Race Bucket List Update

I've been thinking a lot lately about races - looking back with nostalgia on races past, looking forward to upcoming races, and adding new races daily to the list of races I want to run (seriously, so many races, so little time). Three years ago I posted a list of big races I hoped to one day run - my Race Bucket List, if you will - and only a few years later, it's in serious need of a revamp. There are some races I've completed, some that are still waiting to be checked off, and some that I'm not really even interested in running anymore. This original list was never a binding nor a comprehensive collection of finish lines I hoped to eventually see, but it's clear that now my race priorities and preferences have changed quite a bit over the last few years!

Off the List
There are a few races that immediately jumped out at me as just...not that important to me anymore. I'm a "never say never" kind of person, so I don't think there are any races I can definitively say I won't do, but I can say that these are some that I don't think I'll make it a priority to run!

Marine Corps Marathon - In the time since I originally made this list, I unexpectedly ended up moving to DC. Surprisingly (or maybe not?) I now have no interest in running Marine Corps. I've heard countless times what a great race it is, and I've enjoyed spectating and watching friends run it, but for some reason I'm just not interested in running it myself. Maybe one day after I've left DC and am yearning to come back and get in my fix of running this city, but for now, it's off the list!

NYC Marathon - I'm not really super interested in running New York anymore. I'm not not interested, it's just dropped quite a bit on my list. I do think it would be a fun one to do, but I don't think my race list will feel incomplete if I never get around to it.  I wasn't sure if I should take this completely off my list or not, but I think it's fair to say it's tabled indefinitely.

Athens Classic Marathon - Only off the list because the original one included both Athens and Rome (what can I say? I do have a Classical Studies degree...) and since I think that only doing one (if that) is feasible, I think I'd really rather do Rome over Athens.

On the Fence

Rock n Roll Las Vegas - I've never been to Vegas and, at the time of writing my original list, had never run a RnR race. Running Las Vegas seemed like it would be an interesting way to both visit and experience a RnR race, and a unique one at that, since the race is at night. I've since run RnR DC twice and have RnR Virginia Beach on my calendar this year, so the Rock n Roll appeal isn't really there anymore, but running the strip at night still sounds like it could be a cool experience some day.

Seawheeze Half Marathon - I love the concept of this race and I'd really love to see Vancouver, but it's not at the top of my priority list right now. I still think it would be really different and fun race, especially to make a girls weekend out of it!

Of the 10 races on my original list, there are only a few that I still have genuine and/or strong interest in actually doing. There's actually only one I knew deep down I would definitely run one day, and a couple others that, while my heart is pulling me to keep them on my list, I just don't know how realistic they are - so I separated them into two categories:

Still Remaining - Realistic

Big Sur Marathon - When I first put this on my list in 2014, I had no idea I'd find myself registering for it just over a year later. I first visited Big Sur in 2015 and I fell for it hard and fast, so much so that nearly immediately upon entering the area, I fought the patchy cellular data all along the drive down Highway 1 to secure myself a charity spot in the 2016 race. I ended up injuring my foot just about a month before race day and, as I wasn't able to run at all until several weeks after race day, I wasn't able to make the trip. Big Sur is still very high on my bucket list, for sure, and though I have no idea when I'll try to tackle it again (at this point it's a timing issue due to my other goal races), I'm confident I'll get there someday.

Still Remaining - Bucket List
And, lastly, we have the remaining races, the ones that I'm unsure if I'll ever actually get to run for a variety of reasons, but would be a dream come true!

Maratona di Roma - I visited Rome for the first and only time in 2007, well before I became a runner, and I would love to experience the city again in a whole new way. I debated moving this to the On the Fence category, as I don't have a lot of grand plans for international races, but I do think that if I ever ran a marathon abroad, this would be the one. I'd train for this in a heartbeat if it didn't involve a transatlantic flight (which scares me infinitely more than training for and running 26.2 miles).

Boston - When I originally put this on my list, I assumed the only way I ever would or could run it would be for charity. At the time I had no interest in training for a BQ and, to be honest, I'm still not sure that I do, but I've decided that if I do ever run Boston, it will be when I've earned it. I never even considered the possibility of qualifying until I ran a 3:58 earlier this year, and while that's still slow compared to what I'd need to run to get into the race (like, a minute per mile slower), it was the first time I thought that it *might* actually be possible if I put in the work. It's not even on my radar right now, but I have a couple goal half marathons in the 6 months after the Ironman and depending on how those go, I'll evaluate whether or not trying to BQ is going to be a short-term or a long-term goal for me.

