DLEDBETTER11   23,372
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Good To Be Back

Friday, March 28, 2014

So, for the last couple of years, I haven’t once logged into Spark. I also didn’t log into face book. Funny, of the two, it was Spark that I felt the need to return to.

I really have no good excuse for not logging in to Spark. None. Sure, I was busy – moving, relocating, blah blah blah. I know that taking care of me should be a priority and logging in for a few minutes is an easy way to stay motivated to do just that.

There was an even better reason to continue to log in. Support. When I had the ‘melt down’ after the San Antonio marathon I suffered more than just the ER bills afterwards. I lost my confidence. Participating in endurance sports requires lots of training and the confidence to push through some uncomfortable moments during work outs. Sitting in the ER with monitors and IV tubes crisscrossing my bed scared me. Though I recovered quickly and was released the next day, the fear of repeating the melt down lingered for 18 months. I’m now convinced that the support from Spark friends would have pulled me through that much faster!

As for Facebook, reading about a high school class mate’s rant about crazy teen age drivers (or whatever else they feel compelled to post) – I still do not miss. But, it feels good to be back in Spark with people who are trying to make a positive change in their lives and take control of their health. I enjoy and am encouraged by even the shortest post from SparkPeople about making an effort to be healthier.

As for the long term effects of San Antonio - Sunday, I pinned on a race bib and tried again. It was a much slower effort, but I found the courage to try. Five and a half hours later, I finished the Georgia Marathon! Even better, I had recovered enough to get back in the gym training again on Wednesday!

  


What NOT to do in a marathon! San Antonio melt down.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I knew going into Sunday's marathon that it was going to be hot. This is a bad thing for me because I sweat a lot. Having lost 10 lbs and more in a single run so I have to protect myself from hot runs/tris. Weather forecast for Sunday in San Antonio was temperatures ranging from the low 60's to mid/upper 80's. If I could have picked the schedule, I would've run before the sun came up...but that's not how it works.

Race start time was 7:30 and the 7th group of runners didn't reach the starting line for almost another 15 minutes. It was already warming up. As a rule, I can typically run 1 - 2 miles with out breaking a sweat...Sunday, I was working up a good lather in the first half mile.

Looking back at the sequence of events, I made some great decisions. I backed out of my pace at mile 6 when I had finished off my first 24 ounces of Gatorade and an additional 8 ounces of the drink on the course. I knew I couldn't continue to sweat/drink this much with out having issues. At mile 13 I decided to start walking/running. This was a crushing blow to my ego but I wanted to finish AND survive. At mile 24 I checked off all of the warning signs of heat exhaustion and decided to slow down to a slow walk and continually dump water on my head.

That last decision was nearly fatal. A better decision would have been to quit there at mile 24. Being a first aid first responder I can list the signs of heat exhaustion in my sleep so I knew that I was there and to continue would be to risk heat stroke. My last conscious thought was to walk to a first aid tent and seek help there - unfortunately the next tent was the finish line.

I lost everything in my stomach at the finish line and the nice lady in charge of the finish line said "you have to keep moving through the finishing chute"...but I could barely stand. Seeing a grassy spot beside the finish line, I plopped down hoping Genny (my wife) and her friend would see me there. The first aid tent was a quarter of a mile away on the other side of the parking lot and I knew I couldn't make it. Having finished so slowly - there was no one around to ask for help...but finally, Genny finished and saw me laying there in the grass.

"Do you need help" - she asked very clinically...she had her business face on. I said yes - I'm about to black out.

Oddly the paramedic was an Ironman - small world! Two minutes after being loaded into the ambulance I had 18 gauge harpoons rammed into my left hand and right arm, blood pressure was 95/65 and I was blacking out again. Nausea set in again almost immediately...I remember thinking I'm getting no where fast!

In the ER, the Dr. gave me something for the nausea and 2 more bags of fluids (the total is now at 3). "Mr. Ledbetter, the blood work came in - it isn't good news. You have enzymes leaking from your heart into your blood indicating heart damage. You also have an Atrial Flutter - you are at high risk of a stroke and will have to stay over night for treatment and observation.

That's enough to shake anyone! Through all of this, Genny was a trooper. She was exhausted (remember - she ran the marathon too) but she handled everything from the hotel to rescheduling flights to talking to Rebel's kennel. When I apologized to her for putting her through all of this, she said "we love this and do it knowing what could happen"...I love her!

When the cardiologist came in the next morning, he smiled and said - "Did you finish?" "I know the blood work looked bad, but by 11:00 last night your heart rate returned to a normal sinus rhythm and your blood work looks like any other marathoner's would. I don't believe there was any damage to the heart and your body is recovering very quickly. I'm releasing you with a suggestion that you take it easy for a day or two.

