Thursday, March 13, 2014

The verdict

Thanks for all the input on my race schedule dilemma.  I got some helpful comments on Facebook too, including:

----The AT section of JFK is a little crowded but not too bad.

----My friend Ed reeeeeaaally loves Telluride Mountain Run, maybe even as much as he loves pulling a sled though possibly not as much as he loves the beer mile.

I decided to go by process of elimination:

Maria said she would go out to Montana with me and do Run the Rut if I wait til next year, so that made it an easy choice to take that off the list for this year.

Le Grizz should, in theory, be a perfect option but I couldn't seem to get excited about it.  Also, I prefer my chances of surviving a race un-eaten by grizzly bears to be a bit closer to 100%.

I kind of want to run a road 100k next spring, which would be pretty similar to Door County in terms of distance/surface, so I eliminated Door County.

As Karen pointed out, TNF San Francisco can have major weather issues, and since that one is similar, in terms of what I want, to JFK, I'd put JFK slightly ahead of TNF on that basis. 

That left a seriously tough choice between Telluride, the Ultra Trail Serra de Montsant, and JFK.  While I was pretty tempted by Karen's suggestion of UTSM + winter road marathon, that would mean I'd have to commit to not doing a winter sled race...which would be tough.  I don't want to do Arrowhead next year but I'm still tempted by Susitna or maybe even White Mountains, if I could make it through the lottery.  

So, as much as I hate to leave the UTSM undone for yet another year, I think I'm going with JFK, assuming I can enter quickly enough to get in.  As an added bonus, two other GUTS runners might be interested in doing it too (one of them being a quietly super-fast previous JFK winner...).  Divesh took the news well that I had already volunteered him to crew for all three of us!

Since JFK isn't til November, I can maybe still fit in Telluride in August, although I would probably do it as more of a hard training run than a race so that the effect of racing at altitude doesn't take me out for too much of August training time.  It also leaves me time to try either a road marathon or the great local trail race Mystery Mountain Marathon in October.

Now I can get back to trying to get to grips with the Duncan Ridge Trail in time for Cruel Jewel...


  1. From what I know about the two winter races you mentioned, I would much prefer the White Mountains to Susitna. The course has more variation in terrain and each checkpoint is an actual cabin rather than a bunch of wall tents (if you would catch a snooze somewhere). I might be biased though since I personally know the RD and a lot of the volunteers. :) The lottery drawing is Oct.1 so there's plenty of time to register for the Su 100 if you don't make it. About half of the WM field comes from the wait list,though so don't let the lottery scare you!

    I think you should go with SOB this summer. If you do it, I will. ;)

  2. Cool event plan.

    Also, the White Mountains doesn't have to be a sled race. I'm as insecure of a packrat as they come, and even I wouldn't bother with an anchor in the WM100. I'd look at the forecast and pack exactly what I'd want to wear at 15 degrees colder, an extra puffy coat and mittens, about 3,000 calories of trail food, and studded shoes. I really want to try that race on foot, but even though I got in this year, the ITI follow makes biking the more palatable choice. Maybe next year.