Dr. Darryl Tannenbaum is a board certified orthopedic surgeon with Columbus Regional Health’s Joint and Spine Center and Southern Indiana Orthopedics. Tannenbaum has run in more than 20 races, completing the six World Major Marathons in places that include Boston, Berlin, London and Tokyo. He hopes to complete a marathon on every continent and plans to run one in Antarctica in March. Got a question for the doctor? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: I have run the Indianapolis mini-marathon. Can you recommend an awesome first marathon for me?
A: An “awesome” first marathon blends your personal priorities and race course features such as location and topography. My first marathon was in Austin, Texas. I had never been there. It took place during a good time of year, and I had heard there was live music playing each mile.
The atmosphere was vibrant and lively.
What are your priorities? Do you want friends or family to share this experience with you?
Most people do. Consider the time and expense it takes for everyone to travel to a distant race.
If staying in the Midwest, I would choose the Mill Race or Chicago Marathon. Each are flat courses and as such, less taxing on the body and distinctly suitable for a first-time race. They are quite different races yet both excellent choices. The Columbus Mill Race Marathon is a new race, and every runner has a special and important role in building its success!
What time of year do you want to run? Consider the months of training leading up to the race.
A winter marathon requires training in crisp, sometimes frigid, temperatures. If that’s doable, the Walt Disney World Marathon in Florida is the place to be. Do you want to run a course that’s dynamic, in a niche location or has history? Boston, Las Vegas and Napa Valley come to mind as races in a special location that offer a vacation spot, as well as the marathon itself. If an awesome race is a symbolic race, what about the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.?
If brimming with pride as you run through the streets of our nation’s capital sounds awesome, it might be a great first race for you.
I personally like when people descend on a city, crowding sidewalks and filling the restaurants with conversation about nothing but the marathon. As a runner, there is nothing like the atmosphere of marathon day.