Abbott World Marathon Majors

Slowly but surely….

It may take a while, but with conviction and commitment, I will run each of the worlds major marathons.  What an accomplishment that would be!  To get to do what I love and mix in traveling to places I’ve never been would be a huge treat!

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As it now stands, at the beginning of 2016, I’ve run two of the six.  What started as a six year plan (when I first learned that I had made it into Chicaco in 2014) I thought about trying to run at least one of the six every year for six straight years.  Of course that plan could change at any time depending on when and if I qualify for Boston.  My best being only 7 minutes shy of my qualifying time, I know I can get to Boston!  When and where that lucky qualifying race will be is still in question.

So, in 2014, I made an epic start to the Six, in Chicago.  I followed that up with another run in Chicago in 2015, along with the second of The Six, in New York City.  My plan for 2016 was Berlin, but that fell through with a disappointing email that stated I didn’t get in through the lottery.  So, what to do now?  Is 2016 lost?  I think not!  My focus for the first part of 2016 will be really finding a routine again.  The last two months of every year are really tough on me work-wise. The holidays are just so tough, and busy it leaves me so little time to really run.  I usually just end up using November and December as full on recovery mode from busy racing years.  It typically works well to my advantage, as in years past when my racing commences the following year, I feel fresh and renewed.  My last few weeks of running have felt really good.

My 2016 plan begins with finding rhythm.  I am pacing three marathons and one half marathon over the next few months, and it all begins this weekend in Charleston, South Carolina.  My reasons for pacing are many.  First and foremost, I find pacing super gratifying because I can give back to my fellow runners.  Using the skills that I have learned through running over the past five years, and completing over 30 Halves and 22 Marathons, I feel very comfortable leading a group of runners to a certain finish time.  It’s a social event, too.  As a manager/director in real life, I am used to leading people.  Being the supporter, and helping people reach goals both personally and professionally.  This flows so naturally into my running, so my comfort level while pacing comes through.  Let’s talk, lets uplift and encourage, and get that PR.  Love it.

I will be pacing the Half and Full in Asheville in March, and then again pacing the Full at the All American Marathon at the beginning of April.  From there I have two more marathons planned before the Summer begins.  I plan on working on speed work, doing 800’s, and hill work during the Summer, and really pushing my own envelope when it comes to speed.  I need to if I want to really concentrate on getting a coveted Boston Qualifyer.  That race will be late summer if all things come together.  My tentative plans for Fall were a hopeful trip to Berlin, so I’ll need to focus on a new plan.  It will come with time.  I do know though, that I will keep focused on my plan of completing each of the Big 6.

Wouldnt it be amazing to be able to say one day that you completed all of the Abbott World Marathon Majors?  Boston, Berlin, London, Tokyo, Chicago, New York.  Wow!  That would be something, wouldn’t it?

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Have you completed any of these races?  Would love to hear your stories!

Berlin Marathon

I’ve sort of adopted a new goal over this past year, and it’s a pretty lofty one.  Like many of my readers, I really enjoy traveling.  It’s super fun to be able to travel and to race during the same trip, too.  I’m not altogether sure how realistic this goal is, but I would really love to be able to run each of the six Marathon Majors in the world before I retire from marathoning.

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In 2014, with a stroke of good luck, I was able to run the 1st of the Big 6.  Chicago!  Big city marathons are a production.  Thousands of runners, millions of spectators.  I sort of fell in love with the grandeur of it all.  I checked that one off the list.  When I decided to run New York City this year for charity, it meant that I would be running my 2nd of the Big 6.  Again, an epic race and experience.  Finishing NYC a few weeks ago meant that I had completed 1/3 of the Marathon Majors.  I kinda like this gig!

So, it begs to question…. where to next?  There are four remaining races that I need to run to complete this goal.  The last four are London, Tokyo, Berlin and Boston.  All require travel, and trips abroad, to boot.  Expensive!  Then there’s Boston.  Maybe the hardest one for me to achieve.  Those damn qualifying standards!

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Recently, on a whim, I decided to enter the Berlin Marathon lottery.  The race isn’t until late September in 2016, so if I get in, there is plenty of time to plan the trip.  An epic trip it would be, too.  I’ve never even been abroad.  Never been to Europe.  Wouldn’t that be just an amazing reason to travel to another continent for the first time?  I should know if I get in or not in another few weeks.  The lottery drawing occurs the first week of December.

Curious to know if anyone out there reading this has run the Berlin Marathon in the past?  What did you think?  Would you run it again?  How about anyone out there that has run Tokyo, or London?  Which was your favorite?

I am excited, and a bit nervous to hear the results of the lottery.  If I’m chosen, the journey continues.  If not, which direction, which race will be next?  I’ll be sure to keep you posted.