My first marathon was back in 1998 on the NCR Trail north of Baltimore. It was a perfect fall day, my coach was there to cheer me on, and I finished the day with a 3:39, good enough for Boston.
While I loved this marathon, I know it’s not for everyone. It still takes only 350 people. It’s on a trail so there aren’t crowds out there. In fact, there are long stretches of quiet. But I like it that way.
Forbes magazine (just where I think to go for all things endurance sports) recently published its list of top 10 marathons for first timers. Clearly the writer hit the big-city, big-production marathons. Take a look at how he ranked them:
- Marine Corps Marathon
- Las Vegas
- New Orleans
The only one of these I’ve run is Philadelphia, and even that was before it became so big (I think it’s now an RnR?). I can understand why first-timers, and others, flock to these big events.
With the exception of Boston, however, I’ll always gravitate towards the smaller- to medium-sized events. I like to have room to spread out and concentrate without all the distractions. Yes, crowd support can be nice, but in the end I like to hear myself think.
Have you run any of the top 10 on the list? Was it your first?