2011 Bucket List by Brian Sansom

As we have started the new year and ponder what we would like to accomplish in 2011, I am proposing a bucket list for runners to consider. Some of these events are in my short-term to-do but most are long-term stretch goals.

1) Boston Marathon The king of all races.
It’s not open to everyone, and the qualifying standards are not easy to attain, (especially for a middle-aged male). Unlike a sport like basketball, in which a competitor cannot compete against Lebron James, this race gives everyone a chance to compete against the best.

2) New York City Marathon
Known for celebrities like P Diddy, Jared from Subway, and one of the Chilean miners, this is the premiere marathon not named Boston. While it does not have qualifying standards, it does have a lottery. I’m one for two on the lottery, and the time I won the lottery I wasn’t able to go.

3) Dipsea
The quirky cross country race in northern California is tough to get into and is a rugged seven mile course. It is also handicapped with different start times in order to give younger and older races a fair shot. In fact, this race, which started in 1905, was won by an eight year old in 2010.

4) Peachtree 10K
Held annually on July 4, it has been the largest 10k in the world since the late 70’s. The Peachtree t-shirt is a noted premium. With 55,000 slots available, it is remarkable that they sell out quickly.

5) Big Man Race
Held outside Boston in the summer, this race is limited to runners 190 pounds plus. During this four to seven mile race, runners are required to down a hot dog and a beer at three different spots (and tip their waitress). This is actually a race I could probably be very competitive in.

6) Hardrock
A masochistic 100 mile run through the mountains of Colorado. With over 33,000 feet of climbing, a runner’s sanity would have to be questioned. I’ve known one person who completed the race; their training consisted of running a marathon every other day.

7) Badwater
The king of ultra-distance running. This 135 mile course goes from Death Valley up to Mt Whitney. With temperatures of up to 135 degrees, runners have to run on the white road strips in order to prevent their shoes from melting to the road.

8) Krispy Kreme Challenge
Run every winter in Raleigh, NC, the race consists of running two miles, downing twelve Krispy Kreme donuts, then running two miles back in under an hour. The event draws over two thousand competitors. By the way, a dozen donuts have 2400 calories and 144 grams of fat.

9) Bay to Breakers
This 100 year old 12k in San Francisco is a dandy. It is the Mardi Gras of running. There is even a contingent of runners who run in the buff.

10) Tough Mudder / Warrior Dash / Spartan Race
Obstacle course races are the new marathon. These relatively new series combine running with various physical challenges like running through fire and mud pits. These races have brought military-style training into the civilian world.

Brian Sansom


  Brian at the 2010 edition of Run the Tunnel.
Run the Tunnel is a challenging 3.7-ish mile
road and trail race in Natural Tunnel State Park,
Duffield, VA, is a race closer to home that's an
adventure for most that take part. Check out the
Event Calendar for more details. The 2011
edition of Run the Tunnel is on April 30.