The Achill Ultra race series on Achill Island in Ireland consisted of three events: a half marathon (13.1 miles), a full marathon (26.2 miles) and an ultra-marathon (a whopping 39.3 miles). There were just over 200 runners across all three races, making this a very personal affair. While most of the runners were Irish, we met folks from Ontario and New Jersey as well. And of course, we were in from New Hampshire. (more…)
I’ve only been running for three years, but I’ve noticed a recurring runner (R)/non-runner (NR) conversation that goes a little something like this:
R: I’m a runner.
NR: Have you run a marathon?
NR: (Nods. Loses interest. Changes subject.)
Completing a marathon is a rite of passage for a distance runner. It confers a level of commitment to the sport, of accomplishment as an athlete, of membership in a special (albeit slightly crazy) group. And while half-marathon is now the most popular distance to race in the United States, the marathon remains out of reach for many runners. Perhaps because it is more difficult, more of a training commitment, more daunting a challenge…whatever the reason, taking on a marathon is a milestone in a running career, and for me, that milestone is right around the corner. (more…)