Running one of the World’s Toughest Marathons

 There is something incredibly rewarding in finishing your first marathon. All the months of training, sweat, pain, commitment come to fruition in that moment. It’s hard not to have the NYC marathon runners hopefuls in mind as I write this. While also means even bigger thoughts about all the people who are struggling to rebuild their lives after the Hurricane.

But yes, running a marathon is a big deal. I was proud when I finished mine. I had tears in my eyes as I told myself I was now a marathoner. To see how far I was able to push my body. I feel like I’m a better person from it. It taught me things beyond putting one foot in front of the other. It taught me that I can achieve a lot of things when I put my mind to it. We can achieve so much more than what we credit ourselves for.

I would have had those feelings no matter what course I had picked. But this morning I feel well, both a little crazy and yet even more proud of myself. Of course I knew I ran a hard course. I’m sure the organizer of the Blue Ridge Marathon didn’t nickname it “America’s Toughest Road Marathon” just for fun. I felt it, my legs felt it. But this morning it was written for the English speaking, weather loving people to see. Yep, in the midst of the whole controversy surrounding the NYC Marathon, weather.com asked some big names of the running community for what they thought were the toughest marathons in the world. Now mind you, this is not a scientific study. I am sure there are really tough marathons out there that are not even on the list. But still, according to this article: The World’s 15 Toughest Marathons, The Blue Ridge Marathon places as #8. In front of Grandfather Mountain, which I hope to run one day, in front of the rival Mt. Lemmon too.

So I have to say, this morning I feel a little bit crazy. I’m kind of glad this list was not published before I ran the Blue Ridge Marathon. I am not entirely sure I would have had the guts to do it. But looking back… I am a mountain girl, I do love the hills. I feel incredibly proud and strong to know that I finished a marathon that some big names of the American running world call the toughest. I felt it after running that first marathon, and I still feel it: I want to run more. Not to mention that I did a pretty decent time for a first marathon, on a tough course. So I want to know if I can run one in less than 4 hours on something a little more standard.

Now for the fun part. Are you as crazy as I am? Do you love challenges? Do you love the mountains? Because on Thanksgiving week I will be giving away a free entry to the Blue Ridge Marathon. That’s my way to say I’m thankful for running. You will then be able to claim that you ran of of the world’s toughest marathons. It’s ok, you can thank me later, you know, once you recover from it and all…

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