Forget 12 Days of Christmas…Here are 12 Months of Races!
At the start of 2012, we decided to pursue the goal of running at least one road race per month for the entire year. On top of this goal, given our wanderlust, we set out to run races in as many different states as possible. Although we visited 28 states in 2012 (travel summary to follow in our year-end post), it proved much more difficult to find races that aligned with our schedule. First, some areas of the country have more races than others. And second, most races occur on the weekend, further limiting our race options as we traveled around the country.
In January, we established a racing budget and got down to the business of scheduling races. Although there are some races that you can register for on race day, there are others that sell out quickly. We had our eyes set on a few specific ones and were open to being flexible on others. Races can cost anywhere from $15 to $100 or more per person to run depending on the distance and level of coordination required to manage the race course. The cost is worth it, though, since most races come with race swag (t-shirts, water bottles, pens, first aid kits, coupons, you name it…) and often benefit a local charity. In 2012, we ran races benefiting community literacy programs, local scholarship funds, volunteer fire departments, state parks, the NH Children’s Hospital, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation, among others. It’s also fun to run on a closed course with spectators (and police escorts, traffic detours, string bands, DJ’s, belly dancers, beauty queens…the list goes on).
Yesterday’s Santa Shuffle in Manchester (complete with 3,000 runners in Santa costumes) was the closing event in our 2012 racing season, and we thought it would be a good time to reflect on our year of running.
- We each completed 14 races in 2012. This doesn’t include the one race that we didn’t start due to a visit to the emergency room to repair my ear (now healed, thank you…).
- We ran races at all kinds of distances: 3 miles, 5K, 5 miles, 10K, 10 miles, half-marathon (twice each!) and full marathon (my first-ever in Maine in October). We also had the privilege of being part of a team for a 200-mile relay event (Reach the Beach NH).
- Total racing mileage this year: 86.8 for J. and 114.6 for me
- We raced in a total of five states (MA, ME, NH, VA and CA), and we set personal best times in many of our races.
The end to our racing season was yesterday’s relaxed run on a snowy course in Manchester, and it was a fitting end to a year filled with traveling and training. J is poised to finish 2012 with 600+ miles, and later this month, I will hit my goal of 1,000+ miles on the year. Running isn’t easy, but it is definitely rewarding. Looking back on 2012, I’m glad for each time I laced up my shoes to go out for some “me time” or to head out for a chatty run with my best friend and running partner, J.
Now that winter is approaching, the temperatures are dropping and our 2012 season is over, it’s time to do what runners do in the winter: bundle up, lace up the shoes and hit the pavement! Our 2013 race season starts with a Super Bowl Sunday Mid-Winter Classic 10-miler in Maine, and I need to beat my 2012 time! –M