I could have turned cartwheels! I even get to return to training Friday...only this time with a renewed passion. I will NEVER be in that position again. I will not risk my health - I know when enough is enough. Also, I will be so over prepared for every event that this will NEVER EVER happen again!!! All of this could have been avoided if I had just stopped at mile 24.

Marathons are not overtly dangerous, as a matter of fact, the training is a healthy life style. I was a danger to myself. If you are considering participating in an endurance event, learn the warning signs of heat exhaustion & heat stroke. Do not over estimate your ability to cool off or rehydrate by yourself. I will continue to run marathons - only with out the over confident / cocky and dangerous finish at all cost approach.

Finally - I would like to remember the gentleman who lost his life at the race and offer best wishes to the lady who the paramedics were able to bring back and the 8 others who shared an ER with me after the race. Our families know we love to run emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STREAKFREAK 11/18/2011 8:51AM

    Oh honeyyyy... I have been wondering where you disappeared to. Little did I know! I'm SO glad you came out OK.
emoticon

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CONFIDENTLY_FIT 11/18/2011 6:03AM

    YIKES! What a scare! Glad to read you are ok:)
Important lesson learned...always listen to your body.
Hope you and Genny ( and Rebel too) have a nice, relaxing weekend!

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ON2VICTORY 11/17/2011 7:59AM

    wow, im so glad you are ok. That was quite a scare. I know i would be rethinking some things. Thanks for the warning about the finish at all costs mentality.

It could have been worse and i too would be turning cartwheels at the good report. It is a second chance.





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TYKXBOY 11/16/2011 7:27PM

    My sister ran the Chicago Marathon a few times, including the year they stopped in halfway through because of the heat... One year she stopped at an aid tent halfway through because she was starting to feel faint. She woke up in the hospital. Dehydration. Fluids are oh so important. So happy to hear that you are okay. Also very glad that you continually recognized what was happening and backed off, otherwise it could've been so much worse. Very scary! These are valuable lessons that we all hope not to learn the hardway!

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KKINNEA 11/16/2011 7:08PM

    So glad you are recovered! It sounds like it was amazingly tough out there. I will go learn the signs of heat exhaustion so that I can stay away from any issues since I'm the type that may have pressed on too.

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KJDOESLIFE 11/16/2011 1:15PM

    Wow! I'm glad everything turned out ok. I agree - knowing the warning signs is VERY important!

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RHONDALYN10 11/16/2011 8:31AM

    WOW! That is some crazy insane business. Glad to hear you are ok. Your wife is AWMAZING!!
Good lesson for all of us - listen to your body.
Rest up!

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KA_JUN 11/15/2011 11:58PM

    emoticondude..........wow, glad you're okay and on the mend.

"I will not risk my health - I know when enough is enough." aint that the truth.

heal up fast...wow.

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_LINDA 11/15/2011 10:56PM

    WOW!! So glad you made it through and with no apparent ill effect!! That is one scary ride!! You do have a very understanding special wife! May you and Genny enjoy future races -safely!!! That is quite the amazing toll that race took on people -how very sad :((
Heat is not something worried about too much here -more like hypothermia.. We used to get blistering hot summers here, but that seems by the way side, haven't had one in many years. People were wearing toques and gloves for the marathon run here in September....
Interesting about your blood pressure -my normal reading is 100/59 -the ER tech questioned me about it when he saw it -my Mom is the same way.
Have a good and fast recovery!

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GEOPENGUIN 11/15/2011 9:26PM

    you are an inspiration...glad you made it to play another day!!!

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AIMLESS07 11/15/2011 9:04PM

    Whoa! Glad it all turned out okay.

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BLACKROSE_222 11/15/2011 8:32PM

    HOLY CRAP! I'm so glad you and Genny are okay! Wow, I don't know if I would have been smart enough to stop myself... maybe I should be giving myself a crash course in Heat Stroke. Wow, thanks for the tips, and I'm just so happy you are okay. emoticon

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HONBAD 11/15/2011 7:27PM

    Sorry to hear about the health scare, but I'm glad everything is ok! Sounds like you learned some very valuable lessons. Thanks for sharing!

Cheers!
Liz

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CHICKYB 11/15/2011 6:57PM

  A lesson learned, listen to your body, which is hard to do when your brain won't cooperate during such intense activity. I ran Marine Corps Marathon in Washington and got hypothermia after the race.

