2013 Race Schedule

I don’t usually have a perfectly solidified race schedule so early in the year.  At any given point, I have a few races set in stone with a select group waiting in the wings, either because I haven’t registered or because they have yet to graduate from “flight of fancy” to “official commitment.”  However, this year I am very confident that it has been completely mapped out through November.

The reason for my confidence actually stems from a comment Otter made to me a few days ago.  He said that (almost) every race on his radar has a purpose.  I looked at my own race calendar and had a similar epiphany.  With a few exceptions, the big races on my schedule were meaningful stepping stones of some sort, which made it easier to ink these events into my otherwise palimpsest of a calendar.  Though I haven’t officially registered for all of these, I decided to at least publish the schedule to keep me from flaking out on any of them.  And so, with great excitement and hope that I encounter no sudden injuries, this is the path that 2013 will take:

February 24, 2013
New Orleans, Louisiana

The Disney World Marathon was supposed to end my marathon-a-month streak and mark the beginning of my ultra regimen.  However, on something of a whim, I decided to go for the Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans Marathon.  If you’ve been following my adventures, you’ll find this choice of race a bit odd.  True, I’m not the biggest cheerleader for Competitor’s RNR series, but I refuse to run Louisiana in any other city and this is its only marathon.  The timing for this event wasn’t entirely whimsical though.  It has not escaped my notice that every marathon I’ve run since Des Moines has been slower than the previous.  Perhaps spacing them so close together has made it so I’m never fresh enough for a faster time.  So this will be my last shot at a fast marathon for a long time.

March 16, 2013
Willow Springs, Illinois

I first saw the Paleozoic Trail Run on ultrarunner Jeff’s blog.  While the signature event is a 50k, the shorter 25k option looked like a great race to test our trail skills leading up to longer races.  I sent a link to Otter and he showed great interest, signing up almost immediately.  I was surprised at his enthusiasm, given that he has a loose rule about never signing up for inaugural races.  But here’s something intriguing, if not intimidating about their tagline: “Finish or Fossilize” which written on a T-Shirt is alone worth the registration fee.  Located just thirty minutes southwest of Chicago, it’s an easy race to reach and will surely give us a taste of the challenges to come later in the year.

March 24, 2013
Charlotte, North Carolina

I originally wanted to run the NC Half Marathon in 2012 to continue a series of races that all had race tracks (Pomona Raceway, Kentucky Derby’s Churchill Downs and the Indianapolis 500) but airfare was unusually expensive and nobody else seemed interested.  So I tabled the race for 2013.  As of this writing, a group of 5 of us are registered and ready to start our engines.  While this race isn’t a building block of any kind, it will be the first half marathon I run since August and the last on my calendar for quite some time.  In other words, it’s my last shot at a fast half (perhaps even a PR), possibly until 2014.  Posting a record time will depend on the weather, but North Carolina can expect a bloodthirsty performance from me regardless.

April 20, 2013
Olathe, Kansas

You can’t run a marathon in  Kansas without it having some theme related to the Wizard of Oz.  Held three weeks before my first 50k race, I decided to use the Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz as a training run.  By this point I will have spent a lot of time on trails and will simply want to strengthen my legs and steel my stomach.  My goal for this race will therefore be to run conservatively, practice my food intake and finish comfortably (in other words, avoid throwing up).

May 11, 2013
Ottawa Lake, Wisconsin

The Ice Age Trail Runs include a 50-miler and two shorter distances, a 50K and a half marathon.  In order to continue training for a much longer event later in the year, Otter and I decided to sign up for the Ice Age Trail 50k as our first venture past the 26.2-mile barrier (and no, I’m not counting his 26.5-mile Route 66 Marathon as an ultra, no matter how pedantically he tries to suggest it).  Running this will be similar to my first marathon; the next big event, the one where once again I’ll be unsure of the outcome and all excitement is slathered with a thick layer of trepidation.  While pictures from the event look gorgeous, I’m sure my face afterward will be far from comely.  It will be the single hardest race I’ve ever run.  That is, until …

August 24, 2013
Wellston, Michigan

… this guy.  I still don’t know how an undertaking as massive as running fifty consecutive miles could start with something as simple as a webchat at work.  You’d expect things like this to happen after a bear with a broadsword orders you to do it or if a band of marauders captures your children and leaves them fifty miles away, hungry and afraid.  But somehow I found myself receiving an email saying I was registered for the North Country Run 50-Miler, wondering how it was possible that I had signed up.  50-milers are for crazy people and I just run marathons.  In fact, I still can’t truly process what this is going to be like, but it will likely change me, for better or worse.  Given its date, there’s a good chance it’ll be warm and humid, so I’ll have to double-down on training and nutrition to ensure that I don’t donate my body to the dirt beneath the Manistee National Forest.

October 5, 2013
Leavenworth, Washington

This marathon isn’t a milestone of any sort by itself (besides being my first in the state).  In order to understand its significance in this story, you have to move to the next race.

October 6, 2013
Portland, Oregon

I doubled-up on half marathons in 2012, which meant that it was only a matter of time before I tried the same with the full distance.  Just like the North Country Run, it started off as a suggestion, which grew into an idea and finally became a commitment.  Given the distance, I will have to practice both steady discipline and measured food intake in order to successfully complete both races without hating myself too much.  There will be additional challenges, such as avoiding atrophy on the drive between cities and eating enough to both replenish and restock.

