Friday, July 19, 2013

My (Somewhat Pathetic) Marathon Bucket List

Most runners have a bucket list of races they want -- nay, need -- to do in their lifetime. Some even aspire to run a marathon in all 50 states. 

I have no plans to do so. I’m cheap, for one, plus there are many parts of the United States I have little desire to take one step in, let alone 40,000 or so. I also really, really don’t like to travel, as I’ve pointed out. Finally, I’m not a fan of enormous marathons such as New York and Chicago. They overwhelm me. (Though I do have a very unbiased exception, as you’ll see.) I prefer smaller, local marathons within a reasonable drive. 

However, seeing Big Sur 2014 sell out in like an hour got me thinking about my own marathon bucket list. Admittedly, it’s not very long, nor is it terribly specific, but it gives me something to strive for, even if it's decades away.

Boston. It’s the original, for cryin’ out loud. Plus I live less than half a mile from the course. I’ll endure the huge crowds at the start in Hopkinton to run in what’s arguably the greatest marathon of them all. 

Mount Desert Island. This one’s in Acadia National Park in Maine. It’s a beautiful setting for a tough race full of hills. Definitely not one to run if your primary goal is a BQ. 

Bay of Fundy. This one’s in Lubec, Maine. This tiny town, the easternmost in the 50 U.S. states, is across the bay from Campobello Island in New Brunswick. You run in two countries. (Passport required.) It doesn’t get much cooler that that. 

Big Sur. A few folks I know ran this year, and their pictures were so amazing that I was convinced to run it at some point in my life. 

Disney. My wife has no interest in running, and for that reason I let her stay home and sleep when I get up at the crack of dawn to go run a race. But Disney is her favorite place on earth, and if I run this one I know she will be there, waving some sort of sparkly princess accessory, as I cross the finish line. Then she’ll tell me to go shower. 

Somewhere in Canada. I'd love to embrace my Canadian heritage (my dad was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario and my family is sprinkled throughout the Great White North), so any of a number of marathons in eastern Canada -- Ottawa, Quebec City or either Toronto marathon -- sound great to me. (Montreal is now part of the Rock n Roll Marathon conglomerate, so that's less appealing.)

Bonus: Antarctica. I’ll never be able to afford this, and spending so much time on a boat before I run would be drive me bonkers, but running with penguins might actually be cooler than running a marathon in two countries at the same time. 

Since this list is a little pathetic, help me out. What marathons are on your bucket list? If you’ve done them, did they live up to the hype? If you haven’t, how are you going to make sure you get there?