I’m not one to look back so no 2021 recap from me.

I’ve decided to start adding my upcoming races to the bottom of my Race Results page. At this point, 2022 is pretty locked in, but if COVID has taught us anything it’s that nothing is ever guaranteed.

  • Phunt 50K – 1/15/22
  • NJ Devil 100M – April?
  • Capital Backyard Ultra – 5/28/22
  • Mason Dixon Longest Day 100K – 6/18/22
  • Eastern States 100M – 8/13/22
  • Grindstone 100M – 9/16/22

Six races is a good number for me. Excluding the Covid impacted 2020, I’ve been able to knock out six ultras a year for quite a while now without getting burned out. Heck, I was able to do 8 total ultra efforts in 2021 if you include my 2 failed MDT FKT attempts. The downside of doing this many is you don’t get as much training in since you spend more time tapering/recovering from races. The upside is you don’t need to do as much training since the races themselves provide a really nice training benefit. And if you’re like me, you train to race not the other way around.

An extra challenge for me this year will be the short turnaround between a couple of the races. The five weeks between ES100 and Grindstone shouldn’t be too bad, but the 3 weeks between Capital Backyard and MDLD is exceptionally short. I have no idea how long I’ll last at the backyard, however my guess is it’ll feel like a hundred no matter how many miles I last. My recovery from hundreds has varied over the years. I felt fully recovered within a week after Devil Dog earlier this month, however there have been other times where it’s taken me a month to feel completely 100%. It’ll help that June will still be relatively early in my race calendar and my legs won’t be too worked over yet. Once I get to Grindstone in September though I’m sure it’ll feel like a grind (pun obviously intended).

One of the ways I keep my stoke going for doing this many ultras is to do new races each year. While Phunt and ES100 are ones I’ve done before, the other four races are completely new for me. Not only are they new events, but also new formats in the case of Capital Backyard Ultra. I’ve been interested in doing a Last Man Standing style event since I heard about Big’s not too long after getting into ultras. Unfortunately, this was a ridiculously niche format (as in only a couple races in the world) until the past couple years when they’ve blown up a bit. There hasn’t been one local enough that fit my schedule until 2022.

We’re really in the golden age of ultra running. This will be my ninth year running ultras. Wait, that can’t be right. Let’s see: 2014, 2015. . . 2022. Wow. Amazing how time flies when you’re having fun. Or “fun” as the case may be. Even after all these years, my bucket list of races that I want to run doesn’t seem to shrink much. So it’s not too difficult for me to find new races to add to my racing calendar each year in the Mid-Atlantic region. And when I retire, my opportunity set of races will increase exponentially as I’ll be able to travel more to pin on a bib.

Looking at my list above, it’s tough to pick just one race that I’m most excited for. The new backyard format would be the obvious choice, but it scares me a bit too much. MDLD is a very low key, fatass event. Eastern States is Eastern States. It’s possibly a toss up between NJ Devil and Grindstone. Regardless, I’m really looking forward to each and every one of them. Goodness knows they’ll make winter training bearable. But first up with be my fifth Phunt!