Sunday, November 15, 2015

Remaining States Part 2

I was thinking last week about each state that I have yet to do and researched potential targets.  Here it is.  Enjoy.

Alaska- Anchorage for sure.  There's a race in June and another in August.  Neither is a PR course.  I think I'd prefer June because it would be cool to experience 20+ hours of daylight.

Hawaii- Really can't go wrong here.  It will be beautiful no matter where I go but also warm and humid regardless of the time of year.  This could also be a stopping point to break up a trip to Australia.  Something in Honolulu would probably be the easiest logistically.

Washington- RnR Seattle in June.  Cool summer getaway and I could see a Mariners game.

Montana and Wyoming- There are 2 races a week apart in Yellowstone National Park in June. The Yellowstone half is in Montana and the Grand Teton is just a few miles south but it's in Wyoming. Both are trail races at 6,500 feet elevation.  Time means nothing on a course like that.  I'd have to spend a week in Yellowstone but I'm sure I can find stuff to do nearby such as Glacier National Park.

Nevada- RnR Las Vegas.  This is an evening race in November and would be interesting.  I don't gamble but I'm sure there are some shows worth seeing.  The race itself starts and finishes in the Strip but is largely residential.  Edit:  I'm beginning to think a Lake Tahoe race would be more fun.  The scenery is awesome and Reno is also close.

Utah- Cottonwood.  There are 2 races that are basically the same course in the Spring and early Fall.  The course drops nearly 2,500 feet in elevation (nearly a 5% average grade).  Even at high altitude, that's not PR-legal but it could be tons of fun.  It is located just outside Salt Lake City.

New Mexico- Santa Fe.  There's another high altitude downhill race here but it's only about 1,000 feet net drop and might be PR-legal.  I'd road trip into Amarillo or Lubbock, Texas.  I've never been to West Texas but I hear it is very different from East Texas.

South Dakota- Spearfish Canyon in the Black Hills near Rapid City in July.  Rural and off the beaten path but I'm sure the scenery will be awesome.  I will also re-visit Mount Rushmore.

Nebraska and Iowa- I'd like to double up here with just one trip. I've done some research and found one in Des Moines on a Saturday in late April/early May and one on a Sunday in Lincoln, Nebraska which is only a little over 3 hours away.  I won't race either but if I'm in decent shape, I should come away with a pair of sub-1:45s.

Kansas- This is the only remaining state that could possibly be a drive.  I would likely opt for one on the Kansas side of the KC metro area.  I do have a childhood friend in the area and would like to see a Royals game and the Truman library.

Minnesota and Wisconsin- Definitely a chance to double here, possibly this year.  There are several races in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area that would be nice in late Spring/early summer.  That's just across the border from Wisconsin, which has lots of races.  Ideally, I'd go with Minneapolis and Eau Claire but Madison and even Milwaukee could be do-able.  I could see a Twins or Brewers game.

Michigan- Detroit Free Press in October for sure.  This one has been on my radar for several years but it never fit my schedule.  You cross the Ambassador bridge for a few miles in Windsor, Ontario, Canada before a mile long tunnel back to the USA for a finish in downtown Detroit.  Tourist options include the MoTown and Henry Ford museums.

Maine/New Hampshire- Should be able to double here if I can find a Saturday/Sunday combo.  As of now, there are a pair that I could do in Concord and Portland, which are less than 3 hours apart.  Both races are in the first week of October.

Vermont- Race options are fairly limited here and I'd turn it into a trip to Montreal and possibly Ottawa.  As of now, no such Saturday/Sunday combo is scheduled but that could change down the road.  Montreal is less than 2 hours from Burlington, VT.  It would have to be late Spring or early Fall for the temps to be comfortable.

Connecticut/Rhode Island- Lots of runners double here.  The 2 races are ING Hartford and Newport, RI.  It's a Saturday/Sunday combo in the 2nd week of October.  Leaves will be changing this time of year.

Maryland- Island 2 Island in Ocean City in late April.  I spent a summer in this area back in 2000 and have not been back since '02.  I'd probably fly into Philly and would like to drive the DelMarVa peninsula.

New York- There's the Manhattan half in January and the NYC half in March.  Both courses go through Central Park.  Obviously, I'd prefer March because the weather will likely be better but it's a lottery and could be tough to get in.  There is the option to wing it and make a last minute trip in January based on the forecast a few days out.  The weather up there is unpredictable.  It could be snowing or bitter cold but there are a lot of fairly mild days in the 40s-50s.  Times Square and the Empire State building are within walking distance of the start/finish.  Both should be on any American's bucket list.  It will be an expensive weekend trip but so what?

New Jersey/Delaware- I found a Saturday/Sunday combo in Dover and Atlantic City.  They are only a little more than 2 hours apart and I can use Philly as my hub and do some touring there.

Massachusetts- Boston.  If I never qualify for the marathon that everyone wants to do, my choice would be the Boston Memorial half in late May.  Unfortunately, Red Sox tickets are almost impossible to get.

I think that covers them all.  It could take me a decade to do all this but I'm beginning to think it may be worth it.

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