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Friday, September 12, 2014

State #32: Louisiana, New Orleans Marathon

State #31: Iowa, Des Moines Marathon

Prior to flying to Des Moines, I really thought it would be a boring city, but I LOVE DES MOINES! It's a great city with lots of things to do, but there is no ocean so I'd never survive there.

Des Moines is a battleground for several presidential candidates which made it feel special to be there.
We went to the Des Moines farmer's market which was huge! We also went to the Iowa Hall of Pride (tribute to Iowa's sports and farming).  I found out that track star Lola Jones is from Des Moines! I love her!

The marathon itself was a lot of fun, the volunteers were great and we even had volunteers on bicycles that had plenty of support for us (tums, electrolytes, salt, etc.).  The start and finish were right near the Iowa Capitol which is beautiful!  We toured the Capitol building which I loved!! I love seeing old capitol buildings, there is so much beautiful history captured in capitol buildings.

Nancy's 50th State!

Famous track at Drake Univ. Drake Relays are hosted here. We ran a lap on the track :)

State #30: West Virginia, Freedom's Run Marathon

I ran West Virginia with my good 50 Stater friend Alison Black.  We flew into Baltimore and drove to WV.  The downtown area of Sheperdstown, WV was little, but full of Civil War history.  We stayed in Harpers Ferry, WV which is where the Appalachian Trail runs.  

The marathon course was very challenging with lots of steep hills through the end.  The course went through several historical places: Murphy Farm, Harpers Ferry, C & O Canal, and the Civil War town Sharpsburg, Maryland. 

I loved running along the river that Lewis and Clark tested their river boats.  We also ran past the site where Lee retreated over the Potomac after the bloody day at Antietam.

It was so neat running through Antietam Battlefield, even though the hills were very challenging. On September 17, 1862, 23,000 Americans either lost their lives or were wounded in the bloodiest day of our history at Antietam. The land and farms were preserved to look the same way that they did in 1862. 

The history of the course was inspiring and helped me get through the last few miles.  It was definitely a tough course, but marathons aren't supposed to be easy.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

State #29: Delaware, Delaware Marathon

Another marathon with Jessie! We took the Amtrak down to Wilmington, DE from Boston.  Unfortunately, someone took their life by jumping in front of the train.  It was very unsettling, and we were stuck in Connecticut for a couple of hours.  Some passengers on the train were complaining about the delay, but Jessie and I didn't complain.  It put everything into perspective for us, and we were just concerned about the safety of ourselves and everyone else. We made in to Wilmington safely and started to explore the riverfront/boardwalk area.

We were told by locals to not go downtown so we stayed near the riverfront and we frequented a local brewery called Iron Hill Brewery, it was DELICIOUS!! We definitely had a good time carb loading there.  The race was extremely hot and sunny, and there was not much shade along the course.  It was two loops which was tough, but on the second loop, I saw things that I didn't see the first loop.  I found Lori and Randy on the course which was a highlight of the trip.  We ran the Great Cranberry Island Ultra Marathon together in 2011, and it was really fun to see them again.

The next marathons that I have planned are in October with my 50 State/Marathon Maniac friend Alison Black.  I am looking forward to more miles and adventures in memory of my dad and to benefit The Center for Grieving Children in Portland, Maine. Thanks for following my journey! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

State #28: Georgia, Albany Marathon

My good friend Jessie and I traveled to Atlanta together and then we drove to Albany for marathon weekend.  I am forever grateful and blessed for the people I have met during this journey and the places I have been able to see.

Georgia=SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY!! The people were so friendly everywhere we went.  We tried to get a salad or sandwich when we first arrived, but our options were very limited because fried food seemed to be everywhere.  We did find a great local place in downtown Albany called the Cookie Jar. 

We were in Albany for Mardi Gras weekend, it was fun because there were lots of street vendors, bands, and families exploring downtown the weekend of the marathon.  The course support was excellent and the parts along the river were very nice.  I would definitely recommend this marathon to someone that wants a hometown, well organized race.

After the marathon, Jessie and I ventured back to Atlanta, where we went to the Martin Luther King, Jr. historical site and the Olympic Centennial Park.  I have always wanted to go to both places in Atlanta, and it was well worth it.  We also spent time with my friend Molly from Mount Desert Island, Maine, who now lives in ATL.  It was a great trip full of lots of adventures.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

State #27: New York, New York City Marathon

The NYC Marathon is a once in a lifetime experience.  I was fortunate to stay with Gary and Mary from the MDI Marathon.  Gary founded Crow Athletics, the running club that I belong to in Mount Desert Island, Maine.  They were great hosts and very familiar with the marathon so it made my experience extra special!!

I decided to wear all Boston Red Sox stuff since my dad would have loved knowing that I was representing our team.  NYY-BoSox rivalry!! The Sox had just won the 2013 World Series so I bought a shirt that said "WE OWN THE PARADE." I thought it was fitting since I'd be running in the world's biggest marathon/parade.

I took the Staten Island ferry over to the start.  There was security everywhere.  I waited around for several hours before it was time for my wave to start.  Running over the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge was amazing.  I was lucky to run on the top of the double decker bridge, so I had a great view of the city. 

The spectators in Brooklyn and Harlem made this marathon.  Brooklyn residents are so happy to have the marathoners running their streets!  The sun was going down as I was finishing, and it was bitter cold.  I really just wanted to be done.  The stretch to Central Park seemed like it was going to be forever to reach the finish line.  I can definitely say that reaching the finish line of any marathon makes you feel like you can do anything.  NYC was emotional for me, as it was a big city marathon and one of the World Majors, and they painted blue and yellow lines at the finish line for Boston.  I definitely left a view tears out there for Boston. The finish experience was crazy, I was surrounded by so many other freezing finishers and I had no clue where to go.  I finally hailed down a cab after walking for a couple miles after the marathon.  I loved this marathon, but I was really glad to make it home to Boston.  I can't wait to run Boston someday, because it is a big part of my life and a lot of special memories took place in Boston with my dad.

Doug, myself, Gary

Me, Gary, Mary