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RUNNINGGRRL's Photo RUNNINGGRRL Posts: 1,331
11/3/10 4:10 P

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Seems to be a number of SC folks here! I'm in SC too!

I'm also contemplating my first marathon, and I've heard really great things about the BiLo Myrtle Beach Marathon in February. I did the HM in MB last month and really enjoyed it. Flat, fast, great weather and location. Now I've just got to see if I can train (mostly my brain) for a full marathon in 100 days!



"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." ~ Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)

"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it". ~ Michelangelo (1475 - 1564)


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MBSHAZZER's Photo MBSHAZZER Posts: 18,605
10/28/10 9:38 A

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Sara, we have a Spark team for the ING in January... check it out on my page and join. We have a HUGE group!

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts" - Winston Churchill

2012 Running Mileage: 2,065


SARAELZBENSON's Photo SARAELZBENSON SparkPoints: (0)
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10/27/10 8:11 P

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I didn't realize that there was a Rock n' Roll in Savanah. That would be fairly convenient to me, since I live in Columbia, SC.

"It always seems impossible until it's done" - Nelson Mandela


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MRS_LOOMIS's Photo MRS_LOOMIS Posts: 1,044
10/27/10 3:27 P

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I'm planning to do the Savannah Rock n Roll Marathon November 2011.....can't beat the beauty of the South, and the weather should be pleasant! San Diego has a number of great runs, too...

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. ~Colossians 3:23-24

3/5 Berry Half Marathon,(2:11:56)
4/16Choate Run the River 10K (1:02)
7/16 Make It by Midnight Half Marathon
9/24Blairsville Half Marathon
10/2 13.1 Atlanta
11/5 Savannah Rock N Roll MARATHON


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MOMONTHERUN1's Photo MOMONTHERUN1 SparkPoints: (0)
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10/27/10 9:19 A

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Detroit. They changed the food that you get at the end of the race this year. There is great scenery and there is also entertainment along the race route. January 1, 2011 is when you can register on-line if you decide on this one.

Good luck!

Lianne


SARAELZBENSON's Photo SARAELZBENSON SparkPoints: (0)
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10/26/10 9:23 P

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Thanks for the suggestions!

I'm actually signed up to do the half at ING Miami this January, so we'll see how that goes. It's going to be my test race to see if I'm really ready to try for a full.

"It always seems impossible until it's done" - Nelson Mandela


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DRAGONFLY1974's Photo DRAGONFLY1974 Posts: 10,583
10/26/10 8:58 P

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ING miami would be awesome, a bunch of us will be there to support you!!! I ran OKC Memorial Marathon as my first, it was amazing!! The crowd support was NOTHING like I've ever seen, people every where, every mile cheering us on. Awesome water stops and awesome people. I've run quite a few races and that was the biggest show of support I've ever seen.

PRs
5K - 29:54
4 Miles - 45:00
10K 1:05:44
15K 1:48:42
30K 3:59:34
13.1 2:36:16
26.2 5:43:31 (shattered by 21 minutes!)

Upcoming registered races:
* San Diego Rock N Roll 13.1
*Make It By Midnight 13.1
*Savannah Rock N Roll 13.1
*Paint the Town 5K
*Space Coast 26.2
*Las Vegas Rock N Roll 13.1


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MBSHAZZER's Photo MBSHAZZER Posts: 18,605
10/26/10 2:32 P

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I have run Palm Beach and New Orleans and agree with Carolyn's comments. The only issue with Palm Beach is that (unless they changed this) - full marathoners must run past the finish line 2x before actually finishing.

The ING in Miami in January is a FANTASTIC course - lots to look at as it takes you from downtown, to the beach, back downtown, through Coconut Grove, onto Key Biscayne. The crowds are great, and as Carolyn mentioned, the SPARKERS will be there!

I have not run Steamtown, but had the chance to run with one of the directors last year and it sounds like a wonderful and well-organized race.

Finally, one last item to consider is that for races where there is a half and a full, the courses separate at some point. Some runners find the drop off in fellow runners half way through difficult to deal with mentally. Additionally, as noted above, some races will have the full marathon run past or near the finish line at some point prior to the actual finish, which can also be difficult mentally.

If you think either of these things would bother you, it might be best to go for a race that is full marathon only.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts" - Winston Churchill

2012 Running Mileage: 2,065


GLADGAD's Photo GLADGAD Posts: 5,691
10/26/10 8:56 A

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For your first marathon you want to consider the course itself. Personally for my first I would choose a venue that is fast and flat. You need to decide if you want to run in large race or a small one. Chicago is fast and flat and huge (15,000, 20,000 runners). Palm Beach is fast and flat and small (2000 runners).

