Monday, April 9, 2012

My place/race bucket list

The movie "The Bucket List" with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman undoubtedly has people now saying what's on their bucket list - the things they want to do before they die. For me, this includes cities to visit and races to run. Of course it includes a lot of other things too, but cities and races top the list. 

P.S. One of the saddest movies ever.
I have a dream of visiting Paris. My husband and I travel frequently to lots of different places, and somehow my dream vacation, Paris, keeps passing us by. In my head Paris is the perfect place with beautiful, walkable streets with cafes, museums and shops. When I list the eight assets that make up a 21st century community (physical design and walkability, green initiatives, cultural economic development, entrepreneurship, multiculturalism, messaging and technology, transit and education), I imagine Paris has them all. Of course this leads to the possibility that I may ultimately disappointed when I visit Paris, but I doubt it.

Paris streets. Gorgeous.
Like many people (I suspect) I have a lengthy list of places I want to visit. We travel a lot, but that only tends to expand the places we want to travel. Traveling for races has been a really fun way to see lots of different cities that often turn out to be unexpectedly delightful. I keep thinking that I need to run the Paris Marathon. Could there be a better way to see 26.2 miles of Paris than on foot during a marathon?

A shot from the Paris Marathon. WOW.
A few years ago we had the opportunity to visit Sweden for my goddaughter's baptism. I had never really thought about visiting Sweden, and it was incredible. We spent nearly a week at a cottage on an island in the Baltic Sea, and then we spent a few days in Stockholm. What an amazing trip, and although it wasn't Paris, it was one of these unexpectedly delightful places.  It made me realize that Europe is full of cities like Paris - quaint, walkable, old cities with tons of character and charm.  And with that trip the bucket list of cities on the to visit after Paris began to grow (to include Prague, Barcelona, and name a few).

The Swedish flag and Baltic Sea on a gorgeous summer day
In Gamla Stan (Old Town) Stockholm.
I haven't ventured into doing races in other countries yet because there are so many races yet to do here in the states.  That and it's not as easy to get to a race in Europe as it is in say Indiana. But I dream of doing the Paris or Berlin Marathons. And of course New York - that's the Super Bowl of races. I've entered the lottery for the second straight year, and I'm hoping this is the year. I love this site, Running Trip, that has lots of international and domestic races. Their Twitter feed is very active, and I find it a good one to look for races in fantastic destinations.

This summer my husband and I have decided we're doing a northeast road trip to visit New England and spend some time in Montreal. I hear Montreal is like North America's version of Paris, and I can't wait to go. I'm also going to fit in one of my bucket list races into this trip, the LL Bean 4th of July 10k in Freeport, Maine.  I'm so thankful that I married someone who shares my love of placemaking and humors my love of running. 

What cities and races are on your bucket list? And any ideas of ones I should add to mine?

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