Hello and welcome. Last week, I wrote about my running and race goals for 2015 and 2016. Today, I will share my planned and potential races for the upcoming year (assuming I stay injury free, of course). Check back after the races for recaps and reports.
Outer Banks (OBX) Marathon – November 8, 2015
The 2015 Outer Banks Marathon is still tentative on my schedule, but I will probably make it official very soon. I ran this race in 2014 and it is a great low key marathon. It is well organized, the course is very nice, and the support is great. This is a very runner friendly community. In addition, I don’t think I’ve seen more port-a-johns on a course. Overall, my wife and I love the Outer Banks, NC area. We bring our dog, stay in a pet-friendly hotel, and make a nice long weekend out of it. Since I am running the JFK 50 Mile race two weeks later, I’ll likely treat this as a long run instead of trying for a specific time. My plan is to run along side my wife to give her support. Plus, we’ll get some great pictures together during the race.
JFK 50 Mile – November 21, 2015
I’m really looking forward to being a part of the legendary JFK 50 Mile race. According to the race website, the JFK 50 Mile is the nation’s oldest and largest ultra marathon. The first race took place in 1963. Finishing this race in under 8.5 hours is also one of my upcoming race goals. This will be my first attempt at the JFK 50; my second 50 miler overall.
Rehoboth Beach Marathon – December 5, 2015
Winter will be fast approaching, but hopefully not too cold yet. This will be my first Rehoboth Beach Marathon, but I’ve heard good things about the race and post race party. As with the Outer Banks Marathon, I will likely treat this as a long run and not try for a specific time since it is shortly after the JFK 50 mile. It will depend on how I feel. This will be more of a mini-vacation before the full force of winter.
Florida Keys Ragnar Relay – February 5, 2016
What better way to break up a DC area winter than to be in the Florida Keys. The Ragnar Relay is a roughly 200 mile relay race. There are various races throughout the country. The Florida Keys race starts in Miami, FL and ends in Key West, FL. I am on a team of 12 and each person will have 3 legs each. The total distance run averages just under 17 miles each person. It’s not an especially long race per person, but some of those runs will be in the middle of the night. It will be exhausting and challenging. We won’t be running to win, mainly just to have fun. And having fun should be an easy goal to accomplish.
Thomas Jefferson 100K – March 12, 2016
Registration is not yet open for the 2016 Thomas Jefferson 100k race, but a 100k is one of my goal races and I’ve heard good things about this race. The course is a challenging 8.9 mile loop that is repeated 7 times. A multiple loop course can be a positive or negative depending on how you look at it. While it might be mentally exhausting (as well as physically) completing the same loop seven times, it simplifies the logistics and is great for support. This will be my first 100K and a great “warm-up” to the 100 miler.
Flying Pirate Half Marathon – April 17, 2016
The Flying Pirate Half Marathon is another race I’m not yet registered for, but it is definitely on my radar. My wife and I have done this race twice before and have enjoyed it enough to do a third time (and maybe more). It’s also in Outer Banks, NC and is a fun low-key half marathon. There is also a 5k race the day before the half, which adds another little challenge. As mentioned above, we bring the dog and turn these into relaxing mini-vacations.
C&O Canal 100 Mile – April 30 2016
Registration is not yet open for the 2016 Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal 100 mile race. Right now, this is my second preference for a 100 mile race, but this could easily move up to number one. The benefit of this course is that it is mostly a flat packed dirt trail. In addition, I run on the C&O Canal trail almost every weekend, so I am familiar with the course. The downside is that I think the flat nature of this course would be very challenging mentally. In other words, while it is a beautiful course, I fear it might be a bit boring for 100 miles. But overall, it is very tempting for my first 100 mile race.
Massanutten Mountain Trails (MMT) 100 Mile Run – May 2016
Registration is also not yet open for the 2016 MMT 100 mile race. This is my first preference for a 100 mile race simply because I have heard great things about this race. In addition, the course seems like it would be especially challenging given the steep elevation changes throughout the Massanutten Mountain trails, which peeks my adventurous side. Part of me thinks it may be too much for my first 100 mile race. But the other part says to “bring it on.”
Old Dominion 100 Mile – June 2016
Registration is also not yet open for the 2016 Old Dominion 100 mile race. Currently, this is my third preference for a 100 mile race. According to the race website, the Old Dominion 100 mile run is through Massanutten Mountain as well as the Shenandoah River Valley and Fort Valley Virginia. It also has many steep climbs and will be an adventure. The cut-off for this race is 28 hours which may be challenging for my first 100 mile race. The MMT has a 36 hour cut-off, so while I would still like to finish in 24 hours or less, the MMT has a bit more cushion in case something goes wrong. But overall, the Old Dominion 100 mile race would be a great challenge.
As always, comments are appreciated. Let me know if you have any thoughts on these races or other race suggestions. Thanks for reading.