Sweet Home Alabama…Here Come the Marathons

Alabama trails

The trailhead to our running trails in Gulf Shores, Alabama

It’s time for Marathon Madness 2012 and Gulf Shores, AL has become our official home base for all things marathon for the next month. I’m feeling Lynyrd Skynyrd around every corner and after being down here for just over a day, I am feeling really good about being in Gulf Shores for our Marathoning winter.

As a quick recap, Julie, my brother Jeff, and I are spending almost 5 weeks together this winter attempting to run 5 marathons in 5 states in a three week time period. We’ll be covering Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Florida with the primary goal being to help Jeff knock off a few more states on his quest to run a marathon in all 50 states. We’ll also be helping our own cause by helping get us ready for our second shot at the 100 mile distance at the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler in early February in Texas.

We picked the South primarily because Jeff has been going to school in Wisconsin and has 5 weeks off for winter break. His main objective was to go someplace warm for the break. With my parents travel network, we were able to find cheap lodging down south for the duration, much easier than we could anywhere else in the country. Plus, neither of us have ever spent time down here and figured it’d be a fun adventure.

So here we are and after one day, we feel like it was a great decision. After getting snowed on in Ohio and being sick for over a week, we ran in shorts and t-shirts yesterday and today. We ran along the beach yesterday and today found a nice trail (pictured above) that we were able to do 90 minutes on without repeating much. Our condo is nice and is a 2 minute walk from the Gulf of Mexico. We don’t have much other to do than workout and prepare for other things (CPA, GRE, CFA, MBA stuff, etc.) so we’re in an ideal situation.

We’re far from town too with the actual city nearly 13 miles away. So we’re out here on a thin slice of land, far from stores and distractions so hopefully we’ll be productive and get into great shape.

We also have some excellent company scheduled to visit. Chris Reis, star runner from Cincinnati and my old college roommate has planned to come down for the second weekend of Marathon Madness and will run both the race in Georgia and the race in Louisiana. One of the coolest things about this is that while most are afraid to take on even one marathon, let alone back to back, there is a reasonable chance Chris could actually win both races and pay for his entire trip. He is a 2:21 marathoner and a really cool guy so we’re pumped to have him join us for part of the Madness.

So it’s Sweet Home Alabama for the next 6 weeks. Hopefully we all stay healthy and happy. I’ll keep Urbyville updated with our adventures and races. As always, feel free to join in the party and come out for a run if you’re around and interested.

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