At the beginning of the year I said that I was just going to run without regards to a time goal so it would seem only fitting that I were to choose an event, that it would take that right out of the equation. Enter the Blue Ridge Marathon.
Dubbed the "Toughest Road Marathon in the America", the Blue Ridge boasts a total elevation gain and Loss of 7,234 ft. Certainly won't be worrying about hitting the track for this one. Instead, I am going to have to turn my attention to the treadmill and starting getting intimate with it. Crank the incline and hold on to the rails.
As if the marathon wasn't enough, a couple of my knuckleheaded friends, Kevin, Ryan, and JP decided last year to do an Unofficial Double Marathon in conjunction with the event. They completed one loop of the course before the official race started and then ran the real event with everyone else. Like them, I am not smart and will be heading down with them to do the "Double" this year. 52.4 miles of fun with 14, 468 of loss and gain.
I had a chance to chat with the race director, Ronny Angell, president of Odyssey Adventure Racing, for an upcoming episode of the podcast and he reassured my assumptions that this is going to be a challenge. As he put it, mile 17 - 18 is a "smack in the mouth" referring to the elevation gain in just over a mile.
Time to make friends with the hills.