Races for the ‘Bucket List’


By Megan Cox

Well, I had fully intended to blog about safety in this post (and don’t worry, that’s still totally going to happen). However, after my recent attempt at ranking the toughest half marathons was panned by the critics, I decided that list-making was way too much fun to abandon just yet.

Note to readers, I like criticism. It makes me feel loved. My two-year-old scolds me a couple times a day, and I know it’s a sign of affection.

But this next list won’t be controversial. Unfortunately. I’ve decided that I would like to post the top five half marathons that are on my racing wish list. The formula for this list is location + location + bragging rights = perfect race. Criticize it if you want!

#1. NYC Half Marathon

I love New York City. I’ve visited it in every season—winter, spring, summer, and fall. It’s the only city where I had so much fun one January that I didn’t even complain about the subzero temperatures. I’m certain in my next life that I will have a chance to live there (even if it’s in a shoebox-size apartment) and perform on Broadway (even if I’m just a tree in the Lion King).

Therefore, I can’t think of a more fun place to run a race. I’d carb-load in Little Italy, take in an inspirational show, and hum “New York, New York” while running through all the fun sites the city has to offer. Heaven.

#2. Pikes Peak Ascent

Dude! Someone on Facebook reminded me about this unbelievably tough race. I actually lived in Colorado Springs for a small but wonderful interval of my life, and a dad of one of my friends challenged me to run this half (he does Ironman races at 60—enough said).

Thirteen miles up a mountain at high altitude? Killer. But oh the bragging rights!

#3. Disney World Half Marathon

So, another comment on my toughest half-marathons list was that this particular race is not particularly hard. The challenge, apparently, is dodging camera-happy tourists and bigger-than-life Disney characters. To me, that seems pretty tough, but now I really want to run this race. I’d like to give Cinderella a run for her money. She can’t be that fast in those slippers…

#4. Any half marathon in Hawaii

Do I even need to explain this? There’s no reason my fantasy of escaping to a tropical island and drinking my body weight in Mai Tais can’t include a race.

#5. Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon

As a local of the OKC area, this race has so much meaning as a commemoration of those who lost their lives in the bombing that rocked the city in 1995. I’ve been to the museum dedicated to the bombing, and it’s so moving. My husband, as an OKC native, not only remembers the blast, but had a neighbor who was killed in it.

Running this race is a personal must for me, and of all the races listed here, it’s the one I know I definitely won’t miss.

And that’s all I’ve got—for now. If there’s a race that’s simply a must-do for you, I’d love to hear about it!

This is a guest post by Megan Cox, an Oklahoma City-based novelist, writer and contributing blogger for HalfMarathons.Net. Learn more about Megan at her website.

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