Today I got an interesting offer: to be a pacer for the Key Bank Vermont City Marathon.
As long-time readers will remember, the VCM was my first marathon ever. (It was also supposed to be my only marathon ever, but that didn’t really work out). I picked it because it was close enough that my mom and high school best friend could easily come, it was a big field but not a mega-marathon, and most importantly, it was sponsored by Ben & Jerry’s and had all-you-can-eat ice cream at the finish line. It ended up being an amazing experience: I charged up the major hill in the course, The Battery, passing people right and left while my mom and Kristen cheered and waved their “run to the ice cream!” sign. I spent the last mile wondering why I had ever decided to run a marathon, and then I finished, and gasped, “never again!” Ten minutes later, I had figured out that I was going to do the Seafair Marathon a few weeks later in Seattle. The week after Seafair, I ran Calgary and became a Marathon Maniac, and… you know the rest.
So anyway, my point is that the VCM would be a very sentimental race for me, and one that I would love to run again. It would be especially cool to run it as a pacer, so I could tell my pace group about what I’ve done and maybe inspire them (hopefully that doesn’t sound too narcissistic). Being a pacer for the VCM would also give me pacing experience so I could maybe be a pacer at other races (that I haven’t yet run) and thereby save on entry fees. So maybe it’s an investment.
However, I could also run the Mad City Marathon in Madison, Wisconsin that weekend. It would be a chance to get another state in, and sure, there are other marathons in Wisconsin, but maybe I shouldn’t waste a weekend on a state I’ve already completed. I would still need to pay for a hotel in Vermont, so it wouldn’t be 100% free.
But on the other hand, it would be kind of cool to start a tradition of running the VCM every year. This is the first year they’re using pacers, so if I do a good job, maybe I could be a pacer every year. And my mom could come again, and it could be our new Memorial Day weekend tradition, and the Albany Running Exchange sends a huge group every year, so it’d be fun to get to see them…
I can’t decide. Any readers running either one, or otherwise have thoughts?