End of October and the start of the month of November is usually for me the time to consider and plan on what races to run for next year. See last year schedule 2021 (I have been doing so for the last few years).
2022, I have been affected by mission creep, i.e, adding more and more races outside of my scope, but that is okay. It is part of the fun to explore all dimension of running.
Initially, started way back when, I only wanted to run marathons and to do it all in 50 states. I figured, if I run one race a year, I will finish all the states before I die. Say 30 y.o. plus 50 years, I will finish around 80-ish.
Based on this metric I am on schedule, because I already have 10-11 states done.
But the last few years since the start of the pandemic, I have been branching off into trail races and doing longer runs — also known as ultra-marathons. It has been quite fun and I don’t want to give it up. I think doing ultras is what I like now.
Also, I kind of get bored with the idea of only running marathons because it became too easy for me. Only thing that is stopping me from doing them all in one shot is money. I can only affort one or two out-of-state races a year, unless I get creative (many do, such as sleeping in a car, or sharing a hotel room with someone).
What is my budget? I spent about $7000 on running. Note, this goes toward everything related to my hobby (shoes, gas, travel, registration, and for all races local as well as far away), so I am not saying that a single race is costing $3500. Of course, if I am disciplined, I could get more races out of my money by only running marathons for my 50 states goal.
Also, off topic, I spent about that much ($7000) on my other hobby this year on twitch tv, so I know, if I am a bit disciplined in my spending for other things, I could make more trips for my marathons. Good news is, I am likely to cut back on twitch (maybe a post for another time). In theory, I could easily squeeze out about 10 races (states) a year, assuming budgeting $1000 per trip ($700 flight, $300 for car rental/hotel). These are rough figures. Again I could get creative by camping out or sleeping in the car and might even double the number of races to do in a year.
Because my interest has widen, there are so many races I want to run. Hopefully this post provide some order to my mess.
My goal for each year is to “improve” myself. Mostly this means, I want to do something I have not done before. I think of going to another country — for 2023, it will be my international debut!
My A-race will be Toronto Marathon. (May). I’m scared. I need to step up, sign up and run this. Registration is open, I need to commit. (I registered.)
Second race, Blackbeard 100 (OBX) is something I will continue to challenge myself. (March). I committed to this. Signed up already last April.
Third, I have my eyes on GSER, in Atlanta. I attempted it in 2020. Maybe this is the year I will do it. Registration has not opened. I need to commit to this as well. There is a long story why I want this race. I will leave it for another post. The short version is, Atlanta was my first attempt at 100 mile distance back in 2020. I had fond memory of this and wanted to complete this.
On the 50 States marathon front, I am thinking to get Texas. I have not decided on which races. I signed up for Cowtown, but that is a 50k. Hopefully, races at beginning the year work better for me. If the schedule doesn’t work out, then I will do San Antonio in December. Again, I need to commit. Registrations for Dallas, Austin and Houston are open. Commitment seems to be a common theme for me. O am reluctance because I don’t want to break the bank.
Georgia, (Nov), there is this race in Chattanooga, but it conflicts with another race I run every year (Stone Mill). I have not decided if I am will to sacrifice one of my races to take Georgia. Eventually, I would have to. I like running Stone Mill a lot. The Atlanta marathon in April conflicts with another of my race. It is hard getting Georgia down for next year. In short, if I want Georgia, I must be willing to let go one of my other races.
North Carolina, is also up in the air. This race was not held in 2022, so I don’t know if it will be held in 2023. Grandfather’s Marathon in July. But if I get to do this one, I will be happy because it completes the Grandparent theme (I ran the Grandma’s this year.)
Tulsa, Route 66 Marathon. This race was on my schedule last year, but I backed put due to budget. In fact, it has been bumped around from year to year. This one is money issue. I am unwilling to spend $700 for the airfare. If I save up, I can have this race done in 2023. At some point I will need to bite the bullet.
If I am ambitious, I can do Portland Maine Marathon. I kind of want it, but I am not committed to it yet. May/October. I generally prefer May over October. I have too many October races. This race also has been kicked around from year to year.
As for the Hundred Mile Races — Being ambitious, there are a couple 100 races. Pinhoti, some said it is hard, some said it is not. I am not sure if I am ready fro another 100. There is also the Creeper Trail 100 (Yeti), easy. Lastly, there is the Cloud Spitter, some said this is as hard as the MMT. Not sure if I am bold enough to step up to this. Any of these races, would be enough for me for 2023. I am currently fearful to commit to any. Help!
Note this is only a plan. Things are subject to change. My biggest struggle is commitment, then money, third training and lastly continued desire to get myself over to the finish line. I have been good at keeping up my passion. I wish I can handle the financial aspect well so I don’t have to worry as much and then could make the commitment ahead of time.
Here is the full schedule as of now. Of course, the most up to date one is here.
===== 2023 schedule =====
Marathon Goals: TX, NC, OK, GA, ME
(Jan 1) (likely) New Year Red Eye Run (prince william forest/WTF50) fatass run. Semi private run (club activity).
(Jan 15) (thinking about it, but not likely) Houston Marathon
(Feb 17) (thinking, but not likely) Austin Marathon. TX
(Feb 24-26) (reg’d) Cowtown Marathon (50k) Ft Worth
(Feb 26-27) (conflict w Cowtown)
Atlanta Publix Marathon . hmm. I think they changed the course (reg open $100)
-(Mar 25) (reg’d) Blackbeard Revenge 100 OBX. purchased shuttle return ticket to the start
(Mar 25) (conflict)
Georgia Death March (possibly support
(Apr 22) (reg’d) 2023 Blue Ridge Marathon, double marathon. Too close to MmT
(Apr 22) (conflict) One Day Hike on C & O. 100k
(Apr 29) (possibly, volunteering or run) C&O 100, or running it! Q: Can I do two 100s?
-(April 22) (confict) Promise Land 50k, Bedford, VA. Last weekend in April. Very interested!
(May 1) (considering, but scare, conflict) GSER 100K, in-person. Atlanta, 2023?
(May 7) (reg’d: but see GSER) Toronto Marathon! Intl Debut? May is better on scheduling than Oct.
(May 20) Massanutten 2nd attempt? Q: Can I do 3 100s back to back? Is it even a question?
(Jun 20) (considering) Highlands Sky 40. Lanesville (dolly sods, WV). Fall back option. reg opens in Feb.
(Jul ?, 2nd week) (considering) Grandfather’s Marathon
(Oct 4) (considering) Maine Marathon, Portland is likely the play. There’s also Acadia one, but it is a bit far.
(Oct 15-ish, 2nd weekend) (considering) Tahoe Marathon 70M. around Lake Tahoe. highly desiring
(Oct 25) (reg’d/but need confirm, deferred from 2020 & 2021) MCM 50K, again! 6 hr course limit. Need to re-reg in April.
(Nov 5~) (considering, but scared) Alabama Pinhoti 100. something worth considering or, am I dead focus on Massanutten?
(Nov 13) (considering; likely) Stone Mill 50. would want to run this again?
(Nov 13?) (considering but conflict) Chickamauga Battlefield GA, Marathon. desiring.
(Nov 21-22) (considering) Route 66 (Tulsa City) Marathon – Oklahoma (fall), might defer. maybe this is the year.
(Dec 3-4) (not likely) San Antonio Marathon.
(Dec 4) Rocky Phily Fatass Run 50k.