Thursday, January 7, 2016

2016 Plans

2016!  I’m excited about the many series out there and hope to compete in a bunch of races over the coming months.  My goal for the year is to get/stay healthy for as long as possible…that is the goal every year.  As far as racing goes, this is where my focus lies, in order of importance not date order.

I’m looking forward to the USA Mountain championships at Loon Mountain.  Although this isn’t the type of mountain race that I’m best at (there is a fair amount of downhill and a 2 mile “cross-country” section), I can’t pass up a National championships in my back yard.  Two years ago I was national champ in the 50+ age group and scored on both the masters and seniors national champion team.  It will be a lot tougher this year as teammate Erik Vandendries was close behind me at Loon in 2014 and 2015.  Erik turned 50 last year.  This race will bring out the best mountain runner but may also attract some fast road runners as it is also part of the USATF NE All-Terrain series.  The ATR is one of my “goal series”.

7/3/2016              6.2          USATF NE Mountain champs      Loon Mountain, NH       

Next most important is the Mt Washington road race.  This will be my 26th run to the highest point in the Northeast.  I was the senior champion last year and CMS set a new senior team record.  This year Mt W hall of fame member Simon Gutierrez will be 50, so I can expect second place (at best).  With me, Francis Burdett, and Erik Vandendries running we may take a few ticks off of the team record.

6/18/2016            7.6          Mt Washington                                Greens Grant, NH          

I cannot pass up on a local national championship.  The James Joyce ramble will host the USA 10km masters championship.  I’m hoping for a top 10 finish and a senior PR.

4/24/2016            6.2          James Joyce Ramble      Dedham, MA    

The Merrimack River trail race will be celebrating its 25th year in 2016.  I’ve raced it 11 times, but last year was the first time I’d done it since 2008.  Since I’m part of the timing/scoring team it is tough to work it and race it.  Last year Dan Verrington, Scott Spence, Dave Lapierre and I ran the race a few hours before the official race.  It was a lot of fun and lit a fire under me to race it again under true race conditions.  The fact that it is also the New England trail running championship and part of the ATR make the decision to opt in much easier.  As Petey says “Cayuga!”

4/9/2016              10           25th Merrimack River Trail race                Andover, MA    

The USATF Northeast and USATF New England masters track championships for indoor track will be held at the end of January.  This is the perfect time to get in another indoor track race.  Did I mention I like championships?  I did this race in 2012 and took second in the 5,000.  I’d like to return and aim for a senior PR in the 5,000.  I may opt to run the 3,000 instead depending on how the indoor track season has gone up until then.

1/31/2016            5,000     Northeast & NE masters champs              Providence, RI 

The Manchester marathon will be the final race in the USATF New England Grand Prix which is a collection of seven road races from 5k to the marathon.  I ran the marathon last year as something of a lark since I did no “marathon training”.  I ended up running a 3:09 and after the race teammate Eric Morse asked me “Do you think you could break 3 hours”.  I doubt I could have on that day but my goal for this year will to be something sub-3.  The toughest part may be that I don’t plan on doing any long runs.  I rarely go over 8 miles and I don’t want to risk injury.  This should be interesting.

11/6/2016            26.2        Manchester marathon                  Manchester, NH             
The USATF NE grand prix is a great opportunity to test yourself against the best in New England.   Although I’ve won the series a bunch of times (back in the day) I’ve only completed all seven races once.  I’m hoping to earn the “Ironruner” title in 2016 by completing all of the races.  There is going to be a tough stretch from Aug. 14 to Sept. 25 with four races for a total of 33.6 miles.  The Bobby Doyle 5m is also part of the ATR series.

                3/6/2016              3.1          An Ras Mor         Somerville, MA               
                3/20/2016            13.1        New Bedford     New Bedford, MA          
                8/27/2016            10           NH 10                    Auburn, NH       
                9/11/2016            12.4        Seasons               Acton, MA         
                9/25/2016            6.2          Lone Gull            Gloucester, MA               
                8/14/2016            5              Bobby Doyle      Narragansett, RI              

 I love snowshoe racing almost as much as mountain running, but just like my ankles not being able to stand the downhill mountain they take a serious beating doing snowshoe races.  I’m only planning on a few snowshoe races.  The Horse Hill snowshoe race in Merrimack is one I’ve done four times before and found it a great challenging course.  It is part of the ATR series so I’m focusing on this.

    2/7/2016              4.8          Horse Hill Snowshoe     ATR series           Merrimack, NH

With arthritic ankles I’ve found that downhill mountain running is not a good idea (unless I want to limp around for a week), so I put my favorite series “The USATF NE mountain running series” on the backburner last year.  I definitely won’t do Cranmore or Bretton Woods(multi-loop up and down) but may do most of the other races in the series.

5/15/2016            6.2          Sleepy Hollow   Huntington, VT  Maybe, but worried about ankles
05/28/2016            6.2          Wachusett          Princeton, MA Only if they have the "uphill only"  6/5/2016              10           Pack                       Wilton, NH                          Maybe
06/12/2016            3.7          Ascutney             Windsor, VT   Great tune-up for Mt Washington
9/4/2016              8              Greylock              Adams, MA                        Classic!

That is 18 races and I’ve got another 8 on my “most likely” list.  That means an average of at least a race every-other week.  I’m sure I can find other races to fill in the gaps in the calendar and there are always the mountains, fire towers, county high points, etc. that call to me!
Have fun and be careful out there!




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