Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Planning to Achieve Full Status in Marathon Globetrotters

I joined the Marathon Globetrotters in January after running the Marathon Bahamas. I came into the club as a Provisional member, having run marathons in 5 different countries (US, Ireland, Scotland, Cayman Islands, and Bahamas). It's harder for someone in the US to run new countries, as compared with some of our European members, where there is easier and reasonably priced transportation to several nearby countries. In order to achieve full membership, complete with voting privileges, I'll need to run marathons in 10 different countries. I'm still only at 5 countries, so how will I get to 10?

The good news is that Marathon Globetrotters defines a "country" broadly, so there are lots of places that count as a country...more than I would have thought. For example, each of the US territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, etc.) counts as a country for Marathon Globetrotters status. In another example, each separate nation of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) counts as a separate country as well.

I'm registered to run in two new countries this fall. I'll be running the Berlin Marathon in Germany, and the Jersey Marathon the following weekend. The UK channel island of Jersey is its own "country" for Marathon Globetrotters purposes, and this year's race is the location of the club's annual meeting.

Looking forward to my first trip to Germany! (Photo from Berlin Marathon website)

So, after my fall marathons, I'll be up to 7 countries. I'd like to find a reasonable way to add three more countries in the next year so that I can become a full Marathon Globetrotter. Here are some ideas:
  • O, Canada! There are so many marathons in Canada that it's strange that I haven't yet run there. This should be an easy country to knock out.
  • London and/or Tokyo. I'm registered for the London Marathon and Tokyo Marathon lotteries and will find out this fall if I'm selected. I haven't yet run in England, so running London would earn me a new country. If selected for Tokyo, that will not only be a new marathon country, but also a new marathon continent for me. This is the kind of trip I've been saving frequent flyer miles for. Both London and Tokyo are World Marathon Majors events, so these two will help advance several of my marathoning goals. It's not likely that I'll do both of these in 2016, but I'm hopeful for one of them.
  • Another Caribbean island nation is the obvious choice for my 10th country due to proximity to home and therefore also a lower cost. There are a lot of islands with marathons. I'd like to run the Reggae Marathon in Jamaica. Unfortunately, I already have another marathon planned the weekend of this year's Reggae. I'm also interested in Bermuda Marathon, Curacao Marathon and Puerto Rico Marathon, but I'm open to others that fit my schedule and budget. Another island marathon would make a nice long weekend trip with friends.
  • Next year's Marathon Globetrotters reunion. We don't know where the club will be meeting in 2016, but by club bylaws, the annual meeting should rotate through the continents. They've already done North America and are planning Europe for this fall. By default, next year's race should be in a new continent for me. I will always do my best to make the club meetings, so this could be my 10th country, if I'm not already a full member by the 2016 reunion.
So many unknowns! I need to know if London accepts me, if Tokyo accepts me. I need to know where the Marathon Globetrotters meet next year. I need to pick a race in Canada that fits my schedule, and I need to find a new Caribbean race. Lots to think about over the next few months as I begin to plot my way to full membership status by running marathons in 10 different countries.

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