Since I don’t have any more races left on my schedule this year, it’s time to look forward to 2020. Here’s what I’m currently thinking of running/walking/crawling next year:

  • Long Haul 100M – 1/18/20
  • Hat 50K – 3/21/20
  • Olde 96er 200M – 4/16/20
  • Laurel Highlands 70M – 6/13/20
  • Catoctin 50K – 7/11/20
  • Eastern States 100M – 8/8/20
  • Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK 50M – October ’20

Seven ultras including three hundreds is what I’ve done the past couple years. It’s a full schedule, but not too much for me as things are fairly well spaced out throughout the year. I use the 50Ks more as supported long runs so they’re not an all out effort for me.

Overall, I’m pretty excited about this line up. It’s a good mix of new and old races for me. And while I’m obsessed focused on the 100 mile distance, I’ve also decided to add in a couple other distances. Not so much to add variety for variety’s sake, but because the races actually interest me. When I learned that people run beyond 26 miles back in 2012, Laurel Highlands was the first ultra I found that really piqued my interest. It’s a point-to-point race with permanent mile markers along it’s entire length. Up until now, it’s never made my list because either I couldn’t run that far or I’ve had May or June 100s scheduled. Next year though I have a window open between April and August that I think makes it doable.

Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK is almost the opposite for me. I’ve known about the race for about as long as Laurel Highland, the list of “PA ultramarathons” isn’t endless after all, however it hasn’t made my list because as a USATF race they don’t allow headphones. Up until the last year, I’ve been a slave to my music during races. I ran all my 100s and several of my other races this year without music and the lack of tunes didn’t end up decreasing my enjoyment of them. Plus it’s on country roads which will be a nice change of pace since most of my races are on trails.

Speaking of roads. . .

You’ll notice Olde 96er is back on the list for the second consecutive year. Only next year I’m planning to double up by running 200 miles. I think. I’m really torn about this. Registration has been open for a couple weeks now, yet I haven’t been able to pull the trigger yet. I absolutely loved the race format (unsupported), however I’m not a fan of running ultras in April weather (cold and rain). And the distance itself scares the living daylights out of me. Which of course is what draws me to the race.

While I still have 6 months to make that decision, I’m already signed up for Long Haul. In another week or so, I’ll start ramping up my mileage. The race is completely flat so there’s an opportunity for me to set a 100 mile PR. And if I’m not able to do that, I’ll still be able to enjoy Florida in January with my family while visiting my brother. So really a no lose situation for me.

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