Just a quickie here as I've just run the Tri Cities marathon in Washington State and would recommend it to anyone who wants a good time, perhaps for a Boston qualifier etc. I've not seen many faster courses, except Berlin, Amsterdam and a couple of other flat-as-a-pancake courses. The four bridges aren't too high so barely hurt your time.
I was helped along by my in-laws to be, Laurel and Clint, as well as Amy. Clint is a very good cyclist although he doesn't compete much these days, so he decided to cycle the course with me. Not something you can do in the big marathons, but as this had under 300 marathoners plus the relay, there was plenty of space, especially as he joined after half a mile when the field had spread and I was just running with one other guy, who was in the relay.
I'm ecstatic as I went for a personal best and got it. Had hoped to scrape under 2h35m and shave off a bit from my Reykjavik time in August (2h36m59s). But it went like a dream and I somehow led from start to finish to get 2h32m40s. Am still on a massive high as I basically got my half marathon PB back-to-back. This Bend air seems to be working for me.
So now I have 10 months until my wedding of hard training to see what I can pull off. Apart from trying to break 2h30m in Phoenix, Arizona, in January, the other two major efforts will go into Comrades double marathon in May (if I can get there given visa issues in the US) and the Western States 100 in June (if I get a ballot place with approximately a 1 in 7 chance by my calculations).
It's looking like a fun year of running and I'm genuinely excited about every race I go to, even if I'm just running it as a long training jog. Running gives so much, although it does take a lot of time and effort to get in shape for race day. I know I'll meet more great people on the trails, roads and wherever else I manage to fit in a race or run.
Finally, well done to the UK runners doing a combination of one, two or three of the marathons over this extended weekend - Beachy Head (Sat), Greensands (Sun and an inaugral event that went down well) and Dublin (Mon).