Following the cancellation of the ING NYC Marathon, many runners immediately started searching for a race to capitalize on their training. On Twitter, I immediately made the push for Richmond.
This will be my third time running the Richmond Marathon. The first time -- 5 years ago to the date of Saturday's race -- remains fresh in my mind.
Having my family there traveling around to the party zones and the finish area was special, as were the thoughts that went through my head in those 4+ hours.
The second Richmond Marathon from 2 years ago is also fresh on my mind. In hindsight, I know I shouldn't have run it.
When I read my post from that experience, it's almost surreal to know that I pushed myself through an injury to complete 26.2 miles. I won't do that again.
So what has me back for my third Richmond Marathon? A year ago at this time I was riding a high off of Baltimore and had a lot of wild thoughts about 2012.
It was, perhaps, Twitter and dailymile that reminded me during last year's race weekend of what truly makes Richmond special -- the people. When I saw people talking about their race and the weekend experience and then signing up for the 2012 race, I caved.
This year has been wild in some ways, but the focus for much of the year has remained on Nov. 10 and making the third time a charm for Richmond.
The organizers -- the Sportsbackers -- put together a great race. The expo is easy to get in and out of. The staggered start times for an 8k and half marathon make for one of the most exciting start areas that I know of.
The beautiful course is lined with spectators (except for the Lee Bridge in the second half of the race) and several party zones for your family members. Even if you're here solo, I think everyone watching the race will make you feel at home. I like to think of it as southern hospitality that doesn't go over the top.
For those of you making your first visit to Virginia's capital, I welcome you. I sure hope that your experience is as good as mine has been with this and other races in Richmond.
For others who live here or have done this race more than once, let me hear it! Why do you love the Richmond Marathon?