ve got to put Chicago on your race calendar!

#RunAllAmerican Marathon Discount

The time is now!  You’ve got about a week to score the biggest discount of the season on the All American Marathon 4/3/16.

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I will be returning to run this race for the third straight time in 2016, and you can get in right now on the lowest pricing plus a $20 discount until 10/15/15.

Use code “RUNALLAMERICAN20” at checkout for the discount.

Hope to see you there!

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Asheville Marathon Maniac & Fanatic Discount

The world is full of all sorts of challenges.  Inequality, extreme weather and climate change, economic collapse, oil and water shortages, hunger, among many, many others.  Over the last 50 years the human population has nearly tripled, and with that come epic challenges that we all must face as inhabitants of this beautiful planet.  These challenges though cannot be overcome in a day, or two for the matter.  It will take years and years of hard work.  We may never see full solutions to these challenges.  Ever.

Wait…. this post is meant to be light.  It’s about challenges.  So let me change the focus of our challenges to the good kind.  Challenges we look forward to, challenges we take on with gusto.  Challenges we set out to conquer!

I am a runner.   My main goal today is to let you know about a new challenge for the running community. As the population grows, naturally the runner population grows.  We are an ever growing and ever changing group.  We are challenge seekers, and often find ourselves setting higher and higher standards for ourselves.  We can, we will.  Never give up.  A few mantras I’ve heard lately.

In working with the running community and getting to know so many of you through running races and social media, my love for our sport has grown and grown.  When I run a great race, I want to tell everyone about it.  It’s really the reason I started blogging about my running in the first place.  So, let me share with you some news about the Asheville Marathon & Half at Biltmore Estate today.

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This race has grown and grown in popularity in the last few years.  Why?  Location, swag, race course, yes, all of those.  An amazing event which has sold out each year.  For 2016, the races will be held on separate days.  An exciting weekend event.  The Half Marathon on March 12th.  The Full Marathon on March 13th.  But wait!  (Herein lies the challenge I’ve eluded to) Run both!  The Backyard to Vineyard Challenge.  Run both races on back to back days.

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IDaph Events, which puts on this fantastic event (among others), recognizes the need to reward runners of all kinds.  They welcome the first time Half Marathoner, they welcome the very seasoned Marathoner.  They don’t discriminate.  This year they are recognizing those of us who love a challenge.  The Asheville Marathon & Half is now offering special discounts to Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics who may just want to descend on Asheville and take on a new and exciting challenge.

Here are is details….  and discounts…

If you want to run just the Half, save $10 by using code “2016AVLHALFMARATHONMANIAC”

Want to run the Full?  Save $20 using code “2016AVLMARATHONMANIAC”

Run both races?  Take on the Challenge and save $30 using code “2016MANIACCHALLENGE”

I think it’s very cool when a race recognizes the running maniac/fanatic in each of us.  These two groups consist of approximately 24,000 runners worldwide, and growing.  So?  What are you waiting for?  Jump on the bandwagon and score some awesome discounts to run at the Biltmore Estate next year!  They are celebrating us runners, so let’s take them up on it!

Check out all of the details on the race here:  https://www.ashevillemarathon.com

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Revel Rockies 2016 Discount

Act now using code “ROCKIES16” to save $10 off the cheapest prices for next years race.  This code expires at the end of the day on 9/30/15.

Using that code, plus the $5 discount for “liking them” on Facebook during checkout, equates to $15 of savings…..

But wait!  I’ve created a team “Chasing Boston” for the event.  If you join my team during registration, you’ll save another $5.

Just click “Join A Team”, and enter that name.  This race is not a relay, nor do we have to run in a group, or even have to know each other.  It’s simply a way for us all to save some dough when we sign up.

Don’t worry, if you miss the deadline on 9/30/15, you can still sign up on my team anytime before race day 2016 and still save $5 off of current registration prices when you sign up.

