As I approach my 103rd Marathon at the Manchester City Marathon, in New Hampshire, I shake my head at two things:
1. How, 100 marathons ago, I was lining up for, what was in my head, my LAST Marathon.
2. How, I still have not done as many marathons in the rest of my entire life combined (not counting 2006), as I did DURING 2006!
A few months ago I was planning on being elsewhere this weekend. I had the registration form all filled out for the Javelina Jundred, which I wanted to be my redemption race for needing to bow out at mile 87 of my first 100 back in 2007, at the Old Dominion 100. Something stayed my hand on sending in the registration form, and then when I had the run in with the left bumper of a car in August, the rest of my year was throw all a kilter. Could I have still run this 100? Sure. Would it have been in a time far less than I would have wanted it to be? Definitely.
Around that time, not even looking for another race to fill the weekend, I receive an email from Bill Rodgers asking me about my fall schedule. We were planning to next see each other in Jackson, Mississippi for the Blues Marathon but he was wondering if our paths would cross before then.
Lo and behold, Manchester City cropped up on the open date. A few emails and phone calls later and I get to not only spend time will Bill again (which, if you aren't learned in the history of Marathoning, is a little like being a basketball player who gets to shoot hoops with Michael Jordan) but knock off the state of New Hampshire from my states-to-run-a-marathon-in list!
On a completely different note, I like that the Manchester Marathon has a 6-hour cutoff time. It does not take much perusing of my blog to see that I am all for anyone getting out there and exercising. It also does not take much more digging to see that I am even more in favor of challenging ourselves to get better. Having a 6-hour cutoff is a generous time for a race to be open and if you are unable to complete the race in that time, I think it is good to WANT to get to the place where you can. Then the next goal should be 5 hours. Then four. And so on. There is not a thing wrong with being in a certain time or place in one's racing or training. But I do think it says something about you if you have no desire (or don't want to put forth the effort) to get better.
To help get the good word out about this race located in a city ranked 13th in a list of the 100 best cities to live and launch a business in the United States, I will be doing some spots on both local radio station WZID as well as as the Channel 9 TV's WMUR. When I know more about the exact times for those shows I will post them on my twitter account.
Hope to see you there!