My Portland trip will be over the day before the Crystal City 5k, so despite my horrific experience there last year in ridiculous heat, I will give it another shot. I won't try to double with Riley's Rumble again, though, because Pokey will be in Hawaii.
My friend's wedding in New York July 30 will preclude me from making my annual trip to Pittsburgh for the Run for Roch. For a while I considered taking a bus to Pittsburgh Friday, running the race Saturday morning, flying to Albany right after, then renting a car and driving to Rhinebeck, but it figured to be too stressful and likely that I would enjoy neither.
The Spider Alumni race, of course.
Sam is heading to Pittsburgh to defend his Great Race title, so I will go along. This will be my opportunity to race in Pittsburgh again, since I won't be doing the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon anymore. Hopefully the Great Race won't kill my back, as it usually does.
As fine of a race as Buffalo Creek may be, the elevation drop is ridiculous. If I want to improve my half marathon time, I want it to be legitimate, and I don't want an attempt to PR in
Philadelphia be up against an early performance from a novelty course. So, instead I will run the Freedom's Run Half, mostly around the Antietam Battlefield in Maryland, with a start and finish in West Virginia. I have always loved western Maryland in October, and wanted to run a race there anytime. It definitely won't be a fast race, but I can't imagine expecting to PR in every race is realistic, or healthy. In fact, I think I just ceded a few minutes of my finishing time just by choosing this race, but I don't care, I really want to run here. It could end up being really sunny, because most of the course is exposed, but it will still be cooler than around DC. I am just looking forward to hitting the hills. Tim Schuler, whose daughter ran for Richmond, is a very active masters runner and he did the half last year, and said the race was impeccably managed. That goes a long way.
I have a really good feeling about the Anthem Great Pumpkin 5k. The course, looks to be exactly what a road race should be -- closed road where you otherwise wouldn't be able to run. No 180s, no sharp turns, I think it's going to be a lot of fun. Reston Town Center was one of the first destinations my ex-girlfriend showed me around when I spent my first significant time in northern Virginia 10 years ago, a personal footnote that will have no bearing whatsoever on the actual race.
After that, it's back to Richmond in November for the 8k the morning of the marathon, followed by biking around while Molz races. Then, a week later, the Philadelphia Half.