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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to run my first marathon in 2009. My goal is to complete my half training in the spring, then focus on my 5k over the summer, base build in the fall, and do a marathon in winter or spring.<br><br>
What criteria should I use to decide which one to do? I am thinking Phoenix, Austin or Country Music.<br><br>
My parents live in Phoenix, it's a flat course, and it would be a couple of weeks before my 35th birthday (Jan), so I could train without having in my mind that I'm in a new age group and should do something stupid (for me) like shooting for a BQ.<br><br>
My brother and sister live in Austin, and it would be a fun trip to go and see them and do the race. It's in February.<br><br>
Then there's Country Music in April. I could run on familiar streets, do long runs with my local running club, and not have to travel. But it's hilly and sometimes hot.<br><br>
IS there anything else I should consider?
 

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Size of the race???? .....will it make a difference to you??? ...... I like small short races but with marathons I prefer the larger races. There's usually more spectators cheering you on and late in the race there's still other runners around you. I ran one small marathon where late in the race on one stretch, there were no spectators, there were no runners visible in front of me or behind me..... it really started to feel like a long training run.
 

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A bold statement of the obvious would be that your training will help you decide. Sounds like you are an experienced half marathoner so you know what training for that distance is like. If it the fall, your base buildup is good. You are able to the long runs and higher mileage without problems then pick either Phoenix or Austin. If that is a slower process and more difficult then take advantage of later date and local club and run the Country Music. Sounds like you have three great options.
 

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Although there are never any guarantees, Phoenix clearly gives you the best chance for good running conditions. Weather is much more unpredictable out East and in Texas. This should be a huge consideration for an event that takes so much advance planning and preparation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Weather is a good point. I don't know why, but I am scared to death of running a marathon. But I've been running for 8 years, and I'm ready to see what it's all about. I was thinking about going for the Pfitzinger 18/55 plan.
 

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Why not the Flying Pig? It caters to first timers, it's not terribly hilly, the weather has been pretty much ideal 7 years out of 9 so far, it's not too far away from TN.<br><br>
Personally I would default to the local race...there's a lot to be said for training on the course and sleeping in one's own bed for your first marathon, not to mention knowing a ton of people in the race. If it's a good race, the home course is a safe bet.
 

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go with Karma:<br><br>
Foxy ran her first marathon at Austin and then turned 35- 4 weeks later<br><br><br>
Foxy likes local or within a few hours travel. Foxy likes to sleep in her own den.
 

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Got to say I admire your patient, researched approach to this. Building up a base of knowledge with serious time at shorter distances. There is nothing to be scared about-especially based on your approach. You are not the classic first marathon after running 6 months first time marathoner. You will do well. Another factor to throw in, is whether there are pacers or not. Knowing and keeping your pace is probably the hardest thing, the first time out.
 

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<span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I’ve run a couple of those small desolate Marathons like SLOjim describes. They can be fun, but I wouldn’t advise something like that for your first one. I’d say go big for your first one. Something with a nice course/venue, lots of spectators, and maybe has been around a while. I’ve run the Marine Corps Marathon twice and have loved it. I’ve always thought it’d be a good ‘first Marathon.’ It’s a good course (FLAT) and passes most of the monuments and major government buildings. Running through Georgetown is boss! It’s October 26th this year so you’d probably have to move up your schedule a bit. Registration always closes out QUICKLY! In the past they’ve had a lottery for registration but it look like they may have gotten away from that.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">This quote from the MCM website:</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">“Online Registration for the 2008 Marine Corps Marathon opens at noon eastern on April 30th and the entry fee is $88. The race field is expected to fill up quickly, so sign up early!”</span></span><br><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Dan</span></span>
 

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Size is a big one. I personally like the smaller races more than the big party-sized races because I like some room to breathe. I think each have their advantages and disadvantages. (I, of course, love Chickamauga - price, support, size, course)<br><br>
One thing that can help if you haven't seen it is marathonguide.com You can't please everyone all the time, but the reviews as a total do give you a good picture of what to expect I tihnk.
 

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My choice was purely symbolic. I took up running in 1982, but had given it up between 1988 and 2005. I chose a marathon that was as close to my hometown as I could find because that was the place where I began running. I wanted my first marathon to be run there as a sign that I had returned to my running roots. The course, race size, amenities, etc. - all of that was secondary to the location.
 

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That's a nice attitude. I would vote for running in your family's home town. Nothing like sharing this milestone with, and being cheered on by, your loved ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think you all have convinced me to do the country music. It's the site of my first half marathon. My office volunteers at a water station on mile six, so it would be like my own personal scream tunnel. And the course goes half a block from my house, so if I get desperate, I can pull a Rosie Ruiz and go get my car. <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif">
 

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exciting!!!!!
 

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Cool! Country Music was my first marathon last year. No, I didn't run my hometown marathon as my first. That would be the Mercedes Marathon and I ran it for the first time this year. Both were great and I really enjoyed them. Have fun...good luck!
 

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Being one that hates running in the heat I would say pick the one with the coolest average temperature. I also feel a totally flat course is mentally tough on you. Running one with some small rolling hills helps you to use different muscles and prevent muscle fatigue. Good luck!
 

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I really like the Phoenix race, for what may be obvious reasons. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> As you already have a "destination" race in your town anyway, it seems like the obvious choice.
 

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I think you have 3 great options<br><br>
There are 2 things I would consider for a 1st marathon and you have them both covered. Either run local so you can have support and sleep in you own bed - not have to worry about too many details and relax. or ... travel to a location that is an easy in-out for a fun marathon. The fact you have family at both locations - makes it a low cost / low hassle event.<br><br>
Have fun
 
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