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HEIDI-25 11/15/2011 6:53PM

    I am glad that you are ok. What a scare that must have been for you and your wife. I will most definitely take to heart your warnings and look into heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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Tap-n-Run "Race" Recap

Monday, October 31, 2011

OK - so before I ever lined up for the Half Ironman that the stress was getting crazy. I needed a fun break. I did manage to keep the triathlon fun but there were so many things to remember, time lines for drop offs, check ins, participant meetings...ugh!

During all of this planning I received an email describing a "run" which was actually just an excuse for a Halloween themed pub crawl. I thought...YUP sounds perfect!

I decided to opt out of the whole costume thing (not required) but there were other contest I could try like the burping contest, or the "just here for the beer" contest ...

I really had no ambition for a speedy run. I just wanted to have fun. The rules were:

Step 1 - proceed to the starting line, obtain a beer, toast the starter, drink the beer and take off

Step 2 - proceed to the 2nd check point, grab a beer, drink the beer and continue to check point 3.

Step 3 - check in at check point 3, obtain a beer, drink the beer proceed to proceed to the final check point/finish line.

Step 4 - cross the line, obtain final beer and toast your fellow finishers.

Again, I had no intention of running but every time I looked up, this group (there were three) of participants was standing beside me... ewww



So I decided to run long enough to get AWAY from them. I did but felt so good (it was a beautiful day) that I decided to run to the 2nd check point. I passed this team in route:



I ran up on this guy and decided I needed to ... had to finish ahead of him!



The back of that costume had a small sign that said "I love my weenie" O_0

All in all, it was a really fun event. They are setting up for next year already so check it out. This would be a fun event for a spark team too emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOELLIEMAE 12/1/2011 12:01PM

    HEY!!! that sounds like a blast! where was the race?

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KJDOESLIFE 11/7/2011 4:27PM

    Haha - that would be fun to do! I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be running after the second beer LOL!

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ON2VICTORY 11/1/2011 11:26PM

    ugh, hot dogs! there is one in every crowd!!!!

LOL

with all the beer, i wonder if there were a few DNF's...lol

sometimes its just good to have fun.

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KA_JUN 10/31/2011 3:56PM

    Don't worry about that other guy, he's just hot-doggin' it.

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BLACKROSE_222 10/31/2011 12:57PM

    That sounds great! I wish we had something like that here... I would run the course 3 times! He he he.

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CONFIDENTLY_FIT 10/31/2011 12:39PM

    :) Sounds like a great time!

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KKINNEA 10/31/2011 11:57AM

    Hilarious! I'm afraid I would need to be dragged after the first checkpoint tho...

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Spark Marathon

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I thought I posted this yesterday...hmmm...I'll try again!


OK so the nominees for next year's marathons are:

One in Maryland (I've got to research this one a bit...I'm certain there are some fun runs there).
Wine Glass in New York
Cellcom in Green Bay Wisconsin
Wistlestop Marathon in Ashland Wisconsin
Chicago - The big one!
Savannah RnR Marathon
And last but not least is the E.T. marathon in Nevada!

So here's the next step. I would love for you guys to take a long look at these and think about a spot that would be great for a vacation (that's the way Genny and I treat our marathon weekends). I know each of these are close to you but look at all of them - you may like the adventure of running in a new city!

So reply with your choice and lets start planning next year's adventures. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STREAKFREAK 10/27/2011 1:17PM

    I vote for ET.

1. I love running at night
2. It has half and 10K alternatives (maybe the others do too, I didn't check).
3. My very best girlfriend (since first grade) lives in Vegas and we are long overdue for a visit.

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BLACKROSE_222 10/27/2011 12:20PM

    I have always wanted to try one of the Rock and Roll ones - and the San Diego one is on June 3, 2012.

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TYKXBOY 10/27/2011 12:39AM

    Did I mention that if you run the ET Marathon you don't have to worry about getting sunscreen in your eyes?
emoticon

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RUNNER12COM 10/26/2011 9:19PM

    There are so many great marathons here in San Diego and Southern California. Come out and enjoy the sunshine!

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ON2VICTORY 10/26/2011 5:10PM

    Im voting for Whistlestop and for Cellcom in Green Bay!!! the expo at the Cellcom is really nice.

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RJSAMS 10/26/2011 4:44PM

    The Whistlestop in Ashland is supposed to be a fun course and pretty flat--easy to PR on. You run along Lake Superior, so that can't be bad, tho it might be windy. Chicago would be windy, too. There's a half and a 10K/5K at Whistlestop, too.

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HEIDI-25 10/26/2011 4:08PM

    I am a native Wisconsin girl and am doing 2 marathons this upcoming year. I am going to do the Marathon on the Mississippi http://www.lacrossefitnessfestival.
com/ on May 6th and either the Whistlestop in Ashland or the Twin Cities Marathon (same weekend I think). The May 6th marathon will be my first :) I would love to meet up with some other sparkers.

