It always amazes me how quickly a year goes by, and it’s even more amazing to look back and see what I accomplished during that year. As I gathered my 2019 race medals for this post, I was surprised at how many races I ran this year. In total there are 18 medals in the above photo, representing 16 races and including two challenge medals. Race distances ranged from 1 mile to 26.2 miles, and included three World Marathon Majors. I’d say 2019 was a pretty good year!
Surf City Cowabunga Mile and Half Marathon, Huntington Beach, CA, February 2 & 3, 2019
Except for the weather, I loved this race. The Cowabunga Challenge on Saturday was horrible in terms of cold, rain, and wind along a sandy beach. I basically put my head down and pushed through just to get it done and over with. While the weather wasn’t perfect for the half marathon on Sunday, it did clear up enough for the race to take place. It was a fun weekend overall and the best part was meeting some of my fellow BibRave Pros.
Shamrock Shuffle 8K, Chicago, IL, March 24, 2019
This was my first time running this race, and my first time participating in a race with an 8K distance. As is typical for this time of year in Chicago, we were dealing with the threat of rain, but we were able to get through the race and stay dry. It was the 40th anniversary of the race and the medal was outstanding! I have been running with my neighbor Joe for the past year and though he has run this race numerous times, it was my first. I loved it and will definitely be back again!
Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, Washington, DC, April 7, 2019
Deborah (Confessions of Another Runner) invited several of us to enter the lottery for this race and was gracious enough to host Kim (Running on the Fly) and me for the weekend. It was a weekend full of fun and I got to meet lots of great ladies through Deborah’s running group. DC is one of my favorite cities. I loved the race and would definitely do this one again.
Virgin Money London Marathon, April 28, 2019
My eldest son and I ran the London Marathon this year as part of our quest to become Six Star Finishers. It was his second and my third star. Having both failed to get in through the lottery, we decided to run for charity. It was a whirlwind trip and I was as sick as a dog, but I finished with an official time, which is all that matters to me! It was a great race and I got more than a bit emotional when I reached the Tower Bridge.
Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon, May 19, 2019
Not to sound like a broken record, but I was once again on weather watch with storms all night the night before the race. It poured the entire time on my drive to the venue, but just before the race started the sky cleared and it turned out to be a pretty decent day. I hadn’t trained for this race and my fueling was sub-par, so I decided to walk the entire course. The post-race party was loads of fun and included flowers for planting for all race participants. I especially enjoyed celebrating my finish at home with a Bloody Mary compliments of Suckerpunch Gourmet!
Rosé 5K and Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon, July 20 &21, 2019
This was my fourth year in a row running the half marathon, and this year I added the Rosé 5K for added fun! The Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon is one of my favorite races, from running through vineyards to the amazing post-race wine-tasting and musical festival. As an added bonus, I get to see one of my best friends and also get to visit our friends who own a winery up in Healdsburg.
BTN 5K, Chicago, IL, August 1, 2019
This was one of my favorite races of the year. While I didn’t go to a Big Ten School, all of our kids and all of our money did! A couple of us decided to sleep in, but most of us made it to the start. My eldest son Mark ran the 10K with a huge PR and plenty of time to join the rest of us at the start of the 5K. The course was great and the post-race party was lots of fun. We will definitely be back for this race, hopefully with the entire crew in tow.
Chicago Half Marathon, September 29, 2019
With two days of torrential rain leading up to the race, the staging area was an absolute slog fest. The rain slowed for the first half of the race, but it came down pretty steadily for the last five miles. Despite the rain, I had a good race but because of the mudfest, I bailed on the post-race party. Still, I enjoyed the race and got to meet another fellow BibRave Pro on the train ride back to the parking garage. Plus, having completed both the Spring and Fall Chicago Half Marathons, I earned an awesome challenge medal to complete the set.
Chicago Marathon, October 13, 2019
My first race ever was the 2013 Chicago Marathon, and I have run it every year since. Being my hometown, Chicago is my favorite city and this remains my favorite marathon. Now that I have Legacy Status, I have guaranteed entry as long as I run five Chicago Marathons in a 10 year period. At least for the foreseeable future, I will continue to run this race every year.
Urban Bourbon Half Marathon, Louisville, KY, October 19, 2019
What an incredibly fun race this was! Louisville is one of my favorite places to visit. It’s such a great foodie town! Everything about this race was awesome, from the friendly expo, to the fun course, to the amazing post-race party ~ live band and bourbon tastings included! I also had the chance to meet some more BibRave Pros, as well as run into a friend of my son’s before the race. I would do this race again in a heartbeat, and I think it would be a fabulous race to get a group of friends to run together (hint, hint)!
TCS New York City Marathon, November 3, 2019
I have yet to write my recap of this race, but second only to Chicago, this is one of my favorite marathons. I was so intimidated by the bridge elevations but as it turned out, this was my third fastest full marathon (out of 12). I didn’t find the crowd support to be as good as it is in Chicago (calm down, everyone), but it was a close second! I ran as a charity fundraiser for Team in Training which, in itself was a phenomenal experience. My friend Marcie, whom I haven’t seen in years, flew in to cheer me on, so that in itself made for an extra special experience. Though I plan to be ‘one and done’ with the International World Majors, I would love to run New York City again and will definitely be putting my name in the hat for the chance to run it again.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas 5K and Half Marathon, November 16 & 17, 2019
Las Vegas is one of my favorite places, so being able to run the Strip at Night was definitely on my bucket list! I reunited with my best college friend, which made race weekend that much sweeter. While the 5K was a bit meh, the half marathon the following day was loads of fun and I would love to run it again with a group of friends (again I say…hint, hint)!
And so ends my 2019 race year. I hope like me, you noticed not only the beautiful bling in this post, but all of the friends, old and new, I got to see along the way. More than all the bling, this is really the best part of running. Here’s to a happy holiday season. I hope to see you somewhere on the course next year!
How was your 2019 running year? What races are on tap for you in 2020?