I have spent some time this week considering what I want my 2013 racing plan to look like. My mindset for 2013 was to race a bit less, with more focus on a few key races. My hope was that this would allow me to make the best use of my limited training time. Until now, the only thing I knew for sure was that I would be racing my first 50 miler in May, but the rest of the season was wide open.
I had a lot of options to pick from, with a couple of road racing series and a trail racing series in Southern Ontario. I was thinking about trying to get in a number of the 5 Peaks Trail races this year, but their recently released schedule already had too many conflicts. I have done a number of the Subaru Road Racing Series races for the past two years, but would like to spend more time on the trails. In the end I decided that I would pick 2 (maybe 3, or 4) ultra distance trail races, and then try to compete in a new local running series.
As mentioned previously, I am planning to tackle my first 50 Mile race at Sulphur Springs in May. As that spring date nears, I am both super excited, but also slightly nervous about it. Completing two 50 km races last fall gives me some confidence, but also a perspective on how far 50 miles actually is! Regardless, I know that I have adequate time to prepare myself and am looking forward to the next few months of building up the necessary endurance.
The local St. Catharines Runners and Walkers Club hosts a number of local road and trail races each year that are close to home for me. For 2013, they have decided to make a series out of them with some decent prize money for the top 3 overall at the end of the year. I had planned on doing a few of these races anyway so I am excited to use this series to focus my training and see how I do overall at the end of the year. The series consists of a wide variety of distances on road and trail ranging from a 5km road race in February up to a trail half marathon in June. These races will fill up most of my spring, summer, and fall. I figure these races will be fun, and make me focus on trying to keep a bit of speed in my run training.
As a bookend to my season, I am super excited to be doing another 50 mile race in September. Ever since moving to Southern Ontario from Thunder Bay (Northwestern Ontario), and getting into running, I have longed to get back on the amazing trails up there. I remembered hearing about a fall ultra race weekend in Northern Minnesota and found that its date for 2013 would be perfect. The only challenge would be travel, but low and behold I found a seat sale for the exact dates/times I would have wanted to travel and found the cheapest plane tickets I’ve ever had for that flight. Finally, my super supportive wife told me to go for it, so I booked my plane tickets. The Superior Fall Trail Races has a marathon, 50 mile, and 100 mile distance. I briefly toyed with the idea of doing my first 100 up there, but decided to be patient in my buildup to that crazy distance! These races follow the Superior Hiking Trail, which I’ve spent enough time on to know how tough and rugged this course will be. The 50 Mile will definitely be challenging enough. I am super excited to spend the weekend running with my older brother and some other of my hometown’s finest.
After that race I will be riding in the inaugural GranFondo Niagara Falls so hopefully my legs will have time to recover! I am going to do a few posts on the event leading up to it, and then share my experience when its all done. I am happy to have a cycling event on my calendar, and this one promises to be fun!
This will make for a full season, but I have a few other potential races and events I am considering. I may do the Creemore Vertical Challenge 50K in July, and possibly go back to the Run for the Toad 50K again in October. I may also try to get in a duathlon or two to justify my bike collection but we’ll see!
I am really looking forward to 2013 and I hope I can share some interesting stories along the way. Thanks for reading! Now to create a training schedule that fits these races in!