Friday 5: My 5 Favorite Races

Hello and TGIF, my friends!

It’s Friday and that means I’m here with another installment of Friday 5. I’m linking up again with Courtney at Eat, Pray, Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run.

Today’s topic?

Photo Sep 19, 9 49 29 AM

My 5 Favorite Races!

5. Portland Marathon

The Portland Marathon was my first marathon, so it will always hold a special little place in my heart. I like that the course becomes more scenic after the half-marathoners drop off, so that you’re rewarded for your sustained efforts with better views and more interesting neighborhoods. I appreciate the spectators, who are plentiful and enthusiastic. The Portland Marathon has plenty of flaws, but it’s a favorite. And that’s probably why I’ve registered for it 3 times.

4. Tacoma City Turkey Trot 5K

I don’t like 5Ks. Why? I think they’re really, really tough. They’re painful and I have a difficult time properly pacing myself during them. So why is a 5K in my favorites list? Because this 5K on the morning of Thanksgiving Day is tradition for me and my family. We meet up with friends at the race and it’s a great community event. Oh–and just so you don’t think that some selfless, Mother Theresa-type hijacked this blog–I also like this race because I’ve won an age group award every time I’ve run it.

3. BMO Vancouver Half-Marathon (pre-2012 course)

The Vancouver Half was my first half-marathon as well as my first big race. I ran it in 2011 and it was what made me fall in love with running. The weather was perfect, the course was gorgeous (albeit tough), and the spectators were incredible. I hadn’t even heard about the marathon sign phenomenon until I ran Van. I had no idea what to expect, and the constant surprises along the course helped keep me starry-eyed throughout the race.

2. Eugene Half-Marathon (pre-2014 date switch)

It should come as no surprise that Track Town USA hosts an amazing marathon and half-marathon. I ran the Eugene Half in late-April 2012 and 2013 and its fast course enabled me to PR both times. The race finishes on the legendary Hayward Field track, and there’s just a really good running mojo that surrounds the event. Ephemeral, I know. But that’s Eugene, man.

For some reason, Eugene changed the 2014 race date to coincide with the IAAF World Junior Championships (also held in Eugene) in late July. I didn’t want to run it in late July because July + central Oregon = hot, non-PR-weather. There’s a lot of chatter online right now that the date will change back to April in 2015, and I hope it does. If It moves back to April and I don’t get into the 2015 Boston Marathon, I will definitely run the Eugene Marathon and try to BQ.

1. New York City Marathon

Start spreading the news, a running cliché!

Okay, maybe I’m going too far with that statement, but I feel a little unoriginal declaring the NYCM as my favorite race. Aww, who cares. It’s an incredible race.

If you haven’t run it, imagine running a marathon with over 50,000 runners from all over the country and world. Imagine running across the Verrazano Bridge to the voice of Frank Sinatra, through all 5 boroughs of New York City, and ending in Central Park. Imagine being cheered along the course by 2,000,000 people, some of whom will call out your name and root for you like you’re a family member or close friend. These reasons are why the NYCM is my favorite race.

What is your favorite race? What makes it special to you?

13 thoughts on “Friday 5: My 5 Favorite Races

  1. Great post! This got me so excited for Portland!

    My favorite race is the Marine Corps Marathon. It was my first, so it will always hold a special place in my heart, but the course and the crowds are hard to beat. I loved NY and Chicago too, but if I had to choose one to do again, it would be MCM!

  2. I would LOVE to run in the New York City Marathon…augh! I can’t even imagine; I think it would be such an amazing experience. Right now, my favorite race is going to be whichever one during which I actually complete a full marathon – ha! 😉 Let’s hope it’s the 3 Bridges Marathon in December! Hope you have a great weekend, Molly!

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