Just 8 days after completing the 2007 Marine Corps Marathon, I’ve signed up for another one. Nothing wrong with that you might think, and you’d be correct. The crazy thing is, this “other marathon” is the Richmond Marathon and it’s being held on November 10th, 2007 – this coming Saturday!
Richmond will be my 20th marathon and although I’ve run the race twice before, the last occasion was in 2001. The Richmond Marathon holds some special memories (see below) and is one of my favorite marathons. It’s also only a 2 hour drive from where I live.
1. It was the first US marathon I ever ran, in the days when I was still living in the UK.
2. It was my wife’s first ever marathon. I vividly remember running back to the 24 mile mark after completing my race to cheer Allyson on. She only took up running in 1997 after meeting me, and never imagined she’d ever be able to complete the 26.2 mile marathon distance. She made it to the finish in a very respectable time and was a very proud moment for me!
3. Richmond was the venue for my first sub 3 hour marathon in November 2001. I’d gone close at the Shamrock Marathon in March 2000, recording 3 hours and 35 seconds. Throwing up at mile 22 didn’t help my cause, but I trained hard and the downhill finish at Richmond helped me duck under the magic 3 hour mark in 2:59:36 with 24 seconds to spare!
So, you’re probably asking yourselves why am I putting myself through the pain and torture of another 26.2 mile race. Ok, maybe you’re not, but I’ll tell you anyway. Although Marine Corps last weekend was a tough race – both physically and mentally – I came out of it the next day feeling surprisingly good and in search of a new goal to focus on. I figured why not take advantage of my current marathon fitness and run another one?
Last year I waited 6 weeks before driving to Charlotte, NC to take part in another marathon. This year, I think I’ll just show up at Richmond and see what happens. I really don’t expect too much, but it’s a fun course and one of the friendliest marathons you can imagine. I’m just going to see how the early miles go and take my race plan from there.
Running 2 marathons in 2 weeks is not recommended and it’s something I’ve never attempted before. There’s no time for a full recovery and no time to improve your fitness, so it’s pretty much go with what you’ve got.
I’ll run a couple more times during the week, nothing too strenuous and nothing too far, so watch this space for more details as I taper for marathon #2!