As we approach Thanksgiving, I am thankful for too many things to properly mention. However, two of them have to do with racing. First, I am so thankful that I am healthy and able enough to toe the line for three more races this year before I pack it up for 2011. I am also very thankful that it is only three more. Dane is tired!
First up, this weekend I revisit the Northern Central TrailMarathon in the greater Baltimore area. This race was one of the 52 marathon I did back in 2006 and I am looking forward to being back there again. A very simple out and back with killer hill at the end, the crushed gravel rails to trails course is very quiet and serene. Definitely not the race to be running if you need spectator support but one to run if you like beauty in the woods in the late fall.
Next weekend I will be a participant in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon. Not only is it my first marathon in Tennessee (Tennessee is an anomaly to me. At one point I had been in every state that touches Tennessee but never Tennessee. Any idea how hard that is?) but it will be also to support a wonderful cause. St. Jude is what I ran my first marathon for a cause for back at the MCM in 2004. If I had only known then where I would be now in terms of running marathons I am fairly certain my eyebrows would have been raised. However, with this race I will knock off my 46th state I have run a marathon in and be down to the final four. I guess next up is provinces and European countries.
Finally, my last race of the year is revisiting the Kiawah Island Marathon weekend. I will run the half this year and if my legs cooperate, may just try to set a new half-marathon PR. That would put quite the cap on a year of tons of personal bests. I will also be premiering the preview of my movie about my 202 miler. All those attending the post-race dinner will get to see that and hear a little about how I was able to run 202 miles from Gettysburg, PA to Washington DC in 2010.
These three races will conclude a one year project I have been working on with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association to inform people about how healthy eating lean beef is. I have been met with resounding support from a silent majority of athletes out there who not only enjoy beef but are well-versed in how it fuels their bodies. Are their other ways to properly fuel yourself for races? Sure. Is their a tastier way? Probably not!
All in all it has been a hugely successful jaunt to what will be 20 different races in 15 different states. We have been able to put together Team Beefs in plenty of states and jumpstart others. In addition, and more importantly, we are teaching children about the perils of bad eating and no exercise.
In this time of thanks, I am extremely thankful to be at the front and part of a community of people who are for the most part always striving to improve themselves while also helping those around them. I am looking forward to these next three weeks of meeting even more of those people and being inspired by them. See you on the roads and trails!