I had a decent year of running in 2016. I had the opportunity to run some new races and revisit some of my favorites. I met some new folks over the course of the year, and I think I am positioned to have an amazing 2017. Here is a quick recap of my races from 2016.
Badgerow Last Man Standing
It can be tough to find decent trail races in the winter in central New York. There’s just too much damn snow! Badgerow was perfect – it was a fun race, there was a good group there for it and it was an excellent opportunity to run hard early in the year. I managed to place first overall!
Zion was supposed to be my first 100. However, it was pretty much a disaster. I was sick, the weather sucked and my training was just not adequate for that type of course. I learned a few things (don’t get sick), and I moved on to the rest of my year!
Cayuga Trails 50
I was really on the fence about Cayuga this year. I was frustrated after Zion and I let my training go a little bit. I hardly had any long runs in me, and I wasn’t in the greatest shape. With that being said, the course is beautiful, and it’s really close to where I live. It’s also a reunion of sorts – and if you’ve ever done the race, you know what I mean. Anyhow, it went okay. It wasn’t my best Cayuga, and I definitely ran out of steam around 40 miles, but I didn’t have any regrets. I also got to finish with my super speedy friend Laura Kline!
Vegan Power 50k
photo credit: Ben Kimball
This was probably my best race of the year. I know that seems silly because a 4:08 50k isn’t exactly mind blowing. In fact, it was only my third fastest 50k of the year! However, on that course, I think it’s pretty quick, and I was able to take a win over some solid competition. Is it possible to run under four hours on that course? Only time will tell.
The Jug was a lot of fun! It was a six-hour timed race – my first timed race! It was a challenging course on a hot day. There was a great group of people, and it was a fantastic course in western Massachusetts. I covered nearly 42 miles, and it was one of my better runs of the year. I think it set me up really well for the second half of the year.
Green Lakes 50k
This race is like Cayuga Trails – no matter how hard I try, I just can’t get away from the damn thing! I really wasn’t going to run Green Lakes this year. I wasn’t going to do it! And then, of course, I did. Tim Hardy is an awesome race director and the race is only 15 minutes from my house. It was a sauna that day. Warm (not hot) with humidity that was off the charts. I ran 3:55, making it my fastest 50k of the year, but it was still 18 minutes slower than my PR on that course. I’m confident it was the most humid race of my life!
Free to Run Marathon
photo credit: Ben Kimball
This was less than a week before Ragnar, but I just couldn’t miss it! This is probably my favorite BURCS race. It is a very challenging course with great people. The marathon covers 6,000+ feet of climbing, but I thought it might be possible to run under four hours. Once again, I ended up at 4:10. With that being said, it was a really great effort and just what I needed. I will definitely be back to Free to Run in the future, and I highly recommend this race!
Early in the year, I decided on running Ragnar with the Strong Hearts Vegan Power team – it was awesome! I definitely don’t make a habit of staying up for 48 hours straight, but it’s possible as long as you mix in some hard 10k efforts 🙂 Not only was this fun, it turned into a quality training run for the rest of my year. I managed 18+ miles at sub-six pace, and it gave me confidence about my fitness for Oil Creek.
Oil Creek 100
After Zion was a total bust, I decided on Oil Creek. I really wanted a qualifier for the Western States lottery, and there aren’t a ton of choices on the east coast. I had some friends going to Oil Creek, and it seemed like the obvious choice. My preparation was better, I was healthy and the weather was cooperative. My race wasn’t ideal – I ran out of steam around mile 78 – but I managed third place and my first 100-mile finish. It also turned out to be a lucky finish, because my single ticket from Oil Creek got drawn in the Western States lottery 🙂
My legs were pretty shot after Oil Creek. I had some weird aches and pains for at least a few weeks. With that being said, it was basically the end of the season, and I decided to roll the dice and take a shot at one more race. I’d been to Mendon one other time and it was a big fail. With that being said, the trails are beautiful, and I think it is a really good course for me. I managed to get my revenge on Mendon taking first overall in just over four hours (officially, it was 4:00:03 – maybe I didn’t get my revenge after all). This was the perfect way to end my year!
Total Miles: 2,712
Total Racing Miles: 437
Total Injuries: 0
Total DNFs: 1
Getting Drawn in the Western States lottery: priceless
What was the highlight of your running year?