I think January is the best time of year to be a runner. Not because of the lack of exciting races during the month, nor because of cold and sloppy conditions. No, it's because the whole year is stretched out before you with limitless possiblities. Are you going to hit the track this year and focus on speed with 5Ks and road miles? Maybe you'll become a marthoner this year and really focus on the event. Perhaps ultra racing has piqued your curiosity, how far can you go? At this time of year, we can dream and imagine it all. I think I get so excited at this time of year because in my own mind I'm going to excell at everything I try. The reality of fatigue, injuries, and lack of time and talent has yet to hit me and I see every race on the calendar as one at which I have the potential to be successful. So as I look through the many race calendars at my disposal these are the races that I'm most pumped about. I certainly won't be able to get to all of them, but if I can show up at the starting line healthy and fit for some of them, half of them, most of them...it will be a good year! For me the focus has definitely begun to shift away from road racing and marathons and towards trail racing, ultra running, and other more adventure centered events.
Here's what I've got right now:
Feb. 20 Hagg Lake 50K, we'll see if I can get in shape in time for this one.
Mar. 20 Chuckanut 50K, a friend from the Transrockies run, Aaron Heidt set the course record last year. Let's see if I can get to Bellingham for Spring Break.
Apr. 3 Horse Butte, can you say 4-peat? I hope I can, we'll see who shows up.
Apr. 11 Peterson's Ridge Rumble, Always a fun event. With more single-track planned for this year I wonder how far these races will end up being. I'm hoping Sean will have some golden arm warmers if I can go 5 for 5.
May 2 Bloomsday. Easily the most competitive race in the Northwest.
Jun. 12 Dirty Half. Rumors have been swirling but I certainly hope it'll be the most competitive Dirty Half yet. It's cool that one of our favorite training runs could be a National Championship race.
June 19 Mt. Washington Hill climb. Always been a fantasy of mine to run this race. This year is especially sweet as the top 6 men win a trip to compete in Norway!
July 31 Ahhh! 3 great events on the same day! 15K trail chamionships in Spokane, 50 mile trail championships around Mr. Rainier, and the Cascade Lakes Relay.
Aug. 7 Mt. Ashland Hill Climb. 13 miles straight up!
Aug. 22-27 Transrockies Run. Will it be a battle of two great running towns? Bend vs. Flagstaff? Should be very exciting!
Sep. 25 50K trail championships in Bend!?!?!? What another championship race in Bend? It will be fun to see what Super Dave cooks up.
Oct. 3 Twin Cities marathon, The only road marathon to make the list. I'm mostly excited about the masters competition but it's also the US open men's championship.
Nov. 6 Lithia Loop Marathon, I've heard my buddy Hal puts on a great race, I'd love to see it for myself.
TBD: Northface Endurance Challenge, the unofficial championship of US ultra running.
So that's my "A" list for this year. I'm sure some things will change over the course of the year but these are what get me out the door to train right now. How about you? Did I miss some great races? What's on your list for this year?