See?  Simple…  Let’s save some money and go for Boston at the Rockies race next June.

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2016 Revel Big Cottonwood Discount

Registration is already open for Big Cottonwood Marathon & Half for 2016.  Talk about a jump start!  The 2015 race was just a few weeks ago.  They open it early so that folks can plan in advance, and get in on the lowest pricing.

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With that being said, current pricing is as follows, and will stay at this price until 4/12/16.

Half Marathon $79.95

Full Marathon $99.95

My plan is to head back to Utah for this race in 2016 (since it’s one of my absolute favorites) and have created a team that you can join for an even lower price.  Joining my team gets you an additional $5 off current pricing, and if you “Like” them on Facebook during checkout they offer another $5 off.

My team name is “Chasing Boston”, so when registering, just choose “join a team”, and enter that name.  We don’t have to run together, but we can save money together, right?  This past race I had over 20 people join my team, all saving money along the way.

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The Big Cottonwood course is a fast, downhill race that qualifies tons of folks every year for Boston, hence the team name I chose.  So?  What are you waiting for?  Join in on the fun in Salt Lake City.  You may even see a moose or two during your race down Cottonwood Canyon.

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Marine Corps Half Marathon- Race Recap

This past Saturday, 9/19/15, my oldest son and I ran an amazing race together.  A new Half Marathon to us, but a tried and true tradition for years about a two and a half hour drive from home.  This race has been on my radar for a few years now, but timing and obligations always seemed to get in the way.  Not this year!  Back at the beginning of the Summer my son called me and said “let’s sign up for a race”.  You know me, I love running races with my boys, so I searched and searched to find us a race.  Because I didn’t have a September marathon planned this year, this Half Marathon at Camp LeJeune was the perfect choice.

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This race would be my sons 5th Half, and my 29th!  The weather the week prior to the race was finally cooling off a bit.  For a few weeks I had been able to get in some training runs in more moderately warm conditions versus down right hot ones.  My son was taking this race very seriously.  He has recently gotten a lot fitter, and had really taken training for this race to a new level for him.  Based on the runs he had in the month leading up to the race, I knew if he had a good day that he would leave Dad in the dust right at the start.  Time would tell.

This race location is an interesting one for us.  Being about 150 miles away from home, it seemed too close to commit to an overnight in a hotel, but meant getting up mega early on race morning to drive there.  I chose to drive on race morning since they offered race day packet pick up.  It was way more difficult to do this than I had ever imagined.  We had to leave the house by 3am!!  Yes, 3:00am.  Ugh!  It wasn’t a big deal to my son, who threw on some headphones, and curled up in the passenger seat.  To me?  Not fun!  Because of added security measures at Camp LeJeune, they suggested we get there 90 minutes before the race.  We had to submit personal info prior to the race like drivers license info, make and model of the car I would be driving, etc..  Getting there early would mean I would have the needed time to get my parking pass, find parking on base, pick up our packets, and get prepared to race.  It all worked out just fine, it was just a very long morning.

Our race preparations went as planned.  I was a bit disappointed that the cooler morning temperatures of the prior week had decided to end abruptly that day.  When I had gotten up at 1:30am, the temperature was 70 degrees.  By the time the race started it was 72, and humid.  We hydrated the best we could before the race began, and I hoped for the best.

This race also includes a 5k, and 10k so there were plenty of runners everywhere.  A very nice large holding area/finish area, it never felt too crowded but I knew that based on previous runnings of this event that there was over 1,000 runners there ready to race.  We lined up at 6:45, and promptly at 7am, the race began.  I told my son to race smart, and to hydrate and be sure to take his gels.  Within the first 30 seconds he was well out in front of me.  I hoped he hadn’t gone out too fast, only to lose it on the second half.  United States Marines manned intersections and kept traffic under control.  Since this entire race course was taking place in their home it was only fitting.

