What’s a runner to do who’s accomplished all her time goals and distance goals but still wants to stay in the marathon and racing game? How about tackling all the marathon majors? That’s the path my two friends Lisa and Julie have headed down and so far, it has been a great ride for them.
For those who are unfamiliar, the marathon majors are considered Boston, NYC, Chicago, Berlin, Paris, London and Tokyo. Lisa and Julie are well on their way to having all seven crossed off their lists, their most recent conquests being Paris and London (the “chunnel”) just last month.
Before I get into their fun travel to the races, let me tell you these ladies are no joke when it comes to time accomplishments. Both have marathon PRs that run sub-3:15. Both have run the JFK 50, and Lisa has even run Rim2Rim2Rim. In our running group, they are perpetually at the front of the pack while some of us (raises hand) whine for them to slow down. But onto the majors.
Both Lisa and Julie decided to concentrate on the seven races in the last couple of years. They looked at it as a great way to combine their love of running with travel. As Lisa says, “It’s the perfect vacation and I’m hooked on this kind of travel. It’s so fun to get to a new city, go for an exploration run, figure out what to do, where to eat and where to shop. Finding someone who enjoys the same pace as you makes a huge difference.”
So far, they have run Boston multiple times over, Chicago, Berlin, London, Paris, and New York, in Julie’s case. They’ll both run New York together this fall (it was on their schedule the year Sandy hit) and plan to cross Tokyo off the list in 2016. Lisa’s favorite so far remains Boston, but Julie’s heart is in New York, which she ran in 2001. “There was such incredible crowd support that year since it wasn’t long after 9/11,” she says. “Every fire station had fire trucks out, people ran with names from 9/11 on their shirts, and we got to start almost at the starting line, watching the elite women take off.”
What do the ladies recommend to folks who are considering tackling all the majors? Have fun, first and foremost. “Don’t sacrifice the fun for the run,” says Lisa. “Letting go of the perfect race can guarantee a great life experience. In the words of our fellow Chunnelers: ‘you’re ready, just run.’” Julie concurs: “Train so that you feel confident, but don’t make the trip just about the run. The run is just part of the adventure.”
I can tell you from their stories, Lisa and Julie have indeed made the most of these trips and had an amazing time.
Anyone else have the majors as their goal? Anyone run Tokyo, their one outstanding race?
If you entered my MilestonePod giveaway, the winners are Jeff and Darlene. Congrats–I’ve sent you both an email.