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TYKXBOY 10/26/2011 3:24PM

    I ran the E.T. half marathon this year. It was a LOT of fun. And it doesn't have the crowds that the other large marathons do. Plus, you'd get a nice vacation in Las Vegas. It's definitely an experience. And the midnight start time makes it more fun, not really any more difficult. So ET gets my vote! But I might be biased... ;)

Comment edited on: 10/26/2011 3:25:44 PM

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KKINNEA 10/26/2011 3:15PM

    I'll re-check my sched but if I think I can do 4 marathons the year after I did my first and only one, I would do Whistlestop.

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ANNIE7205 10/26/2011 1:43PM

    I must have looked up the wrong "ET marathon". Who knew there would be more than one?

Edit - nope. I know what I did. Pulled up the google results and saw a date. Didn't double check the race name. My bad.

Seeing as I'm getting married in late August (and probably running a half that morning, long story) I'm out for that one. Does sound fun, though.

Comment edited on: 10/26/2011 1:45:50 PM

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RRC1958 10/26/2011 1:33PM

    I think you need to do the one in Salt Lake City! emoticon

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BLACKROSE_222 10/26/2011 1:04PM

    I'm leaning towards the Wineglass myself - Hubbie and I were thinking of a New York trip next year, anyways. Whistlestop would probably be my next pick.

The ET while cool, is not for everyone - it is at midnight too, so harsh times...



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BLACKROSE_222 10/26/2011 12:58PM

    Sorry, Annie - ET Marathon is in August, at midnight.

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BLACKROSE_222 10/26/2011 12:55PM

    LOL - None of them are close to me! But I'll take a look at them and then post my vote!

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ANNIE7205 10/26/2011 12:54PM

    Here are the dates (tenative/approximate based on the info I was able to find):

ET marathon in Nevada - March 2012
Green Bay Cellcome - May 20, 2012
Wineglass in New York - late September 2012
BofA Chicago - October 7, 2012
Whistle Stop Ashland, WI - October 13, 2012
Savanah RnR - early November 2012

It looks like the Wineglass fills up pretty quickly. If I recall correctly, the Cellcom sold out but might not next year because the course will not loop through Lambeau Field (trust me, it's a big draw for some "cheeseheads", not me personally, but here the Packers are practically the state religion).

I'm doing my first ever full marathon in mid-September, so based on the dates I'd probably only be doing a half for any of these runs.

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AMOHAME2 10/26/2011 12:53PM

    I think I'll be doing Wineglass!!! A bunch of my friends went this year and last, and had an amazing time! It would be awesome to meet some Spark buds there!
I'm also thinking of RnR Savannah. I wanted to do it this year but just couldn't afford the trip.

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DLEDBETTER11 10/26/2011 12:49PM

    What about our other 2 WI natives?

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CHELLES_BELLS 10/26/2011 12:47PM

    I would totally do any of the Wisconsin, and obviously, the Chicago marathon. Cellcom looks awesome and it has a 7 hour time limit so I can ultimately crawl to the finish!

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Checking the list...

Friday, October 21, 2011

I was thinking...why don't we all run together. We support each other all year long on SP but end up running alone? emoticon So if your up for a run, I need an idea for next year's marathons. I run 2 a year and am trying to run one in every state - these are the states completed so far:

Tennessee*
Virginia
Washington D.C. (I know - not a state)
North Carolina
South Carolina
Florida
Connecticut
Minnesota
Michigan (I will end up running this one again with Genny)
Utah
Seattle
Texas (in November '11)
Alabama
Missouri
Indiana
Kentucky*
Ohio*
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania

The * indicates a state I've run more than once. So if you plan to run a state other than the ones listed above and would like some Spark People company - respond to the blog. I think it would be great to have a "SparkFest" at a marathon!

I have researched but I know there are folks here that know the scoop on the best places to run or the runs with the best swag/scenery/route/...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STREAKFREAK 10/24/2011 8:57AM

    Just catching up here... come to MARYLAND!!!

Baltimore:
ht
tp://www.thebaltimoremarathon.c
om
http://www.ncrtrailmarath
on.com

More Maryland runs: http://www.runningintheusa.com/Race
/List.aspx?Rank=All&State=MD&Sp
ecial=marathon

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DLEDBETTER11 10/21/2011 9:11PM

    Looks like we have some great options (the wine glass is on our top 10 too)! Whistlestop just sounds fun. I'll post again Monday with a list of the marathons from these responses and we can start to narrow it down. I would LOVE to have a whole bunch of SparkPeople supporting each other and just having a great time running 'the big one'! emoticon

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RHONDALYN10 10/21/2011 7:06PM

    Omaha should be around Sep 25 so that would be pushing it with the Olympic tri on the 12th.

