Location: Bellingham, Washington
Goal: Top 15
Competition: Super Freakin Stacked
I’ll be opening my first full ultra running season with Chuckanut 50k. This is probably not a good idea for my fragile ego considering it is arguably the most competitive ultra race of the year in the USA…but I just can’t resist. I want to see how I stack up with the big boys and hopefully beat a few. My plan is to go out hard and hang tough. I usually do pretty well if I can latch on to someone and just try to hang. Hopefully I feel good out there; if I do, I think I’m capable of placing in the top 15…and if I blow up, so be it. No matter what happens though I want to enjoy some new trails and definitely finish the race.
Distance: 26.2 miles
Location: Ferrara Italy
If you noticed the dates, no, that is not a typo, it IS the weekend after Chuckanut. However, my plan is to definitely NOT race this marathon. I’m lucky enough to have a Dad who works for a company that is based in Bologna, Italy so me and my mom and my girlfriend are going to go spend 10 days in Italia. It seems there is no better activity than to hop into an obscure marathon with some locals. It will be my girlfriends debut and she’s hoping to run in the 3:10-3:30 (I know, fast right?) range and my plan is to be her pacer. I have a feeling though that after Chuckanut this pace will still not be a walk in the park! I’m excited though to see the sights. Supposedly it circles the historic city of Ferrara and then winds its way though some countryside villages…I can’t wait for this.
Peterson Ridge Rumble
Distance: 40 miles
Location: Sisters, Oregon
Goal: Top 3
Peterson Ridge Rumble Website
I’m going to try to not gain 15 pounds while in Italy and come back 3 weeks later and run this “local” 40 mile race on the Peterson Ridge trail network. I think I have a chance to do pretty well here because of the course. My current weakness, which I am working hard to correct, is my climbing skills and being able to recover and maintain pace with big climbs. Peterson Ridge however would definitely be considered a “flatter” ultra and I’m hoping my marathon speed will help me here. I’m sure some ultra studs will show up and run real fast but, again, if I have a good day who knows what could happen. Hopefully I can get out on this course a few times before the race as it is only about 30 minutes from where I live.
Siskiyou Out and Back
Distance: 50k or 50 Miler
Location: Ashland, Oregon
Competition: 50k will be stacked, new 50 miler less.
I’m looking forward to this race as I’ve heard only rave reviews. Supposedly it is one of the most scenic beauties out there. I’ve never really ran trails down in southern Oregon but they must be phenomenal considering the cluster of awesome runners who live down there. They added a 50 miler this year which is sort of cool. This may be what I want to do if I want to get a longer run in. However, if the speedies are running the 50k I may want to try my hand at that. This is the only race I’m not registered for yet and I think I’ll hold off until I get some advice on what to do.
Location: Willamette Pass Area, Cascades, Oregon
Goal: Top 10
Competition: Very Stacked
This race will be unknown territory as far as distance goes. This will be the longest race I’ve ever done and pretty much the focus of my season. I know I need to be well prepared for the big consistent climbs that Waldo offers. I’ve heard this race is incredible well run and it is practically in my own backyard…so so lucky to live in Oregon where all these awesome races are! There will be some very fast runners there including Western States champ Hal Koerner and my old Fleet Feet manager Scott Wolfe. It will be fun to toe the line with these guys and see what happens.
This year is a year of becoming comfortable racing these distances and acclimatizing my body to this new style of running. I need to keep in mind that I want to be VERY COMPETITIVE within three years, not necessarily THIS YEAR, as I’ve heard that’s about how long it takes to really be able to race on trail at a high level. I will try not to have too many pity parties if my races don’t work out as planned. Just like everything else in life, it is a growing and maturing process, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Only through consistent hard work will things pay off. I want to run ultras for years to come, see trails all over the world, and someday put my place in the position to win some big ones. For now, I’m a very small fish in a big big pond….I’m excited to see how things pan out.
Update: Addition to the race schedule. MacDonald Forest 50k over in Corvallis, Oregon area on May 12th. 6700 ft. climbing…another quad killer with great competition. 🙂