A recent strip of "Pearls Before Swine," by Stephen Pastis. As busy as we get, you can't beat getting brought back to humor, by something like this. You can read daily "Pearls" of wisdom online. Reprinted by permission of Stephen Pastis.
I've been writing, interviewing, and looking at ideas and nominations for the 2008 race calendar. My goal for the coming year, is to dial in on the 10-mile and half-marathon distances, looking for as many opportunities as I can find to make said races trail runs. Here are some good ones I've come across:
03/22 Chesapeake Ride & Tie, 10M, 15M, 25M, Fair Hill, MD (trail). Beautiful course! A friend has mountain biked out there. Emailing the race director, this is generally a 2-person team trail run and trail horse ride, intermittently. She was really excited to have a trail runners only division, providing a measured, marked course, race timing, etc. This year's runners would be the FIRST to compete as straight-up runners.
04/12 Adkins Arboretum Arbor Day 10K, Ridgely, MD (trail). Gotta support the local trail race. Ran it two years ago, when it was a 3.5-mile course. Adkins and Tuckahoe trails. Looking to create a Triple Crown of this, Bridge-to-Bridge half, and Oxford Day 10K.
05/04 EX2 Off-Road Marathon and Half-Marathon, Prince William Forest Park, VA (trail). These guys put on great races. Their Vasque Backyard Burn spring and fall series in 07 all sold out. Great trails, well run race.
05/24 Chestertown Tea Party 10-Miler, Chestertown, MD (road). This would be the third consecutive year. The heat always makes this a challenging race. Sweet beer truck waiting right at the finish line.
08/17 Half Wit Trail Run Half Marathon, Reading, PA (trail). This is the race I really want to do this year. I might try to make this the top tier run on the schedule. We'll see how it shakes out. Sounds like a challenging run and a great group of folks.
09/19 Chesapeake Ride & Tie 3-Day Festival, 10M, 15M, 20M, 30M, 40M, Fair Hill, MD (trail). Fall series, just like spring, but with more options. We'll see how spring goes. I might even stretch this one out to 20 miles.
10/11 Baltimore Half-Marathon, Baltimore, MD (road). Over the last 3 years, I have rotated between full, half, and full marathons. 2007 was a full year, 2008 makes a half. Such a great race, great course, running through the heart of the city, finishing between Camden Yards and Ravens Stadium. Hilly course, as far as Maryland goes.
11/09 Outer Banks Half-Marathon, Outer Banks, NC (road). This is going to have to be an either-or with Baltimore. Since they started this race two years ago, I have thought how cool it would be to get a group together, take a weekend road trip, rent a house, and throw a half-marathon in as the excuse/centerpiece of the trip.
So that's eight that I've come across, many in Trail Runner magazine's 2008 race calendar. Love to hear what other races folks are considering. In all likelihood, I will narrow this list to six. And I am going to continue to look for a good Pittsburgh race--either something like the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon or a sweet trail run up there, since we have family and friends that could represent places to crash.
When I have more time and focus, I would like to return to a 50K and a 50-mile race. I have recently heard that David Horton's Promise Land 50K is his most beautiful course, and much hillier than the Holiday Lake we did in February. The HAT Run 50K in MD sounds great. And either a return to JFK, or to the Mountain Masochist 50-miler isn't out of the question. But we are talking in a couple years. The 2008 mantra is to run fast, run free, run wild, run fun.