I just completed a nice 8.3-miler at an easy 7:55 pace with the guys and all the tendons are approaching full capacity once again. It's nice and warm these days and geez, it's nice to actually sweat during a workout again!
The last six marathons have gone exceedingly well, so at this point I know it's crucial to commit to another race to keep the momentum going. I've decided to launch yet another marathon PR effort in the fall (current PR is 2:43, set in February of 2008) and one race I'm considering is the Baystate Marathon in Lowell, Massachusetts on October 18th.
I've never tried this one, but the first thing that jumped out at me about Baystate is that last year the top 15 guys all broke 2:40, which seems extraordinary. So either the race course is really fast or the cash prizes offered by the race pulled in some of the best marathoners in New England, or both. The elevation map indicates that there's virtually no net elevation change, and although there are lots of spikes on the map it's hard to really tell what a race course is like from these kinds of maps.
The race caps at 2,000 runners, so I wouldn't say it's a small race but it's not a major race either, which is good since I like minimal logisitical hassles when I'm shooting for a PR. Someday I'll get some big "destination marathons" on the calendar when I'm not concerned about PR's anymore. I'm assuming that will happen at some point? Maybe?
It appears from the comments on MarathonGuide.com that past Baystate runners are smitten with the race. Multiple comments about the lack of waiting lines for restrooms at a nearby arena definitely makes for a check in the "do it!" column. Also, the race finishes in the outfield of a minor league baseball stadium. Very cool.
Anyway, I'm going to put this race on the short-list for the fall. I guess the fact that I'm giving some serious thought to another marathon only 6 days after a grueling Boston Marathon is a positive sign!