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Virginia, Washington DC, North Carolina Marathons - October/November 2007 (Read 804 times)

va


    I am looking to run my first marathon in October/November of 2007. I found the following candidates on www.marathonguide.com: Richmond Marathon, Richmond, VA – 11/10/07 Marine Corps Marathon, Washington DC – 10/28/07 OBX Marathon, Outer Banks, NC – 11/??/07 BB&T Ridge to Bridge Marathon, Morganton, NC – 10/??/07 Has anyone here run any of these? Any comments, good or bad? I am a relatively new runner and am fairly slow (I should finish between 5 and 6 hours). Is there anything in particular I should look for as a first-timer?
    Scout7


    CPT Curmudgeon

      I would also consider Baltimore. It was my first marathon, and it's sponsored by UnderArmour. The course is challenging, but certainly not impossible, and it's a slightly smaller field than at some of the other's you listed. MCM is pretty big, well-run. I've never done it, but have talked to several and read race reports from it. I do know that at MCM, there is a cut-off time (you have to be over the one bridge within some limit, or you're done). How new a runner are you?
      va


        The course is challenging...How new a runner are you?
        Hi Scout7, Thanks for the Baltimore suggestion. I will check it out. When you say "challenging", I assume you mean "hilly"? I have been running since this past August.
        Scout7


        CPT Curmudgeon

          It starts on an uphill, but I didn't notice that one. Miles 18-21 are uphill, too. That's bout the point where I started struggling. My splits show it, too. But it was still a great race. Well-organized, plenty of aid stations, porto-johns on the course, lots of places for people to spectate. It's also very scenic. You get to run around Ft. McHenry, which was pretty cool.
          va


            Scout7, it sounds like a good race. I noticed on the web site they have pacers of all different speeds, even for a 5 hour pace, and 5 and a quarter hour pace. Did they have pacers when you ran? Did you find them useful?
              va123, Congrats on your decision to run 26.2. For your first marathon, I'd recommend you find a well established, large event, with a mostly flat course, and great crowd support. Of the 4 listed, I'd recommend the Marine Corps Marathon. I have not run it, but, it has a great reputation for its organization and spectator support. The course varies from year to year but it's always pretty flat. It's a big race - 34,000 last year. You probably want to register early. It filled up by June in '06. Good luck - you can do it! Ken
                Oh, oh, I can help!! The only two marathons I've run (so far! Tongue) are Baltimore and MarineCorps. Both are great marathons... here is my $0.02: Baltimore Marathon -- ran it in 2005. First marathon, and I did it in 4:45ish. It is hilly, as Scout noted, but it's not impossible. I live in Baltimore, so it was cool to run past all my usual running areas. I saw my husband 3-4 times on the course. The spectator support is awesome in some areas (Inner Harbor, Federal Hill), and non existent in others (mainly at the beginning). I ran with a pace group until a friend ran me in from mile 20. The pace group was helpful ... the jokes were kind of annoying, but it was nice to run with a group the whole time. The tshirt is awesome -- Under Armor, tech, long sleeved. Aid stations were good -- water and gatorade, GU, but they ran out of water at mile 18, which sucked (I understand that didn't happen this year, though). The scenery varies -- some great areas like the Inner Harbor, Fort McHenry, etc., but it also goes through some shady areas of Baltimore. Marine Corps Marathon -- ran it this year. Did it in 4:02:10. Great support throughout, very nice course (all the monuments). Nice to see all the Veterans. Ran it with a pace group for a little while. The aid stations were great, volunteers awesome. The end is STRAIGHT uphill, which is so unfair Wink, but overall the course is pretty flat. The stretch around Hains Point (miles 16-19ish, I think) is boring and kind of hard to get through, mentally. Lots of runners and spectators crowding the finish (after crossing the finish line), so that was frustrating. Make sure you do something afterward because the Metro gets really crowded. The shirt is a v. ugly mock turtleneck (I cut off that part and made it a crew long sleeved tshirt.. haha). Waited in line the day before for an hour and a half to pick up my race packet... but that just happens with a big race. Bmore and MCM are different races ... both are great, but I'd recommend MCM Big grin
                2009: BQ?
                Scout7


                CPT Curmudgeon

                  I "used" the pace groups. I never officially signed up for one, since I had no idea how things would go that day, but I sort of just stuck with one or two of them at different parts of the course. As trish mentioned, some parts of the course you're kinda just out there, other parts, it's like a big party for the locals. And yes, there are definitely some parts I wouldn't run through on a regular basis. But, I live outside Philly, so I see a lot of that sort of thing all the time. I have done some mega-races (Philly Distance Run is a god example), and I like the slightly smaller ones (which is what B'more is, especially compared to MCM). When I did the Distance Run, I was waiting in line for the porta-john for 25 minutes, and technically missed the starting gun (my corral was far enough back that I still had time to go and make it to the start).
                    Ditto to all of the responses so far about Baltimore and Dc. I ran the OBX 1/2 and knew a few people who did the whole and would say it's a nice flat course, but since it was it's first year it needs some work. Nothing that would make the experience bad, but noticable for seasoned runners. Overall it's a great weekend away. Have fun and safe training Smile
                    va


                      Thanks everybody for all of your input! Smile I ended up selecting the Richmond Marathon. It is the closest to home, was identified as one of the "The Best Little Marathons in 2005/America's Friendliest Marathon" by Runner's World, got a good write-up from Marathon & Beyond, and has received very good reviews from runner's on MarathonGuide.com.
                        va123, I'm running Richmond, too! Just signed up yesterday Big grin It's the 30th Anniversary of the race, so we'll get cool tshirts and medals Smile
                        2009: BQ?
                        va


                          va123, I'm running Richmond, too! Just signed up yesterday Big grin It's the 30th Anniversary of the race, so we'll get cool tshirts and medals Smile
                          Excellent!!! Btw, I am thinking of scheduling a half-marathon for the late Spring. Have you run any in the area? One possibility is the Frederick Half-Marathon on May 6th. Have you run this, or heard anything about it?