Saturday, January 14, 2017

2017: I'm in! Big time...

As I alluded in previous posts, after several insane more-of-the-same years, I'm ready for some change in 2017. Not necessarily easing off yet, but getting off the main PAUSATF Grand Prix path which I've pretty much beaten for 10 years. 

  1. First, and this may not come as a scoop to most of you since the lottery results have been published in December, I got into Miwok! And it is a popular lottery so it is a big deal. At this point you must think though that this isn't anything new and, you are right, this will be my 11th participation but, since I dropped last year, this is the opportunity to complete a series of 10, albeit not consecutive. Also, when I put my name in the hat, the race wasn't supposed to be on the Grand Prix schedule, so it was a genuine foray outside of the GP path.
  2. Second, also public news, I entered Jon Olsen's Riverbank One Day Classic in February. And, yes, that would be another 24-hour day of running on the track for quite a few laps hopefully.
  3. Third, I must have been one of the first to register for Ohlone 50K right at 8am last Saturday morning. I missed the 2014 edition to attend Max's graduation at Yale so that will be my 10th participation as well, at this fetish event which I won 5 times!
  4. After procrastinating for a few weeks, I had to rush to get one of the very few remaining spots in the new 50K trail championships event which Singletrack is hosting in Auburn, the capital of ultra endurance, mid February (replacing the National Tamalpa had been hosting for several years in August). I will be far behind the super fast dudes like Max King or David Roche, but there is a separate M50-54 league to compete in...! ;-)
  5. Too busy at work, I missed the (gold) rush to get into Quicksilver 100K by a couple of hours but put my name on the wait list, hoping I'm high enough on to get in and do the May back2back2back for the 7th time since 2009 (I know, this looks like pussy compared to those adding the Silver State 50-mile and Ohlone 50K on the same weekend in May...).
  6. In the non ultra category, but just 26.2 miles, and those following me on Facebook had a hint back in September, I got into Boston!! This one wasn't too hard to get in with a 2:45 qualifying time, except that I got this mark while running the 50K Nationals in March and that race wasn't on the standard list of events recognized by Boston, hence the few additional weeks to get a confirmation. This confirmation actually arrived while I was still wondering what my foot injury was, and I wasn't in the mood to talk about it back then. Needless to say, I'm quite excited to get back to Boston. This will be my 5th, after running it in 2001, 2003, 2005 and the stormy 2007. Keeping the found memory of getting on the podium there in 2005 as Top 10 Master (time flies...).
  7. Last but really not least, and this is big, well for me anyway, I finally decided to get into... UTMB, the infamous Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. Yes, one of the toughest 100-miler out there, wish me not just luck, but a ton of mental and courage to tame the beast, as I know the difficulty of the course too well for having trained on it several times, including with Scott Jurek and the competitive Lafuma ultra racing team. This is really a scoop because the lottery is meant to happen this Sunday, January 15, but I qualified for an automatic entry thanks to my current ITRA ranking which is still above 750. One sure thing, phew!
    Which isn't small feat as they don't weigh in your age in the calculation. I must admit that I've never been excited by the size of the event, the likelihood of bad weather and, again, the difficulty of the course, but, especially given what happened in 2017, I figured out that I had better leveraging this 'international elite' status sooner rather than later.

I will likely add more races depending on form and work and travel schedule, but, hope you would agree, these 7 initial race entries already constitute quite an aggressive program, phew! Time to go work and... play hard!

Looking forward to seeing many of you at these events. And let's work at all staying healthy so we can not only toe these start lines in 2017, but the finish lines as well. Go big or go home as the song says...

1 comment:

M @readeatwriterun said...

Lots of racing! Hope it all goes well. "See you" in Boston! (I'll be waving from waves back....)