Here Come the Marathons, European Style

Pre-race fun

Matt and Julie before the Guatemala 50k, the race that sparked the European marathons.

Those that know the excitement that comes with signing up for a race online will appreciate the joy, apprehension, and pleasure I felt this past weekend, but add to that excitement the fact that we’re talking about marathons in Europe and that I signed up for four different races in four different countries and we’ve reached euphoria.

We’re back from Guatemala and prepping ourselves for the next adventure. We have amazing friends and through some good fortune and great opportunities, we’re on our way to Europe for two months. We are planning on flying with the help of some friends in the airline business and then staying with a good friend of ours in the Navy in Naples, Italy. We don’t have too many plans yet as to where we’ll visit but this past weekend, we settled in on at least four places on four specific dates that we’ll be visiting.

We love running and have found that it’s a really cool way to see a city, even if we’re pushing ourselves and trying to place high in the races. (Julie got 3rd in her first international ultramarathon in Guatemala City). We’ve been talking with people about Europe for months now and along with our own research have decided on the following:

Madrid (Spain) Rock and Roll Marathon: We found this one online on our own and are excited about this one for a few reasons. We spent time in Madrid 7 years ago on our first foreign travel trip so it’ll be cool to go back. It’s the inaugural race in Madrid. And it’ll be a great chance for us to practice our improved Spanish skills.

Prague Marathon (Czech Republic): We have only heard great things about this city and we’ve heard these great things from many people. So we feel like we need to go, plus, it’s a fast marathon with a course record somewhere near the 2:05 range.

Leiden (Holland) Marathon: Smaller town marathon brought to us by a traveler we met in a coffee shop in San Pedro. She told us all about her home town race and how she lived a couple blocks from the finish. We thought it sounded like fun and that it’d be great to know someone at one of these races. Plus, she can speak Spanish and English which will help us communicate with the Dutch.

Clare Burren Marathon Challenge (Ballyvaughan, Ireland): This one is pretty sweet. The pictures look amazing and while it seems like it’ll be a tough and slow run (10 hour time limit with the winner running 3:01 last year), it should be an awesome experience. We both really wanted to go to Ireland and when we found this race online, we both right away knew it was the race for us. It’s a combination of roads, trail, and cross country, and at the end along with our medal and finisher t-shirt, we even get a bowl of soup and a roll. Pretty cool!

So we’re packing our bags and getting ready to go. We hope to fly out later this week (we’re flying on standby, but hopefully first class). We’ve been crossing things off the list the past few days, visiting family, and getting our ducks in a row (I finally got our taxes completed last night!). We will probably do some other traveling in Europe besides the marathons but that hasn’t been planned yet so if you’re interested in being part of our Tour d’ Europe, get in touch and let us know. We are going to have some Project Time working on CPA, CFA, Spanish, and school stuff, but we’re also looking to make the most out of this great opportunity to spend the next two months in Europe. Bon Voyage! Hasta Luego! It’s time to adventure again!

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