Wednesday, January 15, 2020

My 2020 Races

My overall running goals were stated in this blog post. Now it's time for racing goals. Here are my two sets of races for 2020: my real goal races and the "yeah, I'll do these too" races.

Goal races for the year:

April BQ.2 Marathon. This is where I hope to qualify for the 2021 Boston Marathon. It's a special race that is tailored for a small group of runners (n=300) to hit their BQ times. Located in Geneva, IL makes it a reasonable drive. Multi-loop course along a flat river path makes it easy to monitor pace, keep fast, and have access to fluids and gels. They have pace setters for each of the Boston qualifying times. I'm shooting for minimum 3:35, hopeful for 3:32. Time to crush it!

August Howl at the Moon 8-hour ultra. Terrible outcomes for me the last few years. I used to dominate this race. OK, not dominate, but perform well. Easily broke 40+ miles every year. Even 47 miles twice. Had dreams of breaking 50 miles. Lately I have given up after 4-5 hours. Not this year. Mark my words...this year will be a good Howl for Chris!

October Heartland Harvest 5K. This is a small race at Heartland Community College. Nice course, great support, and my wife knows many of the college people and participants there. It's a place to show my dominance as a 50+ year old runner. Slow ultra-runner? Nope, fast 5K racer! Dominate the age group.

November Indy Monumental Half-Marathon. I've done this race several times. Never ran poorly, but never crushed it either. This is my year to shine! Domination is the plan. New half-marathon personal best? Why not!

Some other races for the year:

January Riddle Run 28M. Local trail fat ass event. It's in its 21st year. I've done all previous 20 races. Why stop now? No racing here. Too cold. Trail conditions are often snowy, icy. Just get some miles, see old friends, drink a beer. Enjoy.

March Pi Run. This is sponsored by an engineering student group at the University of Illinois. Run 3.14 miles at the University arboretum. Nice grass trail. No pressure. Pie at the end. What's not to like?

April Illinois Half-Marathon. I usually like this as a goal race, but with the BQ.2 marathon one week before, this race will be a nice victory lap after I crush the BQ time one week earlier. Nice and easy. Likely beer along the route. Maybe even a lounge chair. I know people. Fun times for all.

Summer Last Man Standing. Usually in June or July at our local Lake of the Woods trail. Simple premise. Everyone starts on the hour, runs 4.1 miles, waits for next hour to come around. Repeat. If you finish the loop early, you rest. If you cannot finish within that one hour, you are out. Last runner standing wins. I don't think I'll win, but I won't be the worst. Perfect tune-up for Howl at the Moon ultra. Lots of easy miles in the summer heat and humidity. Maybe a beer or two too.

October Half at Fort Ben. This race has kicked my ass several times. Last year, I ran well and beat my previous year by 9 minutes! I want another good year. No PR, but a good, solid effort. Race comes one month before Indy Monumental half-marathon. Nice place to test my fitness. I'll visit one of my favorite Indy brew pubs afterward.

October Aruna 5K. Another local run at the Illinois arboretum. Good cause, lots of university faculty, staff, and students. Good test of speed, but no pressure on the rolling trail course.

Looks like the theme for the goal races is DOMINATION, while the theme for the other races is ENJOYMENT and BEER. I can do that.

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