As Louise mentioned, her second challenge is just 24 hours away, running the 10km road race which forms part of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon tomorrow.
After my adventure in the French Alps, I have decided that I should try to head to the other end of the temperature scale for my third challenge and experience at least a fraction of the impact of warm weather that Louise has to combat with on each of her Dubai runs. So, for Challenge 3, I will be swapping the cold, wet and wild weather of England and my originally planned run in the Bramley 20, for a somewhat more temperate experience of a half marathon in Florida.
I have to visit the land of the mouse called Mickey on a business trip for 12 days, so rather than do what most sane and normal Brits would do with a weekend stopover in Orlando and hit a theme park, I have instead put google into action and found the Publix Melbourne Music Marathon weekend. This event has it all, a 5k, 8k and Dunkin’ Dash kids run on Saturday 31st January, followed by a hand cycle, half and full marathon on Sunday 1st February. Located on Florida’s Space Coast, between Miami and Jacksonville, east of Orlando and Tampa, it describes itself as the perfect warm winter running destination. The event includes more than 20 musical acts along the course and the scenic route twice takes runners to the beach side barrier island and back to the mainland, with some stunning bridge crossings, before concluding on main street of downtown Melbourne, where there is an awards ceremony followed by a party featuring yet another live band. To top it all off, the cherry on the icing of the cake, the half marathon also takes place on Super Bowl Sunday, so the options for a late night post run beer and football extravaganza should be endless.
Melbourne, you had me at ‘Hello’!
So, I emailed the organisers a few weeks ago to enquire about the possibility of some random Brit joining in with their fun and I was once again overwhelmed by the good nature and generosity of the international running community when Mitch and Ashley from the race team responded with the offer of another free race entry to help with our fund raising efforts. Thank you so much guys for your kind offer, I’ll see you next weekend for my challenge 3.
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