The race course was quiet and mostly flat.  I was clocking mile paces in the 7:30 range at the beginning. This would change, and all too soon.  It was incredibly sticky outside, and by mile three began to feel more like I was running through a swamp and not running on the road.  It was tough.  The condition were not ripe for a brilliantly fast race for me, and considering I had run another Half Marathon six days prior, I wasn’t trying to set any records.  I just knew it wouldn’t happen, especially with the heat of the morning.  The race course was beautiful though.  Several signs along the way, families in their driveways cheering us on.  It felt cozy and warm.  The section of the race course along the water was very scenic and tranquil.

My race shirt usually gets soaked with sweat during a race, but this was extreme.  My shirt was soaked by mile five, and my shorts were already getting that way.  I had a guy pass me around mile five that was literally dripping from head to toe.  He was drenched!  I think he was almost leaving wet footprints as he ran by me.  It was humid!  I was enjoying myself though, and found myself hoping that I would never catch another glimpse of my son until the finish line.  I wanted him to have a great race.  He trained hard for it, and I wanted him to succeed.

My race felt dauntingly slow.  As my pace crept upward I made a goal to come in faster than 1:49:00, a mark I was using to pace myself the prior week at the Carowinds Half.  I felt this goal was achievable, even in the heat.  Beyond the midway point in the race the pack was very thin.  I raced in and around the same group of guys for quite some time.  We traded positions at every aid station.  Water was every two miles on the course up to mile 8, and then every mile until the finish.  I knew based on how much I was sweating that I had better take advantage of each one until the end.  I would skip the last one.

The later miles were tough.  I just wanted to finish.  The effort I expended during this race was far more than my previous race, and it was all because of the heat and humidity.  It really zonked my energy.  Nearing the end, I couldn’t wait to see my son.  I wanted to know how he did.  I never caught up to him, but found myself doing a double take at mile 13 when I ran up next to an ambulance and medics loading a runner onto a stretcher.  Luckily it wasn’t him, but felt badly for that guy.  Been there, done that.  Not fun.  Racing in these conditions can land you in the hospital if not properly prepared.

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The finish line finally in view, I managed to hold my pace under my goal.  I crossed the line in 1:48:08.  Receiving my medal from a U.S. marine in uniform was very nice!  My son was there to congratulate me and tell me all about his run.  We swapped war stories of the heat and how we managed to push through to the finish.  He beat me by about four minutes.  He did start out too fast, and really slowed down the last few miles.  He was pleased though with his race.

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We gathered some water and Gatorade, and tried to cool down.  Once we did, we walked right over to the car to change clothes.  It was nice to be able to do that so easily.  The car was right there!  I guess that was a benefit to getting there early that morning.  We made our way over to the large lawn that was filled with runners, family and friends.  They had quite the spread.  Tons of food, everything from funnel cakes to hotdogs, and everything inbetween.  Fruit, sweets, beer, the list goes on and on.  It was very nice.  My calves started cramping up the minute I sat down.  Even though I tried my best to stay hydrated, the heat, sun and humidity of the morning left me a bit dehydrated.

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We hung around for the award ceremony, you know, just in case one of us won something.  Plus it was just a really nice atmosphere, and much needed recuperation time before driving back home.  I’m glad we stuck around!  As they began announcing the Half Marathon awards they started with teams, then masters, then age groups.  Low and behold, my name was announced!  Second place!  Then, as they progressed to the younger age groups, my sons name was announced, too.  He had won second place in his age group!

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We were both thrilled!  The medals are beautiful, too!  We couldn’t have asked for a better way to cap off this event than with an extra medal each!  Father and son had succeeded the best we could that day given the conditions.  I’m so glad we finally ran this race, and I have to say, may become a tradition for us.  A cooler day would have been more optimal, but we had a great time together.

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My son finished in 65th place out of 975 runners!  Just amazing!  His time was 1:44:39

I finished 94th with a 1:48:08.

