Until yesterday, I had a very hard time deciding on a marathon to run. I knew that I was going to run a long distance ran this summer, I just didn't know which one. I had even thought about skipping the marathon and going right into the 50k, maybe The Lean Horse, or The Bear Chase. I may also do those races but I have decided upon a marathon. The decision came to me when looking for marathons and I had narrowed it down to a few. I was looking at registration dates and prices and when I looked at this one it just looked right. I mean, the price was going to go up $20 if I didn't register within two days. And the price is much lower than a lot of races that I could have run, including the New York City Marathon, set to cost $255 this year.
Anyway, the race I decided to run is the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon on June 3rd. I thought June 3rd would be a good time because I would still be in shape coming off Conference Track and it's not too close to the wedding! The whole "trail" thing might intimidate some but the Mickelson is nothing more than a gravel road without cars on it. But that gravel road passes through some beautiful terrain. It also has some reasonable hills and altitude to deal with. My goal for now is to win. If I gain a bunch of confidence and fitness in the next 5 months maybe I'll attempt the course record of 2:35. I know I could run that fast on a road marathon but this whole trail/hill/altitude thing makes me a little unsure.
I am excited for my first foray into the longer distances. It is a long time coming. After many 20 and 22 mile long runs I feel I am ready to race 26.2 and more!