I’ve known for a few months how my 2013 race calendar will kick off, and it’s an event I’m incredibly excited about for a number of reasons.
The Big Bend Ultra Run, a 50K at Big Bend National Park in West Texas, will provide a fast course in a gorgeous setting. As long as I don’t spend too much time stopping to take pictures I expect to set a big PR. The race weekend is built around a friend’s birthday weekend road trip as well, so numerous elements should combine to make Big Bend a great way to start the year with a bang.
But what about the rest of the year?
The 2012 season saw me finish my first ultra marathon, as well as two more. I did some things well with my training and racing, and I also failed badly in some areas. A lot of lessons were learned. I’ve gotten stronger, more experienced, and – hopefully – a little bit smarter.
A year of growth as a runner has me entering 2013 more excited than ever to run, but also feeling a bit ambitious. My race schedule remains tentative other than the first two events, but it’s developing into a slate that I expect to challenge me mentally and physically, teach me numerous lessons, humble me, make me stronger, produce a new distance PR, and take me to some of the most beautiful places in the country.
There are more races I’m considering, and I’m sure a few local races will be added in periodically, but here’s what I’m zeroing in on at the moment:
Jan. 20 – Big Bend Ultra Run; 50K; Big Bend National Park, Texas
March 15, 16, 17 – 3 Days of Syllamo (Day 1 – 50K; Day 2 – 50M; Day 3 – 20K); Mountain View, Arkansas
June 1 – The North Face Endurance Challenge; 50-mile or 50K; Washington, D.C.
July 27 – Speedgoat 50K; Snowbird Ski Resort, Utah
Aug. 17-18 – Leadville Trail 100 – PACING for Sherrie Klover
Sept. 28 – UROC 100K; Breckenridge to Vail, Colo.
Nov. 24 – Dude, Where’s the Trail?; 50K; Kansas City, Mo.
Big Bend, 3 Days, and Dude are definitely happening, as is pacing at Leadville as long as Sherrie gets in.
TNF in D.C. also is looking considerably more likely. Travel should be affordable, transportation is easy, and I have a place to stay.
Speedgoat and UROC are truly tempting me. Both courses are beautiful, both are mountain races, and both will test me as much – if not more – than Silver Rush did this year. I’m also pondering the Meet Your Maker 50-Miler on Sept. 1 in Whistler, B.C., although that might have to find a place on my 2014 calendar.
Time will tell how the final schedule shakes out, but I welcome your feedback. Have you done any of these races? What did you think of them? Training tips? Let me know what you think.