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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Race Report: Appalachian Series - West Virginia

9 marathons. 9 states.

I have run 9 marathons in 9 different states.

Ohio. North Carolina. New York. Virginia. Tennessee. Alabama. Georgia. Pennsylvania. West Virginia.

I am one state away from joining the 50 States Marathon Club. 1 STATE!

But before I go on and on about how excited I am that this HUGE goal is almost within reach, let's talk about this crazy West Virginia race I just ran.

#1 most important fact: IT WAS HILLY.

3 hills. 6 hills per loop. 12 loops.

At mile 21, those hills became mountains. I did something I have NEVER done in a race. I walked the hills.

but I finished. All those hills. All 12 loops. All 26.2 miles.

The particulars: this race is part of a 7 day series, the Appalachian series, hosted by Mainly Marathons. There was a HUGE 50 State, Fanatics, and Maniacs presence at this race, which makes perfect sense considering you can act like a fanatic or a maniac and run a half or marathon everyday for seven days.  

The course went through a park that had beautiful views of trees with leaves that actually change color! The sun was shining but it was still cool and crisp. Pretty much a perfect day. The volunteers were amazing, super supportive and encouraging. My fellows runners were excited, encouraging, and kind. They made the hills bearable.

The cool thing about running a loop is that you become so obsessed with what number loop you're on you forget all about the miles. The first 6 loops flew by. Loops 7-10 were a little rough and the last 2 were all like "YEA! I'm almost done!"  

The medal is pretty freaking awesome.

modeled by my adorable son
It has clips so that you can add more states as you complete the series. So cool. I may or may not have had a brief moment where I was all like "oooo! I want to add more states!" but then I came to my senses.

As I get deeper and deeper into this 50 State quest, I will definitely consider running another Mainly Marathons series. Though small, it is a great way to get the mileage and states you need while  surrounded by wonderful and dedicated people.

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