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LCHADBOURNE 10/21/2011 5:27PM

    Hmmmm...no NY???? Unless you are holding out for the big one, I'm planning on doing the Wineglass Marathon in Corning next year. It's in the top 10 best marathon list in Runners World. Super fast, I guess. Let me know. What a great idea!

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ANNIE7205 10/21/2011 4:46PM

    I'm doing the Cellcom (GB, Wis) half in spring - not going to be ready for a full then. The Whistle Stop looks cool, but not sure if it's too close for the Fox Cities Marathon I'm doing (the race that started my whole "marathon fever"). Maybe I could do the half, though.

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ON2VICTORY 10/21/2011 3:53PM

    you should consider the Whistelstop Marathon in Ashland WI. I ran the half and the entire course is flat and fast with some areas of gradual decline. if you want to qualify or PR, this might be the place to do it.

Cellcom Green Bay WI is another VERY well organized event. flat n fast too.

Comment edited on: 10/21/2011 3:53:54 PM

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CHELLES_BELLS 10/21/2011 2:45PM

    Why not come to Chicago?!? It's flat, it's fast, and (best of all) I'll be there!

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KJDOESLIFE 10/21/2011 2:03PM

    The Savannah RnR marathon would be cool - I'm in Ohio and running the Cleveland marathon in May and assuming I'm up for a second marathon the same year, we have friends in Georgia that will be overdue for a visit by Nov 2012!

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DLEDBETTER11 10/21/2011 1:53PM

    oop - Big Sur is sold out for 2012!

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DLEDBETTER11 10/21/2011 1:46PM

    Wow - a Spark relay team is a great idea!!!!! emoticon Big Sir has been "on the list" for a long time...need to look at the dates on that one.

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SHRINKINGLULU 10/21/2011 1:41PM

    I live in Monterey, which is right by the famous Big Sur Marathon!! I'm pretty convinced it's unbeatable for scenery and atmosphere. It's about the most gorgeous stretch of coast you've ever seen, you get to run across the famous bixby bridge, and there are performers at every mile marker! There's even a concert pianist who trucks out a whole grand piano and plays on the bridge every year!
AND you can create relay teams for fun or for charity. I wouldn't be able to run a whole marathon, but I could certainly team up with some fellow sparkers for a relay team and raise soem funds for a good cause!

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DLEDBETTER11 10/21/2011 12:57PM

    Nebraska does have a nice sound to it. Hmmm which weekend is that? I have an Olympic tri Sept. 12 that might hinder training...

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DLEDBETTER11 10/21/2011 12:53PM

    I just checked and Savanah has a Rock-n-Roll marathon in November!!!

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KKINNEA 10/21/2011 12:52PM

    You already have Minnesota but if you're up for MORE Minnesota, I'm running both Grandma's and Twin Cities next year.

After 2012, if you have any states left, maybe I'll tackle 'em with you :)

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RHONDALYN10 10/21/2011 12:49PM

    I'm doing the Half in Omaha in Sept - they also have a full and Nebraska isn't on your list. The medal is cool....

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DLEDBETTER11 10/21/2011 11:57AM

    Actually we were considering Georgia, but not Snickers...I'll check out a couple of sites to see if there is anything near Savanah.

You've got my number with the ET marathon. I have already run the Martian marathon just for the medal! I'll check it out now.

One other to look at is (another runner's suggestion) Fox Cities Marathon in Wisconsin.

This is fun!

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BLACKROSE_222 10/21/2011 11:19AM

    I was reading someone's blog on an ET Marathon in Nevada, and that was why this jumped to my mind. Check it out!
http://calicoracing.squares
pace.com/et-full-moon-midnight-
maratho

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BLACKROSE_222 10/21/2011 11:15AM

    DUDE! Let's do Nevada! There has to be some wicked cool Marathon's there, somewhere! It would be pretty cool to come together and watch you kick my butt.

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AMOHAME2 10/21/2011 11:07AM

    I want to one day run a marathon in Georgia so I can visit a friend in Savannah. If you ever end up doing one there, who knows, I may just see you there one day!

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_LINDA 10/21/2011 10:29AM

    WoW! You have gotten around quite a bit! That sure would keep it interesting, the variety of scenery.. I had a dream once of visiting every state and province, but doubt that will ever happen now. Is that your plan? To run in every state? That would just be so very awesome and a worthy goal!
Good luck with it!!! Hope you get a big response!

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