Run & Ride Carowinds Half Marathon- Race Recap

Everything about this event screams FUN!  Unless you aren’t an amusement park fan, this event has awesome written all over it.

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My son and I got up bright and early on Saturday morning to make the three hour road trip to just outside of Charlotte, NC., to Carowinds Amusement Park.  The plan was this…  Get down there close to the opening of the park that day, and head straight to packet pick up.  Once packets picked up, we would have the full day to enjoy the park, and take in as many roller coasters as possible.  The car ride down was easy, and with gas prices at $2.00/gal., a cheap trip at that!

I haven’t been to Carowinds in easily 10 years, so when the opportunity presented itself to pace this event with Beast Pacing, I jumped on it.  Pacing meant a comped entry, and free admission to the park for the entire weekend.  My son just wanted coasters, not running.  His soccer season at school is a few weeks into the season and he has a game tonight, so he didn’t want his legs to be wrecked from running.  I don’t blame him.  His decision not to run meant he got to sleep in on race morning, too!  Score for him!

The weekends weather forecast was a little iffy leading up to Saturday, and in fact we had some rain on the way there.  Once at the park though, the clouds threatened all day, but it never rained.  We had an amazing time riding Afterburn, Carolina Cobra, Carolina Cyclone, Fury 325, Intimidator, and Nighthawk.  I have to admit, even at my age, I am like a kid when it comes to coasters.  Love them!  We rode several of the rides multiple times!  Fury 325 was just amazing!  Over and over and over and over again!  Couldn’t get enough of it.

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We had an absolute blast!!  If you’ve never been to Carowinds, you have to go.  They have the best coasters in the Southeast!

We left the park, early in the evening, and checked into our hotel, which was a whopping 1/4 of a mile from the entrance to the park.  I knew this meant race morning would be a breeze, which is why I chose it.  After relaxing for a few we went out to dinner for fajitas, chips and salsa.  It was delish!  After dinner settled in our bellies, we made our way over to the park again for a few more rides before calling it a day. I had a race to run in the morning!

Race morning was such a breeze.  Being so close meant that I didn’t have to get up mega early.  I got some coffee in me and went outside to check the weather.  It was about 60 degrees, which seemed quite cool.  I was pumped about that!  I had to meet up with the other pacers at 6:45, with the race starting at 7:30am.  Since Beast Pacing is pacing all of the Run & Ride events this season, I had a really nice pacing shirt to wear.  I met my fellow pacers right on schedule, and we were ready to race.

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The sunrise was beautiful that morning.  Absolutely the best weather for a race, and I was ready.  I was pacing the 1:50:00 group, and met a bunch of runners who were aiming for my goal time.  We chatted at length, swapping stories, and talking strategy.  My goal was to aim for an 8:20 per mile pace in the beginning, knowing that would put us at a 1:49:00 finish time.  I typically build in a few seconds in case the course is a bit short or long, so that there is time to adjust nearing the finish if necessary.

The race course on the map was very confusing, but we were told by the RD that the course was well marked by cones and directional markers, as well as volunteers at each critical juncture.  It was a looping course in and around the amusement park, and because there was also a 10k going on at the same time, we would have to pay close attention to the route markers.  We had no trouble finding our way.

The one thing that I had feared going into this race started coming to fruition very quickly.  Because of all of the turns and twists and loops in the course, I had really worried about my Garmin matching up with the race route markers.  It was painfully obvious that just after the first mile, we were off, and not by just a little.  Have you ever run a race where your timing device didn’t match up to the mile markers on the course?  I tried to dismiss it, hoping that over the course of the run my mileage would match back up with the course, but it never did.

