The Kick Off

This weekend kicks off a new season of racing that I thought I was ready for but now I am not so sure. (You thought I was going to be talking about football, didn't you?) Last year, I started off the season with the same race as I will this year, the Jed Smith 50k. I remember last year thinking after I had finished that I was, "never going to run this race again." It is roughly a 5 mile loop on pavement that you run 6 times in order to get to 50k (31 miles). However, it's amazing what 9 or 10 months will do, because I signed up again this year. However, I have been nursing an ankle injury, so I may just go sit on the sidelines and cheer.

In addition to Jed Smith, there are a few key races I will be doing this year that I am really looking forward to.

- Gorge Waterfall 100k: This race is close to Portland, in the Columbia Gorge area near Cascade Locks. I have been hiking in the area before and so I know that it is beautiful. The course has a ton of waterfalls on it as well; you can see them in this video by the Ginger Runner (go to about 2 min. to see the course). It is an out and back with about 12,000 ft. of elevation. I am looking forward to it, as I am traveling up there with some friends and we have rented an airbnb in the Hawthorne district of Portland and we will stay for a couple of days in addition to the race. I am really hoping it does not rain though! 

- Lake Sonoma 50MThis race is one of those that always brings the big names. It is an out and back with about 10,500 ft of elevation gain. It is also a Montrail Ultra Cup race, meaning that the top two men and women qualify for an entry into Western States. Last year the top men were Zach Miller, Rob Krar and Sage Canaday. This year there are some good local boys such as Alex Varner and Dylan Bowman. These men will finish in about 6 hours, whereas I will be hanging out about 4 hours behind them. However, it will be fun to be part of such an important race. (This is a good video of the 2014 race by Billy Yang).

- Tahoe Rim Trail 100M: Yes, I did it; I signed up for a hundred mile race. Am I nervous? You betcha. I know I can finish, unless something goes horribly wrong, but I would like to do well. I know it is my first hundred, so my goal should really just be to FINISH. However, I would like to finish well under the 35 hour cut off time if possible. This will be a great race; I have done the 50M before, and the 100M is two 50 mile loops starting at about 7,000 ft. with a max elevation of about 9,500 ft. and a total gain of about 20,000 ft. There will be literally dozens of people there who I know, which I feel will be good motivation to keep moving. This race will be like a huge all night party with all of my friends.

In addition to these, there will be smaller, local races thrown in the mix, as well as times when I will be crewing and pacing friends for their big events. All in all, it is shaping up to be a great racing season and I cannot wait to kick it off!

Do you have any big races on the calendar this year? Will you travel for them or do you normally stay closer to home? If you are not a runner, what big plans do you have for weekend trips this summer?


  1. A 100-miler! Ambitious! Not that I think you can't do it. That kind of distance just takes the whole thing out of "running" and into "survival" in my mind. I can barely wrap my mind around a 5k at this point.

  2. Good luck! I hope the foot holds up for you this weekend.

    I found an interesting 50k in Virginia Beach where you run a 5k course every hour on the hour for 10 hours straight. Can't decide if that would be a long day or just more repeated fun?

  3. Oh goodness, that's awesome that you signed up for the 100M! Running 5K scares me right now (for good reason), so maybe some of your speed and endurance will rub off on me ;)

  4. I just finished a 10K a couple of weeks ago and I'm thinking of signing up for a 5K that goes through my favorite baseball stadium, but I'm not sure yet.

  5. You've got a lot of great races planned for the year. I'm in awe of the fact that you are doing a 100 miler!! I can't even fathom doing that!

    So far I have registered for a 10 mile race that is in my neighborhood in March and a half marathon in April that is in the same area where we ran that 10 mile race together years ago! Besides that I don't have anything planned. I am hoping to run the Twin Cities Marathon in October and registration opens for that this week but I am holding off on registering because I have been feeling a bit off lately and have had some strange pain in my feet so I don't want to over-commit... But hopefully this pain is just a fluke. I know it's muscular so I am not too concerned but it's annoying!

  6. Good luck!!! I don't have any big races planned at all - love cheering on my friends.

  7. Wow! 100 miles! You're amazing. I look froward to hearing all about the training for this. I know you can do it too though!

  8. Very inspiring with your list of races! Good for you!
    I haven't signed up for any yet, but plan to be on the lookout for a few good halfs this spring!

  9. that is quite the lineup. awesome! I went to Portland for the first time ever in July and found it quite interesting. Have a great SEASON!


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