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This year has been a very enjoyable training year so far. With no big races in my future plans I have had no pressure. I have mostly ran 25-30 miles a week with only a couple of bike rides so far. I have been racing quite a bit as I recently just completed all 10 races of the Good Times 5k Spring Series and finished 4th in my age group. (same as last year) After finishing eleven 5k's in 10 weeks I was feeling it was time to take a little break and come up with a long term goal.
Several blog posts back I wrote that I usually get hit with an idea about a goal race during the winter months. I get all excited, sign up and start training. This is the first year that did not happen. Nothing came to mind and I didn't want to force the issue by signing up for a big event when my heart wasn't in it. Running in the Good Times Spring Series was fun but I still did not have any inspiration for that big goal race.
A couple of weeks ago I was having a conversation with my wife while having a cold beverage at a fine establishment about Newfound Lake in Bristol, New Hampshire. Every Labor Day and Memorial Day weekend for the last 5 years I have vacationed at Newfound Lake. The roads around the lake are great for cycling and you will always see a ton of people running or biking around the lake. I usually get a couple of really good rides in during the weekend and always try to swim/run as well. There is a 16 mile loop around the lake and I have ridden it over 50 times but have never attempted running the loop. I mentioned I thought it would be interesting to run the 16 miles around the lake some time. It would be a tough hilly run but would be fun. As the conversation was progressing it happened.....inspiration hit me! I should just enter the New Hampshire Marathon! The course starts in downtown Bristol and then circles Newfound Lake before returning to Bristol. Not only do I know the course extremely well but I have also filmed the race! (check it out here) Perfect! I finally have a big goal race!
I am super excited. I finally have a big event planned for 2013. Unfortunately I picked quite a challenge as this is not an easy course. This is a very hilly course with a couple of tough climbs. The goods news is that I know every inch of the course and the last 9 miles are rolling to downhill. Basically you just need to survive the first half of the course and then hopefully have some legs left for the last stretch of miles. I have always wanted to run around the lake and now I can do it in a race environment. You really will be hard pressed to find a more beautiful venue for a marathon in the fall.
To make this even more special I have talked my brother in law and sister in law into making this their first marathon. They have the marathon on their bucket list so I said why not this year? Tough course but easy travel, low cost, and they know the course as well as I do. In addition I think I have talked my wife into coming out of "marathon retirement". Once I made the decision to enter this race everything fell into place. On October 5th The New Hampshire Marathon will be my 8th marathon and my 6th state. Let the training begin!
Click here for the New Hampshire Marathon course video.
Click here for the New Hampshire Half Marathon course video.
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