Welcome to our series – Multiple Marathon Monday. This series is intended to help the current and potential runners interesting in running multiple marathons out there in the planning and traveling of your series of marathons. Thanks for reading and good luck!
Multiple Marathon Monday
For today, I thought I would give you my first experience with becoming a multiple marathoner. My first races that made me Marathon Maniac eligible were back in 2009 as part of my training for my 6 marathons / 6 continents / 5 day event. I am putting this down as a real-life example of how different races can work and how the training and travel work.
Marathon # 1
- Time: 3:59:44
- Date: October 10, 2009
This was one of my most convenient marathons that I had run. It is unfortunate, but I have never been able to run any of the marathons within 80 miles of my home due to scheduling. As a result, I had never been able to eat dinner at home the night before a marathon. Until Baltimore! Thanks to AirTran/Southwest, most of the medium/large cities in the Northeast US have non-stop flights to Baltimore and for a great price. In my case, I was able to get a round-trip ticket on AirTran for 7,500 ThankYou points (Citicard’s points program – you can apply for a Citicard here that gives you 25,000 ThankYou points good for $333 in airfare – application link I do not receive a commission for this card ). The great part was that the flight left Rochester at 5:45PM and arrived in Baltimore at 7:10PM. This meant that I got to enjoy a nice pasta dinner with my family before leaving for the airport. 🙂 Definitely a help!
This was meant to be a training event for me, so I was just looking forward to enjoying the course, but the best part about the race was that my brother was going to run his first marathon there. We left together and arrived in Baltimore, raced to the rental car center and then raced (within the speed confines) to the expo before they closed at 8PM. We got there with a few minutes to spare and picked up our packet before heading to our hotel near Mile 6. It was a tiny hotel, but we were only going to be there for a few hours so it wasn’t that big of a deal.
We made it to the starting line with plenty of time before the start. That is one good thing about the Baltimore Marathon – since it takes place near Oriole Stadium and Raven stadium, there was plenty of parking! The bad part was that the humidity was rising quickly so I knew it was going to be a little difficult for me. I also forgot how hilly that part of the area is! As it was, I was shooting for a 4 hour time since I didn’t want to push it too much and my brother wanted to get under 4, so that worked out great. We stayed together the whole time until Mile 23 when I stopped for the bathroom. My brother kept going since he looked very strong. He beat me by a couple of minutes and I was able to just come in under the 4 hour time. It was a nice course and the title sponsor (Under Armour) did a great job with the advertising and gear. There were a couple of dead spots in the teens, but otherwise it was great. One of the great things was that marathon course came back to the starting line at the half and we got there right around the time that the half marathoners started. It was really nice to have such a boost of fresh racers at the half-way point. I wish more marathon/half-marathon events did that!
We had to skip to the airport quickly post-race (when do I not do that?!) as my brother was headed to Albany and I was headed back home. I originally had a 2PM flight home but AirTran cancelled my afternoon flight bumped me to a 9PM flight. That wasn’t much to my liking, but without any other choices, I went with that. I got some work done at the airport for a while before making it back home late Saturday night.
Baltimore had been the first run of a very long training week in preparation for my big marathon event. So, very early Sunday morning, I went out for 20 miles. On Monday and Tuesday, I went out for 22 miles each day. I took Wednesday off. Thursday morning I did 17 miles before leaving for my next marathon and then did 10 miles on Friday the day before the next marathon. That added up to 91 miles in between my two marathons. That was the most I had put in in a short time before and was really curious how the next marathon would play out.
Marathon # 2
Kansas City Marathon
- Time: 3:53:53
- Date: October 17, 2009
Kansas City Travel
This marathon worked out great with the timing because I had to travel for work to Kansas City that weekend and the next week. My family and my boss and his wife made it a little mini-vacation in Kansas City for Thursday – Tuesday. Our work covered our flights down there and we took care of our rental van and hotels in Kansas City. Unfortunately, Kansas City has some of the highest rental car rates of any airport in the country. As a result, we did a one-day van rental from the airport and picked up a van from an off-airport location the next day which saved us over $150 for our rental period!
For our hotel, we stayed at the Westin Crown Center. It was a fabulous hotel that is part of Crown Center Plaza – a huge plaza that is connected by walkways over many blocks. For a small family with little kids, it was perfect. We were able to go the train area, multiple shops (including LEGO store), restaurants, parking garages, and some of the city’s best fountains. It is a SPG Category 3 that can be had (including for the upcoming Kansas City Marathon) for $179 a night, 7,000 points per night, or 3,500 points and $55 per night. This was a very nice hotel and definitely worth staying at. My friend and I walked from the front door of our hotel to the starting line – very convenient! You can get the points for this hotel from a SPG American Express card (10,000 SPG points after first purchase, 15,000 additional points after spending $5,000 in 6 months – application link – I do receive a commission for this card ).
It was a beautiful morning and another hilly city. This was one of my most enjoyable marathons since I was just looking to enjoy this run and had no expectations considering that I had just run 117 miles over the previous week. Kansas City is known as the City of Fountains and saw many of them throughout the course. Kansas City is really a beautiful city and one that I enjoyed seeing. My friend finished the race in 3:30 while I finished in 3:53. I felt great about it since my last mile was a 7:06! I know, that meant I still had a lot left, but it made me feel good knowing that my training was improving my fitness level for my event. Again, this was another marathon that I really enjoyed. It was a big marathon but not too big that the area was crowded. The sites were plentiful and the finish line festival was a real blast! My wife and kids got to watch some of the earlier finishers from our hotel room window! It was great that they had a 1 minute walk from the hotel to the finish line. All in all, a grade A event! Thanks, Kansas City, and I hope to run the great city again!
So two weekends and two cities and I had two marathons done. The travel was simple – the first trip was a 24 hour trip with flights that were Rochester – Baltimore and back to Rochester. The second trip was leaving two days before the second marathon (which is an ideal time ahead of a marathon to allow the runner to get the proper rest prior to the marathon) and was a Rochester – Detroit – Kansas City and back the same route. For two marathons on back-to-back weekends, it was logistically easy since I kept them both on the eastern part of the US. So, there is my real life example of a Marathon Maniac qualifier! Let me know if you would like to share your experiences!
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