Monday, October 31, 2011

Marathon Choices

Alrighty then -- as mentioned in the previous post, there will be a marathon in my spring.   I do believe the choices have been narrowed to two:  Avenue of the Giants on May 6th or The Eugene Marathon on April 29th.  

I'll outline a few pros and cons of each -- and then opinions are always welcome.  

Avenue of the Giants:
1. Beautiful.  Like spectacularly beautiful not just run of the mill beautiful.
2. Closer (of the two) to home
3. Small!!!  (like teeny tiny)
4.  Will probably be able to convince several of my running girlfriends to run the half and then spectate until I come crawling in.  

1. About a 200ft incline and a bit harder of a course

2. Small?? (I think that is a pro but it could be considered a con)

Eugene Marathon:
1.  Well, this is supposed to be beautiful too but a different kind of beautiful.  more like pretty.  
2.  Smallish -- not teeny tiny like Avenue but with 8000 participants it is unlikely to freak me out either.
3.  Might get one girlfriend to come do the half and spectate me in.  
4.  More crowd support (maybe?  and this is something I don't seem to need so neutral really)
5. The course looks a bit easier:

Well, darn it -- you have to go here to see the elevation.  

Basically Eugene has a 150ft climb for 2 miles (from miles 1.5 to 4.5) -- then lots of downhill and a bit uphill from miles 21.5 on.  And by bit of an uphill, the elevation shows it to be 25ft so that isn't much at all.  

Contrast that with a 200ft elevation gain for 6.5 miles and then a lot of downhills.  But if you that map were expanded it would show a bunch of rollers, I think.  Hard to say.  

1.  Farther away --
2. Bigger (which is both pro and con - ha ha ha -- I've used size as both a pro and con in both marathons)

Honestly I think either would be good first marathons -- neither is a super difficult course.  Both are fairly easy to get to.  Neither is a huge marathon (which would kill me as a first one, I know it).  I'm just finding it hard to commit.  

Comments?  Thoughts?  Opinions?  


RoseRunner said...

I don't anything about the Giants race....but I loved Eugene. If this is THE race of the year, it is worth the extra traveling. If it's not a huge deal race, I prefer not to travel too much. I also prefer bigger races (not NY or Chicago big, but 5000 people or more) because it brings the crowds, which really helps make it a wonderful day. Those are my thoughts! sure you can't go wrong!

rodman said...

I have heard great things about both races (do you read the reviews on

I'm doing Eugene (the fates willing) and assuming I finish before you do I will cheer you in!

Both are basically flat races so don't obsess over that. Besides some small hills work different muscles which is good 8)

I think at Giants you have to drive to the start (unless you camp), in Eugene if you stay in a close by hotel you can fall out of bed and walk to the start.

Giants you'd probably drive there and might be a bit tired from that.
You'll want somebody else to drive you home after the race !

Eugene you'd probably fly there and be tired but in a different way.
You'll do less sitting on the way home.

Nelly said...

I would probably go with Eugene, 8000 people is a perfect number for a marathon I think. Just enough, but not too many. Also, I've heard Eugene is a gorgeous city to run in. And also that Eugene is the center of the track and field universe in the US (Track City, Pre's Rock, etc). I bert the passion for running there is out of this world

Terzah said...

I haven't done either of those races, but in your shoes I would do Eugene. For your first marathon, a little bigger will be better (and it sounds like from the other comments you will have people there, too!). And the travel will make seem even more special--not that it needs that, but you know what I mean.

This is so exciting, Tricia!

Anne said...

Tough choice, as they are both great. Personally, I've never heard anyone complain about Avenue of the Giants. It's an institution among longtime marathoners and it's unique. Even it's T-shirts defy racing convention. Besides, you're a Californian - we're used to running at great heights!