November 17, 2013
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Assuming that I survive everything so far, I’m aiming to run the Philadelphia Marathon because … well, because I want to.  It’s not part of a greater plan nor is it supposed to teach me anything.  It’s simply because after all the year’s meticulous orchestrations, I want to run something simply because I want to.  Isn’t that why we run in the first place?

Given that I haven’t signed up for all of these, there’s still a very real chance that this schedule may change.  However, I’ll do everything possible to stick with it and hold myself accountable.

But more importantly, I’ll need advice from all experienced runners on trail running, nutrition and doubling-up.  I’m going to face these challenges directly with little but intuition and my “stick-to-itiveness” as my wife once noted, but I will definitely need as many tips and tricks as possible.  All insight and anecdotes will be appreciated.


About Dan
Running a marathon in all 50 states because there's no better way to explore the world around you than on your own two feet, for as long as you can, until you hate yourself and everything around you. Then you stop, get a medal, and start over.

25 Responses to 2013 Race Schedule

  1. hoofinitforhorses says:

    I’ll be in New Orleans as well with my husband and running group. Would love to be able to meet you!

  2. I’m going to check out those dates and see if I’m able to do any! I still think it would be cool to do a same race with our similar goals!

  3. I’m running New Orleans too. Those trail runs look very interesting. I need to look into one close by me. Good luck with your schedule!

  4. kellybee322 says:

    A very ambitious schedule and I wish you all the luck in the world!! Look forward to hearing your recaps!!!
    I’m looking around for a good race for my first full marathon this year since I’ve gotten pretty comfortable in the half marathon distance. I have friends and the boyfriend has family in the Portland area, so I was very seriously considering that one. Gotta look into some logistics like travel and such, but maybe see you there!!

    • Dan says:

      That’d be fun! I hope you end up throwing the hammer down and signing up for your first full, regardless of where it is. Though if you see me in Portland I’ll probably be a haggard, wasted mess of a person. And that’ll just be at the starting line.

      • kellybee322 says:

        Well then maybe we can help each other through. I very likely won’t be very fast lol. 🙂
        I’m looking to pick one and register by the end of the month so I can get a training schedule nailed down.

  5. Kevin says:

    I did Philadelphia last year, and it’s certainly a fun race. The difference in spectators, number of runners, and scenery between the first and second half is something to be aware of ahead of time, but I managed to get a huge PR there!

    And don’t forget about the Walt Disney World Speedway in your race track series! While probably not the most memorable part of the course, it was a fun detour

  6. Wow, that is an intense schedule for an intense dude. Pura vida!

  7. Good lineup! I got your back!

    • Dan says:

      The Paleozoic 25k will definitely be a turning point. It’ll either be the race where I either say “I can totally dig this” or “Jeff what the hell is wrong with you and your people?”

  8. johnsandwich says:

    I’m thinking of the Garmin Half. (Cause I’m crazy). Good luck with the year, and I look forward to your race reports.

  9. glenn says:

    Holy ambition, Batman! That’s a challenging schedule, for sure. Some day I’d like to run another race with you, but I don’t think it’ll be in 2013. Good luck, man. I can’t wait to read your ultra adventures.

    • Dan says:

      Though I won’t be running it, I’ll definitely be returning to the Chicago Marathon as a spectator. After that, I’ll probably want to run the full Derby in 2014. We’ll see …

  10. Mike says:

    Nice! Very cool to see your racing road map laid out like the Nine Commandments (ten if you count Disney World)… ambitious to be sure, but definitely do-able. When the miles and the hills are beating you down and your body starts asking (repeatedly) what the hell you were thinking, you can keep in mind someone like Liz Bauer, who last year set a record by completing 36 100-mile races. Hopefully I’ll be able to chime in with some feedback for the trails… although that 50-mile distance is a Goliath I haven’t slain yet. Impressive.

    Two words of advice on doubling up… ice bath. But take it slow.

    After looking at your schedule I feel like a slacker, since at the moment I haven’t registered for a single race the rest of the year. Although the Garmin Marathon did catch my eye last week, and Portland’s always on my “must-do someday soon” list. I’d anticipate there will be plenty of new medals hanging on my doorknob by December 31, but right now I’m simply enjoying the training part of the process.

    Best of luck, looking forward to following along every (virtual) step of the way as your racing year unfolds. In the meantime, why are you reading blog comments? Shouldn’t you be out there training?

    • Dan says:

      It’s impressive that with an accomplishment like that, Liz Bauer still doesn’t have her own Wikipedia page. Just goes to show you how truly low key ultrarunning is.

      Let me know if you end up going for Portland. It’d be a great place to chase your 2012 Chicago Marathon time.

  11. Annica says:

    I will be running the Garmin Marathon as well. It’ll be my first. My dad and running group from the Lake of the Ozarks will be running it as well! Good luck!

    • Dan says:

      Thanks — and to you as well. Hope your training is on the right track to success in Olathe. I look forward to hearing about how it goes for you 🙂

  12. Alicia says:

    Dan- am impressed with your goal! If you ever need a place to crash in Utah would be more then happy to help you out.

  13. Pingback: State 31: North Carolina (NC Half Marathon) | Dan's Marathon

  14. Pingback: 2014 Race Schedule | Dan's Marathon

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