Ironman* - Funny enough, when I first made this list I wasn't even sure if or when it would finish a half Ironman, yet somehow this ended up being the first and only race on my list that I actually (sort of) completed. When I put it on my list I was so far away from it being a possibility - or so I thought -  that I didn't even have a particular race location in mind. Whether or not I actually did an Ironman has been an ongoing debate raging in my head since October 22, 2016, but it will hopefully finally be settled on October 15 of this year. For the purposes of this post, I'm considering it complete (even though we all know it's more like complete*).

Any of these on your list? Any races you've run that I need to add to my list?!


  1. This is a fun idea for a post! I might do one myself :) I'd love to run a race in another county. I think the Athens race would be so cool. I've been to Greece and would LOVE to go back! One race that is very much on my bucket list is Chicago. I'd take either the half or full, but just running a race in my favorite city sounds amazing and if I ever was able to plan one that would be at the top of my list!

  2. I kind of love that the Ironman was the first race you crossed off your original list-- and that you'll be checking it off twice later this year. the RnR Vegas sounds really interesting since it's a night-- is that just because of the heat, or because Vegas is all lit up at night time anyway?

  3. I think I am the only runner on the planet who has no desire to qualify for Boston. My current PR is within 10 minutes of the 3:35 standard, but I just don't care enough to go for it. My long term goal is to get my marathon time down into that range anyway, but I wouldn't be surprised if I never end up running Boston. I'm perfectly happy every year to just follow the elite race and cheer on my friends from afar.

    We have Big Sur in common! I don't know why, because I've never even been there, but I really feel like I need to run Big Sur someday. It calls to me. I also really want to run one of the marathons that go through the redwood forests in California. I guess, now that I think about it, I am already running one of my bucket list races this year in the Chicago Marathon. I never really thought it a "bucket list" item before but I have wanted to run it ever since I decided to tackle the 26.2 distance. So that's cool!

    Have you considered doing IM Wisconsin? I'd come cheer you on!!

  4. Big Sur looks SO amazing. I don't know if I'd want to do the full, mostly because I have limited interest in a spring marathon, but I'd be super into doing one of the shorter distances offered. The pictures I've seen have always looked so breathtaking!

    I was going to do RnR Vegas last year--was all registered and everything--but then I hurt myself sometime during the Chicago Marathon and ended up in a walking boot, so that was the end of that. I'm registered for it again this year, so hopefully I'll actually get to do it this year! Those I know who've run the full marathon have said it's not worth it and recommend just sticking to the half instead. All of the highlights of the race are along the half course (the Strip, Old Vegas, etc.), and the remaining 13.1 miles of the full is unexciting neighborhoods and the like. But just from spectating last year, I think the half, at least, looks AWESOME. The Strip is a gigantic road, so to see it completely shut down to traffic and full of runners is really a sight to see.

    And man, I know I just commented yesterday about flight anxiety, but I FEEL YOU on not wanting to take an international flight to run a race! I love the thought of doing all the Majors (this would, of course, involve taking nearly an hour and a half off my marathon time to qualify for Boston, but that's not relevant for this particular discussion haha), but I HATE the thought of having to try to get to London, Berlin, or, even worse, Tokyo (13 hours on a plane??? I can't even imagine.). Thank goodness I'm too slow to qualify for Boston so doing all the Majors isn't even a viable goal for me, keeping me from worrying about having to deal with those long flights :P

  5. You know its funny I always wondered whether youd ever run the NYC or Boston marathons and what you thought of them. I know those are always the ones people talk about. My cousin has run Boston and I see it on your bucket list - If I were a marathoner Id run that one, mainly because of the significance of it post attacks and the fact that I have family in Boston.

    Loved reading your list.

  6. It's funny reading this and remembering how obsessive and crazy I used to be about my race bucket list. I've become a lot more relaxed about a LOT of things in the past year (a certain baldy is partly to thank for that), and my work struggles have changed my perspective on what's worth agonizing over and what isn't. And of course, the whole needing to take a 2-month running break thing. But as much as I'm looking forward to signing up for some fall and spring races, I'm not looking at them like I once did.

    I do definitely want to run the NYC Marathon, so when I'm ready to try the lottery, be prepared for me to be bugging you to give it a shot with me ;)

    I think the only RnR I'd run again is DC or Vegas, unless I discover a place I really want to run that only offers an RnR. Running Vegas at night does seem really cool, particularly because I favor night runs anyway. I'm in for Seawheeze, too! ;)