Friday, June 17, 2016

The Finish Line Keeps Moving

One of my long-term goals is to run every marathon in Minnesota.  I keep making progress toward this goal, but the finish line keeps moving.  Last year, I knocked off the Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon and the Dick Beardsley Marathon.  Then I learned there was a new marathon in Ely.  It seems like there’s another new marathon added to the calendar each year.

I actually finished this goal once before.  In 1993, I ran every Minnesota marathon in the same year.  Back then, there were only three.  As of the beginning of 2016, there were 16.

Three weeks ago, I finished the Med City Marathon in Rochester, redeeming myself for a DNF last year.  Last weekend, I finished the Minnesota race of the Heartland Series.  These two races brought my total to 12.  (I’m not including ultras.)

So far, I’ve done the follow Minnesota Marathons:

Twin Cities Marathon (from Minneapolis to St. Paul)
Grandma’s Marathon (from Two Harbors to Duluth)
Walker/North Country Marathon
Zoom! Yah! Yah! Indoor Marathon (in Northfield)
Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon (from Holdingford to St. Joseph)
Run for the Lakes Marathon (in Nisswa)
Minneapolis Marathon
Mankato Marathon
Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon (from Duluth to Carlton)
Dick Beardsley Marathon (in Detroit Lakes)
Med City Marathon (in Rochester)
Heartland Series, Day Seven (in Albert Lea)

As I drove home from Albert Lea, I assumed I had just four Minnesota marathons to go.  That same day, I learned about a new indoor marathon in St. Michael.  That means I still have five to go.

My remaining races are the Urban Trail Marathon in St. Paul, the Moose Mountain Marathon in Lutsen, the Ely Marathon, the Blue Ox Marathon in Bemidji, and the new Minnesota Indoor Marathon in St. Michael.

I was thinking I might be able to do the Urban Trail Marathon in August, but I decided to run the Super Tunnel Marathon in Washington that weekend.  It’s at the time of year when I need to make a serious attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  Urban Trail will have to wait until next year.

The Moose Mountain Marathon is an extremely rugged trail marathon on the Superior Hiking Trail.  I would be hard pressed to get ready for that race, and I would have to focus almost exclusively on trail running.  Having made a commitment to qualifying for Boston, I’ll also have to put off Moose Mountain for another year.

The Ely Marathon is the same day as the Berlin Marathon.  I got into Berlin through the lottery, so I’m not passing that up.  The Blue Ox Marathon is the same day as the Chicago Marathon, where I can get guaranteed entry this year, but probably not in future years.  Running Berlin and Chicago will allow me to complete all six World Marathon Majors.  That’s a higher priority.

I could still run the Minnesota Indoor Marathon this year.  I haven’t made plans for November yet, so we’ll see.

At the start of the year, I needed to run six more Minnesota marathons.  I’ve run two, but still have five to go.  Like I said, the finish line keeps moving.

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