and need to make a choice. A few details... I thinking of running in my first marathon in October and have two from which to choose. One is a three hour drive from home so it would require at least one night in a hotel. It is very small, less than 200 runners last year, but it is fully sanctioned and is a Boston Qualifier (not that I would qualify). It is in a small town called Paso Robles, CA and has a rolling course that goes through the wine country. It has all the swag, is staffed by local volunteer, has all the water and aid stations that a big race would have, and all the online reviews have been great. It has a very "small town feel" to it but has very few people along the course.
The other is a big race in Long Beach, CA. From what I can tell, this is a very large race with thousands of runners. It has all the corporate sponsors, race expo, etc... everything you would expect from a big race. Also, since it on/near the coast, it is a very flat course.
Whichever race I choose, I want to sign up soon as that it my motivation to train. I want to train and race it, and not go out for a little stroll. I like to race and know that I tried my best.
Based on your race experiences, marathons or not, which do you prefer? Big races or small races? Destination or closer to home? Any shared info would be appreciated, as it will help me make up my mind. At this point it is a toss of a coin. Thanks in advance.
Santa Anita Derby Day 5k - 5 Apr
Mountains to Beach Marathon - 25 May
Has Broken Parts
I'll echo what Damaris said in the B&B forum where you posted this too. If it was me, I'd go local and flat over hilly and traveling. I've only done one destination race (my first marathon) and it wasn't terrible but traveling did add some stress to an already stressful situation.
"Address the process rather than the outcome. Then, the outcome becomes more likely." - Robert Fripp
All in for Boston
I would pick the Long Beach race. I tend to prefer big races. I find the competition motivating. In smaller races, I find myself running alone a lot and I find mentally the race turns into a hard workout when that happens. And, I like the big expos and all the fanfare surrounding the race... I've only done one destination race really - Boston - and agree that it does add a level of stress. Or, just more stuff you have to do, at least. Boston didn't phase me logistically but NYCM was a headache. I've been to Boston more than New York so that could be why... I don't put a lot of stock in online reviews only because I think unhappy people are more likely to post. I try to find someone who has run it and who's opinion I trust and go off of that.
Good luck deciding!
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. - Anais Nin
Thanks, you guys. I appreciate it.
PRs: Marathon (2:49xx; '13) Half (1:25xx; '12) 10k (40:26; '11) 5mi (29:23; '13) 5k (17:33; '13)