By the end of the first mile on my Garmin we were sitting at an overall pace of 8:18, but mile marker 1 was .2 miles behind us.  I figured, just keep even pace and go.  The run felt so easy to me.  Maybe it was the nice cool temperature and low humidity that I was enjoying.  That in combination with the conversation with my group really made the miles tick by ever so effortlessly.  I felt good.  My group consisted of a girl running her first Half, a woman who had recently lost 100+ pounds, a gentleman from China here on business, a couple from the area that had run the race the year prior, and plenty of other folks that drifted forward and back as the race wore on.  From time to time I would ask the others where the mileage was on their devices, and we were all over the place.  By the mid point of the race, my mileage was a full 1/2 mile behind the course signs.  I just couldn’t understand how we could all be so off from the route markers, but we were.  I plodded along, keeping our pace though.

We ran around, looping back through the course for a second pass.  This time the loop was a little different, with a different finish of course.  The young girl running her first Half had left us in the dust at some point about four miles into the race, but curiously appeared about four miles later behind me.  Hum, I wondered.  She must have had to stop to use the bathroom or something, because I know we never caught up to her.  But there she was, by my side again.  I said ” where did you come from?”  She told me she had made a wrong turn, following the 10k route a few miles back, and didn’t realize it.  She had to backtrack to the Half route, and then catch back up to us.  I felt bad, but knew it was a typical rookie mistake.  It’s happened to me before, I know that!

Nearing the final 5k, the race was going perfectly for me.  Even pace still, sitting at 8:22 per mile overall.  We neared another sign.  The sign was mile marker 11.  My Garmin ticked 10 miles on the dot when we hit that sign.  A FULL MILE OFF!!!  OMG!  What to do?  Do I slow down, or keep my pace?  I started thinking at this point that I was going to get to the finish way early.  When I pace for Beast Pacing, I have to be within a minute of my projected finish time, but never over.  I thought to myself, well, I can always walk the last mile if I have to, but there were never any clocks on the course to really get a feel for if my timing was off, or if the course was just short.  I carried on knowing I could always walk, or even stop if necessary to hit my goal time.

The time came, the final mile.  My overall time was like 1:30:00?  What do I do with this?  A mile to go, and 20 minutes to burn.  I was flabbergasted.  So I slowed way down, and I mean way down.  So not my nature to slow down at the end of a race, mind you.  It irked me to the core!  But there I was, finally within view of the finish line clock, and it read 1:41:00.  So, I implemented my Plan B.  I turned around and began doing laps of the final two tenths of the course, cheering on runners as they caught up to me, and then running them to the finish.  I would double back again, and run another group in to the finish area.  Then again.  I just was trying to burn time on the clock, helping as many people as I could.  Eventually I could see 1:49:00 on the clock, so I decided it was my turn to finally finish.

The clock read 1:49:21 as I hit the mat.  After hearing my name announced, I grabbed a water, and found pacers that were ahead of me on the course.  I asked them about the mileage they had on their Garmins.  They were all off, too.  So, in the end, after checking with about six other people, we knew the course was short.  Really short.  I think the general consensus was about 3/4 of a mile short.  It was really too bad.  If I had been racing this course not pacing, I would have had a huge PR.  But then again it really wouldn’t have been since the course was short.

Looking at the final results, I’m sure that most folks got “PR’s” since the course was short, but other than that it was a fabulous race.  Well supported by volunteers, perfect weather and a great atmosphere.  I would run it again for sure, but hope the course would be measured more accurately next time.  🙂

image image imageGreat bling!  Great weekend of coasters!  After chatting up some of the folks in my group, I went back to the hotel to change clothes.  My son was just waking up when I got there.  Ah! the life of a teenager.  We checked out of the hotel, and headed right back to the park for four consecutive rides on Fury 325 before heading home.  It was a great weekend!  Half Marathon #28 in the books!

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A Roller Coaster Week of Running

I have had so many ups and downs during this training cycle that I sometimes feel that this roller coaster isn’t going to stop any time soon.  Heat, humidity, rain, sore feet, new running shoes and even lack of desire have really hampered my training for the last month.  I have one thing on my side though as I head into Fall racing season.  Experience.

