Below is my tentative schedule for next year. Considering how 2020 has gone, I’m pretty sure my year won’t end up looking like this once it’s finished. Hopefully, we’ll start to get this pandemic under control by April and most of these races can be held. Given the relatively small fields at most of these races and the lower risk of outdoor events, I’m cautiously optimistic.
2021 Schedule of Events
- January – Phunt 50K
- February – Maps 1&2 of Mason Dixon Trail – completing my section running/hiking of the entire trail
- March – HAT 50K
- April – NJ Devil 100M
- May – Mason Dixon Trail FKT attempt (self supported)
- June – Laurel Highlands 70.5M
- July – Catoctin 50K
- August – Eastern States 100M
- September – Grindstone 100M
- October – rest/recovery
- November – more rest/recovery
- December – Devil Dog 100M
Looking at the list, I’m most excited for Laurel Highlands. This race went onto my bucket list years before I even started running ultras. I was bummed when it got moved back and I had to defer to this year. But I’ve waited eight years so one more is no big thing.
I’m most fearful of my FKT attempt on the MDT. This is something I’ve been noodling around with for a while. The official FKTs are very soft and I can definitely do better if I’m able to finish. I’m going to try and set my goals though to just have fun out on the trails and finish. I don’t want to spend all 200 miles focused on my time to the exclusion of enjoying the journey. Needless to say, this will take me far outside my comfort zone and will be the biggest challenge to date in my ultra career.
The schedule has a nice mix of races that I’ve done before (Phunt, Catoctin, ES100) and new events (all the rest). There are so many races out there that I want to experience as many of them as I can. Even with 5 new races, my wish list doesn’t seem to be shrinking much. I’m able to steadily knock out the Mid-Atlantic races, however will have to wait until retirement when I’ll have more time to travel more often farther away.
Four hundreds in one year is more than I’ve done in the past. I have an agreement with my wife to do 3 per year and she was kind enough to sign off on an extra one in 2021 since I was only able to run 2 this year. It doesn’t hurt that NJ Devil is very close to where a couple of her sibling live. The races are spread out enough that it shouldn’t be too much of a problem for me. Well, besides the whole running a hundred miles thing.
Overall, I’m very excited about this schedule. And I’m sure whatever I end up running will be equally enjoyable.