Practically everyone has a “bucket list” of travel destinations. Some people prefer the tropical getaways, lying in the sunshine on a beach with a bottomless margarita in hand. Others prefer more adventurous getaways, exploring mountains and experiencing the wilderness. Still, others seek the intrigue of discovering foreign lands, learning new cultures and different ways of life.
And then there are those of us who fantasize about visiting our dream locales, but exploring them with a bib attached to a shirt and mile markers along the way. I like to call this my “race bucket list.” I study course maps and picture myself as one of the runners in the photos splashed across the websites. I think of crossing the finish line in a new place and seeing the town from a different perspective.
Here’s what’s on my dream running list:
The Boston Marathon – One of the most well-known races, the oldest marathon is definitely on my bucket list. In order to compete, runners must qualify by running a certain time (based on age and gender), commonly known as a “BQ.” I can only imagine the excitement in the air in Boston over that long weekend. A town filled with people who love running. I can’t wait to run past the students from Wellesley College, tackle Heartbreak Hill and finally, run down Boylston Street toward the finish line — hopefully I’ll be running this race in 2014.
The New York City Marathon – Having done two races in New York City (The Manhattan Half and the NYC Tune Up Race), I know I love racing there. I love New York City as it is, but add in some miles throughout the five boroughs of the city with nearly 50,000 of my closest friends? I’m sold. Between the crazy crowd support, and the huge participant field, I can only daydream about how fun this would be – and keep entering the lottery each year!
The Seattle Marathon – I visited Seattle three years ago for a friend’s wedding and completely fell in love with the town. I talk about going back to visit all the time, and why not add 26.2 miles through the town for a view? Sure, I do see the term “hilly” in the description, but I am sure the scenic views of Lake Washington and downtown Seattle help alleviate the pain.
The Virgin London Marathon – I’ve never been to Europe, but I’ve always wanted to visit London. Sure, I hate long plane rides, but I believe it would be worth it to run through the streets of London. This marathon is known for being a fast course, and who wouldn’t mind coming back to the US with a shiny new PR?
Walt Disney World Marathon – 26.2 miles through the happiest place on Earth? This race takes you through four Walt Disney World theme parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports and the Walt Disney World Speedway. Additionally, there are characters located throughout the course cheering you on. And if you’re really trying to make the most out of your weekend, you can do Goofy’s Challenge — run the half on Saturday, and the full on Sunday — 39.3 miles in one weekend, who wouldn’t love that?!
What’s on your race bucket list?