If you want to take a few days before or afterward to explore the area in which you're racing, then choose one in a place that you enjoy or have always wanted to visit. However, consider the place itself. If you live and train at sea level you might not want to do a race in Denver. If you train in a cool climate you might not want to do a race in Florida in the fall when temps can still get into the upper 80s.

If you're on a budget, consider travel expenses. For example of bunch of Sparkers are doing ING Miami at the end of January. Flights into Florida in January are expensive, and some hotels double their rates in the winter months. A race in a desireable destination in the off season may be easier on the pocketbook.

While I have yet to do my first marathon, I have done the half at the following venues:

1. Palm Beach (early Dec) - This course if fast and flat. The half course is kind of boring running through neighborhoods. The start of the course is along the intracoastal which is pretty when the sun rises. Crowd support is okay but sporadic. They recently changed the marathon course so you see more water (I cycled the marathon course at the race last year when I injured my foot and couldn't race). Post race party is great (on the waterfront) and post-race food is fantastic.

Detroit (mid Oct) - Loved this race! It's international as you run across the Ambassador Bridge into Canada, and then after a 3 mile run along the Windsor waterfront, you run through a tunnel under the Detroit River back into Detroit. The bridge is huge but easy to do. Great crowd support and very well organized. The post race food that they gave you as you came through the finish chute was unimpressive. I didn't go to the street party after the race, but I definitely want to do this again. They advertise this as a fast and flat course, but Palm Beach is flatter.

New Orleans (late Feb) - This was a Rock N Roll series. While I had a great time running this with about a dozen fellow Sparkers, I would not run in New Orleans again. The streets are in terrible shape and I spent much of the race looking at the road because I was afraid of stepping in a hole or tripping over something. The race was well organized with fantastic crowd support, but I was disappointed with the post-race food. The after party was fun with Sister Hazel. Bag check in and pick up was easy and very well organized.

If you come up with a list of several races that you're considering, post them on this forum for reviews and feedback. You should also be able to find race reviews online. Good luck and let us know your decision.

-Carolyn

"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
SHORTY20's Photo SHORTY20 Posts: 7,138
10/26/10 7:57 A

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I just did the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, PA as my first. Loved it! Not too big (about 2500 runners), so it wasn't too crowded, but there were always people running around you. The first 6 or 7 miles are pretty much downhill. It is in October. The weather was perfect for running, and the course support and crowd were great.

Oh, and the race starts at a local high school, so you get to stay warm in the gym right up until you start. That was very nice :)

It was actually voted in the top 10 of readers favorite marathons in Runners World magazine.

Edited by: SHORTY20 at: 10/26/2010 (07:58)
Be fearless.
You only fail when you stop trying.
"The cure to anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea." - Isak Dinesen

5K PR: 25:28 (Nov. 09)
5 Mile Race PR: 44:36 (Dec. 2011)
10K PR - 58:03 (Oct. 09)
15K PR - 1:29:59 (Apr. 2011)
Half Marathon PR - 2:03:39 (Apr. 12)
Marathon PR - 4:48:55 (May 2011)
LAB-LOVER's Photo LAB-LOVER Posts: 6,875
10/26/10 6:43 A

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I'm doing Richmond Virginia (mid November) as my first. I picked it because it is a) pretty flat; b) fall cool weather; c) has a 7 hour cut off (no pressure); d) at a time of the year that the worst of the training is in cool, but not cold weather; e) they allow ipods and f) they have junk food at the pit stops!

Check it out! As a bonus, Runners World is using it as one of their challenge races too! (I'm participating in the challenge)

Edited by: LAB-LOVER at: 10/26/2010 (06:44)
Wag more, bark less.

RRCA Certified Running Coach

PRs:
5K-35:25-7/09
5M -58:58-7/09
10K -1:14:32 -2/11
Half -2:48:29-6/12
26.2-6:13-11/10


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45ANDFIT1's Photo 45ANDFIT1 Posts: 1,003
10/26/10 5:24 A

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Any of the "Music" marathons are good for first-timers - fun atmosphere, big crowds. My first was the Country Music Marathon in Nashville (April each year) but I have done several of the Rock n' Roll marathons. St. Judes in Memphis is also good (Dec) and extremely well organized ... good food at the end too. Good luck!

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SARAELZBENSON's Photo SARAELZBENSON SparkPoints: (0)
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10/26/10 12:35 A

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Can any one recommend a marathon that would be particularly good for first timers?

A friend and I are just thinking about attempting our first marathon some time next Fall/Winter. We have both run multiple half-marathons, but this would be our first try at a full. She lives in California and I live in South Carolina, so pretty much anywhere in the country is on the table.

Thanks!

"It always seems impossible until it's done" - Nelson Mandela


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