If I was a newbie runner right now, I would be really worried about what lies ahead over the next two months out there on the race course.  Thankfully I have many races under my belt, and plenty of good and bad runs to glean information from.  I’ve had lulls before, times when I just didn’t enjoy the run.  Times when my pace was just sort of blah.  Times when one day is good, the next is really bad.  This bumpy ride has to end soon, and I know it will.  Experience tells me this.

This past training week I did manage to get in a 10k training run in between the rain, work schedule and heat.  In addition to that run, which wasn’t terrible, I managed several other shorter runs.  I don’t feel completely ready for my Half Marathon this Sunday, but I know it will come together.

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My 17 year old son and I will be heading to Charlotte this weekend to enjoy some time together.  I brief trip away to enjoy some roller coasters in the park, and a race.  My first race this Fall season, I am pacing the 1:50:00 finish group at this Sundays Run & Ride Half Marathon at Carowinds.  Will I be ready?  Of course I will!  I’ve received all of the pre race emails, and info on packet pick up.  I’ve gotten the low down on when and where us pacers will meet up prior to the race.  All that’s really left are a few short pace runs before the weekend, and driving down there on Saturday morning.  My son has actually chosen to sleep in on Sunday morning and not run at all.  He will be missing out on a fun race, I’m sure, but looking back on my own childhood, I probably would have chosen to sleep in too when I was 17.

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So, here’s to a very literal trip to roller coaster land this weekend.  I truly feel like my training has given me a very good start at being ready to ride some coasters this weekend.  It has been nearly two months since my last race, so I am ready to get back to it!  Feet don’t fail me now!  Chicago and New York are getting ever so close now and I want to have great marathons.  This weekend kicks off what I hope will be an amazing Fall 2015 race season.

What do you do when a race gets CANCELLED?

Up until recently my racing over the years has been relatively 99% unaffected by delays, weather, or even cancellations.  It happens though, inevitably.  If not to me, than to you, or your friends.

I’ve been in races that were delayed 10 minutes, 20 minutes, even a half hour, due to logistics.  Either waiting on more runner filled buses to arrive at the starting line, or a train on the course, or traffic congestion on race morning.  Things happen.  We can all agree on that.  Sometimes the weather even plays a roll, although I have been incredibly lucky when it comes to even rain during a race.  I can count on one hand how many times it has rained/snowed during one of my races.  Snow in Asheville, rain in Hilton Head.  I haven’t been through a major disappointment like the folks that were signed up to run the New York City Marathon a few years ago when Hurricane Sandy forced cancellation altogether.  What do you do when a race cancels?

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My last marathon in Colorado had logistical issues.  Luckily I was a marathoner, and made it to the starting line with time to spare.  Others weren’t that lucky, and Half Marathoners got the shaft completely when the number of contracted buses for the event failed to show up, meaning 1,000’s were sent home when the Half was cancelled a mere hour before the event was to take place.  I would have been livid, if that were me.  All the travel related expenses I forked out to get there, and no race?  Wow!  But, it’s a risk we all take.  Who buys travel insurance anyway?

Just yesterday another race cancelled altogether.  The Greensboro Marathon scheduled for mid October cancelled due to low numbers of registrations.  They debated the thought of canceling for weeks, and finally had to cancel because the race would have cost more to put on than the fees being paid in to run it.  It’s very disappointing.  This particular race I was pacing, so it clearly wasn’t my “A Race” this Fall.  I guess knowing this far in advance, it gives those that were specifically training for this marathon the opportunity to find another race.

A race being cancelled can be heartbreaking though for anyone involved.  I felt horribly for all those runners that didn’t get to run the Rockies Half.  Again, things happen.  Both races I have referred to here in this post both offered full refunds for anyone registered, so kudos to them.  Sometimes this could put a race company out of business.  I’m surprised Revel Races could afford to refund 3,000 or so entries especially after everything race related was already paid for.  I hope they bounce back even stronger than before.  This is the same wish I have for the folks at Trivium Racing who not only put on the Greensboro Marathon, but other races in the area.  As runners we must forgive when event cancellations occur.  It may be tough at the time, but we must.

