when you win an entry but can’t use it

As you may or may not know, I won a free entry to the Blue Ridge Marathon back in October.  I was ecstatic.  I never win anything.  Then, two weeks later I won a book for promoting a Twitter #runchat with Compassion International.  Wha?  Two in a row?  Where’s my lotto ticket?  But, I digress.

The Blue Ridge Marathon is slated “America’s Toughest Road Marathon”.  “Road” is included in there because there are trail runs that are surely tougher.  Trail runners are tough….annndd I’m getting off topic again.  Anyway,  I was excited.  I was injured at the time but thought for certain, I would be a complete runner by April.

Of course it was going to be hard, but I had just completed Big Sur International Marathon, which is just as tough in its own right.  It’s amazing how a human can transcend the body in such an experience.


Big Sur was the most beautiful race I had ever run, or even come close to running for that fact.  Crashing waves over the cliffs on one side, the rise of mountains covered in evergreens on the other.  This was as close to heaven as I had ever been.

Getting back to Blue Ridge.  It is to take place in Roanoke, VA, on none other than, the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Gorgeous, in its own right, the Parkway is a popular site for east coasters seeking beauty in the spring and fall.

But, here’s the kicker.  I’m still injured.  Yep, that’s right.  It’s 5 months later and I still can’t run over 4 miles without feeling like I was hit by a truck.  (Hence, the MRI post.)  There is no way it is possible for me to get ready in a month and a half for a marathon…or even a half. Sad times. So what do I do?

What would you do?

Have you ever had to back out of a race?


13 thoughts on “when you win an entry but can’t use it

  1. Stumbled on your blog browsing “running” here on WordPress. I’m a VA-based runner, and would love to use your entry…but I’ll be tackling the 20-miler at Big Sur (too slow on the draw to snag a 26.2 entry). I’m sure that the race organizers want someone, if not the contest winner, to use the entry and have a whole lot of fun at the toughest road marathon, so I’d recommend trying to transfer it to someone according to the race’s procedures, if such provisions exist. In 2013 I backed out of the Pittsburgh Marathon in favor of the Flying Pig Marathon the same weekend, and I found someone on Craigslist who was willing to receive my bib in a transfer. The window for online transfers had closed, but an in-person transfer was still allowed at the race expo. I sent this lady my signed release form, and she completed the transfer at the expo. A few weeks later, I received a check from the race — I felt like a stud, as if it were a prize money check! Whatever you do, don’t sell the bib, especially not for a profit.

    I hope you feel better soon; I bet you’re going stir crazy not being able to run much/at all.

  2. Recover fully, and take your time rebuilding your inner and outer strength gradually. When you’re ready, you’ll know it. Get healthy and realize that patience is a trainable virtue on your way to more injury free athleticism over the long haul. I don’t know what you’ve got going on injury wise, but with dogged research, I’m sure you’ll find the right combo of approaches to get back into your prime. All the best. You will prevail!

  3. Oh Niki, you know not to push your body. It seems you are an avid runner and you will be doing this another time..either by “winning” the ticket or getting yourself there just because it will be a challenge you want to complete. I am sure one of you reader’s would love the chance and they can share their story with us {you} here 🙂 Take steps to heal your body xoxox

  4. I did back out of a race. I planned one for April 2011 and I wanted to be into it but I was planning a wedding and a mom I just wasn’t into it, the training, working, going to school blah blah blah…I still wear the t-shirt though 🙂

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