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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Chicago v. Marine Corps

The retelling of my dream led to more speculation about Chicago this fall, but I don't know if I'm doing Chicago this fall yet (although, I know I should make a decision soon before it fills); I certainly would like to, but right now I'm still on the fence between Chicago and Marine Corps, so maybe you guys should help me decide!

Argument for Chicago: I've never really been there before. I've driven through it (twice), but that doesn't count as actually "being" there (plus, driving through there wasa nightmare both times, and I'd like a better impression). So, it would be fun to not only run the marathon, but to also do the tourist stuff and see the city. And...There are at least 3 RBFers I know of who are running it and I would love the opportunity to meet you guys! And maybe if I sign up, a few more might join us and it could be an RBF mega-gathering!

Argument against Chicago: Mostly a money issue. Chicago means a plane ticket for myself and husband, plus a hotel, food, other expenses, and they add up. And while the cost is certainly manageable, right now, things feel tight in the Jess household, and so I'm being miserly with my money.

Argument for Marine Corps: My dad lives in DC, so it's a good opportunity to visit him, and I can stay for free in his apartment, which is right by Woodley Park and across the street from a Metro station, so costs in general would be much cheaper. Plus, I do love DC and the marathon would be fun -- lots of good things to see.

Argument against Marine Corps: I go to DC often. I spent every summer there while I was growing up and return to visit my dad about once a year, so I don't feel like I'm seeing or going anywhere new. And, my dad might come and visit me here this spring, so I wouldn't miss out on a visit with him.

Otherwise, both races are at the same time of year -- plenty of time to train, and they're both approximately the same size, and are both on my list of marathons to run (and I would, perhaps, get around to running both in time -- but the decision is for THIS year). So, give me your input: Which should I run for the fall of '07?


miss petite america said...

i would figure out if chicago REALLY is cost prohibitive..if you could eek it in, i think you'll much more enjoy the experience with the other rbfers.

Bob said...

Honestly it is a horse a piece I want to run both but am in for Chicago this year due to a time/money issue. But honestly I don't like to let money decide what I do. You only get one trip around this crazy world. But that being said, it is a factor, plain and simple. I just try to rationalize a few hundred bucks in the grand scheme of things. :)

One last thing, Chicago is as flat as a pancake, I think MC is a bit tougher of a course.

Good luck with the decision!

Anonymous said...

On a positive note, you have - what - 9 full months to save for a Chicago getaway? Maybe knowing you have this carrot hanging out in front of you will force you to save more money each month. The Windy City is a blast and there's no better excuse than a marathon to visit!

runner26 said...

I've done both, and coursewise, they are both fantastic! Chicago is definitely flatter (read: easier) and the crowd support is amazing. I had a blast in DC, but that's b/c I went with a bunch of friends. I think you'll enjoy whichever race you choose, but I am certainly biased toward Chicago :)

Amanda said...

I have been looking for a fall marathon and Chicago is on my list too, but having to do two entry fees (me and my hubby) is a little scary. If it were up to Chicago and MC, I'd do Chicago. Plus, it's the 30th anniversary and I like corny things like that.

teacherwoman said...

How about neither! Skip them both and do the Minneapolis one in October, I beleive it is!?! I heard it is gorgeous weather!

Taryn said...

I had an amazing time at Chicago... but would love to do the Marine Corps someday. I'd say do the Marine Corps this year, save your $$$ and then Chicago next year when you can "run" through your $$$ with no worries!

Firefly's Running said...

Do Chicago. Start looking at hotels that will shuttle runners to the start and finish. Plus you will have an awesome time with the party that Running Jayhawk will put together.

Running Jayhawk said...

You only live once. Chicago only has one 30th anniversary Marathon. So really...is there any question about which you should run?

To date, there ARE more than 3 RBFers running Chicago...Me, OOSG, Lunchbox, Leah & Jason, TriSaraTops, MNFirefly, TMT4TNT and Bob come to mind, but there are a handful more as well. Mouse has mentioned she'll be there cheering RBFers on as well.

Honestly, I think the race itself will be much more fun and exciting if you do Chicago. Once you're here, you won't need a car if you stay in the city, so don't figure in $ for car rentals, parking, etc.

Benefits on the race itself...it's flat...fast...and there are over 1.5 million spectators. That's a lot of folks cheering for you when ya just want to stop running all together. Your time on the course will zip by...you'll be at mile 20 18 and wonder where the hell the past 3 hours went to!! I promise! :)

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away. In the meantime, start saving now and get ready to have the TIME of your life.

And honestly, even if you're on the fence, do yourself a favor and book a hotel now. You can always cancel it if you decide on MC. Drop me an e-mail if you'd like hotel suggestions by the start/finish line. BarbsMarathon AT gmail.com

jeanne said...

I love the MCM and I live and train in d.c. It's a great course, you'll love it!