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So, question for the day.  Have you ever been involved in a race being cancelled?  What did you do?  Did you get a refund, or just have to suck it up?  Good races, and great race companies need to be forgiven and given another chance as far as I am concerned.  Anxious to hear your thoughts.

My Fall 2015 Race Calendar

This Summer has been a mixed bag.  Some great runs, some not so great.  I guess that happens a lot in the summertime, at least it does for me.   I can never make any wild predictions on how my training runs will go, and it’s all based on the weather.  Hot and muggy, Steamy and boiling.  Sunny and humid.  They all sound equally tough, but typically make me stronger for the Fall race season.

I have six races planned between now and the end of 2015.  Two major races, both marathons.  Four, run for fun, pace for others Half Marathons.  This is how it will play out.

1st up…  9/13, and the Run & Ride Half Marathon at Carowinds Amusement Park.

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This is a new pacing gig for me.  Pacing once again for Beast Pacing.  Target time of 1:50:00. My goal is to come to the finish within 45 seconds under my goal.  Just put a hotel room on hold last night, hoping to take my 17 year old son with me to ride some coasters after the race!

Next up, just six short days later on 9/19, is the Marine Corps Half Marathon.  This time I will be taking my 19 year old son with me, leaving bright and early on a Saturday morning for a 2+ hour car ride to the race location.  This race is run on the Marine Corps base Camp LeJeune.  It’s the first time I’ve had to provide my drivers license number, make and model, tag #, and insurance info for my car during registration.  They need all that info to expedite parking on base.  This should be a fun race, very military pride-filled, and inspiring.  Last year about 1,000 runners signed up, so it should be a good size field of runners.

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Taper time!  After a few Halves in mid September, I will concentrate on my next race.  Chicago!  Running the Chicago Marathon for the second year in a row!  I couldn’t be more excited.  My only goals are to equal or better my time from last year, and enjoy the crowds!  This year I will be wearing my name on my shirt!

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Six days after Chicago, I am pacing another Half Marathon.  This time closer to home.  I will be pacing the 1:55:00 Half at Greensboro.  Loved the tough course last year when I ran the marathon!  This time around only half the distance.

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Ok, so I do have a few challenges this Fall.  The day after Greensboro, on hopefully not too tired legs, I am running a Half again.  This time in Durham.  The Bull City Race Fast.  No time goals other than to beat 1:55:00.  Should be a piece of cake.  And maybe a piece of cake after the race from one of the food trucks!  This is a great event that I had to skip last year because of running Chicago and Greensboro marathons six days apart.  I was actually signed up to run it last year, but just didn’t have the legs left to even attempt it.

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All racing done now for the year?  Nope!  Insert another taper here.  The next two weeks after 10/19 will be total relaxation.  Letting my legs recover, and heal.  All for the epic event known as…..

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Yes, I will cap off my 2015 racing year with an epic run through the five boroughs of New York City on November 1st.  This really is the race of the year for me.  This is the race that I have been fundraising for for months now.  It’s getting to be crunch time, and I still need help.  I really had hoped to have raised all of the $3,000 that I pledged to the James Blake Foundation before the end of the Summer.

As of today, I have raised over $1,600, but need for every one of my readers to dig deep into their pockets.  Will you please help my charity?  $10, $20, $50?  $100?  All monies go toward advancing cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City.  Surely someone you know has been either directly or indirectly impacted by cancer.  Let’s honor those that have lost the fight to this disease, and to help those that are currently battling cancer.  Please give today.

You can click on the following link that will take you directly to my fundraising page on Crowdrise where you can make your charitable contribution now.

Thank you for you help, and I hope you have a fantastic Fall racing season.  I hope you have as much run running as I plan on having.