Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday 5: Why Run Ocala

I know that I haven't run it yet, but here are the top 5 reasons why I chose to run the Ocala Marathon on Sunday.
  1. Cost/Distance - Yes, this is technically 2 reasons, but I'm combining them because they really go together. I paid $65, but early registration was $50. Since it's within driving distance from home, less than 1.5 hours, I don't have the added cost of a hotel room. I'll have to be up early to drive over there, but considering how early I was up for some of our long runs, this is practically sleeping in. If I was running Disney I'd have to be up much earlier to drive 1/3 the distance for 3 times the cost. I love being able wake up in my own bed on race morning. It decreases my anxiety because there is no chance I forgot to pack a key piece of gear. 
  2. Small Race - I really love the small, low key races way more than big races. The logistics are simpler, and it feels more intimate. There are currently 196 registered for the full marathon and 325 for the half, so a total field of just 521. Sure, I worry about being out there all alone, but it really doesn't bother me. It will just make it easier for Jason to find me :) 
  3. Great support - I've heard great things about the on course support for this race, and here's what it says in our race packet: "Aid Stations approximately every mile staffed with friendly volunteers offering you encouragement and refreshments. Stations will have Water, Gatorade, LaraBars, Clif Shot Bloks, fruit and e-Gel." There is even a diagram showing how the tables will be arranged at each station. 
  4. Course - From the race packet: "The race travels through residential and rural areas of Marion County. The course is well shaded and has a combination of gently rolling hills with a few climbs to keep it interesting. The course has some great scenery and will go by faster than you can believe." This sounds wonderful. Not looking forward to the "few climbs" but I know how to run hills, and I welcome the challenge! :) The course is 2 loops, which doesn't sound great at first, but I kind of like it because it means I'll know what to expect for the 2nd half and it will be easy for me to see Jason a lot during the race ... and hand him all my extra clothes =P This also helps them have better aid stations because they don't have to man as many since we'll post most twice. 
  5. Marathon Maniacs - I've been wanting to do this race since hearing such good things about it, but it didn't fit my schedule before. The timing is perfect this year to serve as my last long run before BCM and to qualify for Marathon Maniac by running 3 marathons in 90 days (77 to be exact, but who's counting ;)

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