The Year Ahead: So Many Races, So Little Time

Photo courtesy nicholas_t

Photo courtesy nicholas_t

It’s hard to believe that just 2 years ago, I got started with my first run on a treadmill that lasted 10 minutes (including 3 minutes of walking). My goal for 2012 was simple. To be able to run for an hour without stopping. Barefoot running was more of an enabler to get there, not the end goal. Entering 2013, I set out to run my first 50K, the Big Basin 50K after a friend put the ultra bug in me. I successfully ended 2013 with 5 half marathons, 3 full marathons, 3 50Ks and a few other races, largely injury free. I think I’m officially a student of this sport!

The Year Ahead

I have to say that 50K’s no longer scare me. Anxious for sure, afraid no. They are still hard as hell, but I feel confident that I can pace myself to the finish line in one piece. On the other hand, I managed to somehow find the courage to register for my very first 50 miler – the Lake Sonoma 50M. With over 10,000 feet of elevation gain, this one gives me the butterflies, but no different from how I felt before my first 50K. I’m still working on my Race Calendar for 2014, but here are some notable races that I’m considering.

To kick off the year, I’m running the Pacifica Foothills 30K, possibly with a jet lag. February: I’m registered for the Fort Ord 50K, though Sean O’Brien 50M, Golden Gate Trail Run 50K and the FOURmidable 50K all look super interesting. March: The lottery gods let me in to the Way Too Cool 50K, that’s got the who’s who of ultra running showing up. The Marin Ultra Challenge and Canyon Meadow Trail Run 50K are equally awesome and nearby. April: Sold out in 37 minutes, I managed to register for the Lake Sonoma 50M. Other races this month that are interesting are the American River 50M, Diablo Trail Challenge 50K, Mokelumne River 50K and the Sierra Azul Trail Challenge. May: This is going to be a toss up between the Ohlone Wilderness Run 50K vs. the Quicksilver 50K, both equally challenging runs. The Avenue of the Giants Marathon, Silver State 50K, Horseshoe Lake Trail Run 50K and the Trail Factor 50K are things to consider possibly for next year. June: I think I’m going back to Big Basin 50K to see if I can crack a sub-5:00. Hopefully the second time’s a little easier. July: There’s the San Francisco Marathon, Siskiyou Outback 50K, Mt. Hood 50M and the Tahoe Rim Trail 50K. See how hard it is to choose? AugustI had so much fun running the Headwaters 50K, that I might run this again, though Tamalpais Headlands 50K is a lot closer to home. September: Volcanic 50K or the Berkeley Trail Adventure 50K again, ‘cos I am a glutton for punishment. October: The Dick Collins 50M is supposedly a fantastic out and back along the east bay trails. November: Maybe the Quad Dipsea? Notice that I’ve shied away from road runs pretty much the whole year. December: The California International Marathon in Sacramento looks pretty fun with a net downhill.

What does your race calendar look like for 2014?

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