2016 Race and Travel Plans

So, first things first! I REALLY need your help. The female track and field athletes at Rhodes Hall High School have their regional championship meet on February 2nd, and they are in desperate need of uniforms for the event. I’ll be sending funds down to Jamaica this weekend, so if you can contribute even $5 to the GoFundMe campaign, it would be SO appreciated! Please, please, please! Don’t make me beg. You can read more about the kids and their incredible stories here.

I know what you’re thinking. Another post from me?! What has gotten into me lately? I don’t know, but I’m going with it. I suddenly find myself having a lot to say, and unlike the smarter, more growth-oriented bloggers who prepare for the inevitable ebb and flow of creativity by writing and scheduling posts way in advance, I just kind of word-vomit my thoughts all over the internet as they come to me. Then again, you know that by now.

With the dawn of the new year, I’ve been thinking about my upcoming travel and race plans for 2016. It’s interesting – now that I am not doing a marathon in every state anymore (finishing up the last 13 with half marathons), I find myself a lot less rushed about the process. There was a point along the way where pretty much all of my races were planned out and I knew which marathon I’d be doing for each state for whatever reason – logistics, cost, interest from friends, etc. But I’m so excited now, because running half marathons instead of full marathons opens up a lot more really unique and fun race options to me! I’ve always tried to find races that had a really fun theme or something really special and unique about them as I select the races for each state. There are so many half marathons though – I don’t even know where to start!

neal-herbert1moab Like, this race looks pretty rad! (“The Other Half” in Moab, Utah)

So, I’m asking you for help! I will still be picking some of my states based on where my friends will be running their marathons, but the others are wide open. I’d love to hear your suggestions! The more fun, unique, and a little kooky they are, the better! My remaining states are:

  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • Idaho (tentatively scheduled to run Pocatello in September 2016)
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Iowa
  • Ohio (tentatively scheduled to run Flying Pig in May 2016 – returning to the scene of the crime!)
  • Hawaii
  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut
  • Rhode Island
  • New Jersey

Bonus points if the race is located relatively near an airport that isn’t insanely expensive. Bonus bonus points if you live near the race and want me to crash at your house!

My most updated race schedule can always be found on my What’s Next? page, but for now: the events I will likely be attending are:


  • January 9, 2016: Resolution Run Half Marathon – Travelers Rest, South Carolina
  • February 6, 2016: MGC Long Run 15k – Columbia, South Carolina
  • February 27, 2016: GHS Half Marathon – Greenville, South Carolina
  • May 1, 2016: Flying Pig Half Marathon – Cincinnati, Ohio
  • June 11, 2016: Hatfield McCoy (Blackberry) Half Marathon – Williamson, West Virginia
  • September 3, 2016: Pocatello Half Marathon – Pocatello, Idaho
  • November 20, 2016: Route 66 Half Marathon – Tulsa, Oklahoma

Most of those races are contingent on a few things: first and most importantly, my back and my health. Second, my budget. Third, my vacation time. As I touched on in my New Year’s resolution post, I’m doing my best to make decisions that bring me closer to my goals.


I’ve got quite a few domestic trips coming up this year because everyone I know is apparently getting married this year, so I’ve got some stateside trips coming up this year as well! These aren’t race related, but…never say never. You never know what I might find! There’s also likely to be quite a few more added to this list before the year is up.

  • January 15-18: Deerfield Beach, FL
  • March 4-6: Nashville, TN
  • April 1-4: Mission Viejo, CA
  • July 16-18: Edison, NJ
  • December 16-18: Phoenix, AZ

As you all know (and are likely to hear about 1000 more times between now and the fall), Nepal is my big international trip goal for this year, but I think you know me well enough by now to know that won’t be my only trip. I’ve got a few irons in the fire right now and I’m thinking about the best way to spend my money and vacation time, but I’m confident that there will be a to-be-announced trip in the spring and, most likely, one in the summer. It would be great if I could incorporate races into some of the trips, but we’ll see! For now, I’m gathering my research and directing all my energy at making Nepal happen.

gokyo-ri-trek The prayer flags are calling my name! Image source

Yes, it’s shaping up to be a pretty fantastic year. There will be plenty of surprises in store along the way, and I can’t wait for all the departures and arrivals to come!

LEAVE A COMMENT: 1) Do you have a race suggestion for me in one of the 13 states I have left? 2) Where are you headed in 2016?