. . . “Run, Forest, Run!” . . .

During the holidays I watched one of my favorites, a re-run of Forest Gump; and while viewing the scene where he begins to run a long-distance marathon from here, there and everywhere, an idea formed for a blog.  Why not write about marathons? 

I can honestly say I have never run in a marathon, but I have participated in a number of volksmarches, have hiked in the forest and up a mountain or two, and have done my fair share of jogging around the neighborhood, yet I am always eager to hear who came in first at a number of marathons taking place throughout the year. 

The Brandenburger Gate in Berlin, Germany provides a historical site for runners in the Berlin Marathon - flickr image by Klearchos Kapoutsis
The Brandenburger Gate in Berlin, Germany provides a historical site for runners in the Berlin Marathon – flickr image by Klearchos Kapoutsis


I think of a marathon as site-seeing on foot.   Factor in location, popular tourist areas; and take into account a variety of segments including sports and a marathon’s appeal  for men, women and children as well as many cultures.  Age also seems to be a minor factor.  There are also special causes for motivation and inspiration. Marathons run the gamut from Charity runs like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the Jingle Bell Run in support of the Arthritis Foundation.  There are major marathons such as the Boston Marathon and the Peachtree Atlanta Road Race.  There are also special interest runs such as the Skinny Pig Run to Eat Group in Oregon or corporate sponsored events like the Waco Professional Firefighters Association Miracle Match Marathon and the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch Marathon. 

Site of Boston's Freedom Trail, flickr image by r h
Site of Boston’s Freedom Trail, flickr image by r h
I did a little fact finding, and according to Wiki Answers there are 245 Marathons in the United States; however, further research on numerous marathon-related sites would say there are many more.  Some are categorized as marathons, others as half or mini-marathons and there are even a few ultra marathons.  Note below is one websites’ list of the top ten (although I’ve only listed the first five). The ranking can vary depending on what marathon website you are looking at.  I’ve also noted some touristy information related to the location of the marathon . . .

Top Marathons in the World – Top Popular Attraction – Great Lesser Known Attraction
London Marathon in April -Trafalgar Square – Pollocks Toy Museum

Berlin Marathon in September – Brandenburger Gate – Dammsmuhle Palace

New York City Marathon in November – Ellis Island & Statue of Liberty – The Brick Theatre

Chicago Marathon in October – Buckingham Fountain – Garfield Park Conservatory

Boston Marathon in April – Freedom Trail – Emerald Necklace

London's Trafalgar Square - flickr image by kevgibbo
London’s Trafalgar Square – flickr image by kevgibbo

One last note:  Don’t forget the food, so when in London – its all about the tea, so check out Brown’s Hotel.  Whenyou have finished the race in Berliln, head over to Zwolf Apostle, where you can find “over the top religious décor and tasty thin crust pizzas named after the 12 Apostles,” plus a cool location under the railway arches – or for classic German fare try Schleusenkrug, a class beer garden. 

 

Vito & Nicks Pizzeria, Chicago, Illinois - image courtesy of V&N photo gallery
Vito & Nicks Pizzeria, Chicago, Illinois – image courtesy of V&N photo gallery

Noting Food Network’s Guy Fieri’s finds on his show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, you might want to try out “Mo Gridders” BBQ Restaurant and Auto Repair Shop where the truckers go in New York City.  If you’re running in Boston you won’t want to miss “The World’s #1 Sandwiches” at Sam LaGrassa’s . . . or after your run in the windy city of Chicago, you’ll want to try the pizza at Vito & Nick’s Pizzeria, who have been serving up a delicious thin crust pizza for 84 years!   

 There you have it: Recreation, plenty of site-seeing, and good food! 

Symbol of IVV (International Federation of Volkssports)
Symbol of IVV (International Federation of Volkssports)
Note: “The (Volkssports International Federation) IVV sanctions non-competitive events in walking, biking, swimming, skiing, skating, and shoeshowing. Walking is the most popular of the Popular Sports – known by the German term Volkssports, thus the walking events in the USA are often called volksmarches or volkswalks. Volks translates as “people” or “popular.”  These are typically a 10K (6.2 mile) trek . . .

In the end, whether you are a serious runner, you have a special cause, or you just want to meander through the countryside, get out in 2013 and do it!

And, although we didn’t mention it, there’s nothing like a good night’s sleep after a good walk or run!

References used:

www.marathon-training-program.com,

www.marathonguide.com/races/races.cfm

www.marathonguide.com

www.runtheplanet.com

www.americasbestonline.net/marathon.html

http://www.ava.org/walk/cal.htm

http://www.tvfoodmaps.com/show/Diners-Drive-Ins-Dives

www.wikianswers.com

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