|Credit Speedy Banana|
As track season (coaching season) has come to a close, I have set to solidify my spring and summer race plans. I try not to race excessively—it is expensive and if done right takes a lot out of you—but I enjoy having goals, things to aspire for and train for.
April 13, 2013: Jacksonville Track Club Distance Carnival. This set of races is just what it sounds like: a night on the track. Having spent four months running and training with my track athletes, I am really excited to go out and compete in these events, because well, I have been preparing for them. Adding fuel to the fire, the meet is being held at my school on my own track. I get to run where I train, on a track that was refurbished with fresh rubber just a year ago. I plan on running the 1600m and the 3200m, but might run the 800m as well. The meet is free, so if you live in Jacksonville give it a shot.
June 15, 2013: Race for the Pies 5k. A PR dream, this 5k is run on the road in downtown Jacksonville and serves as the premier race at the distance for the year. Run at night, they break the race down into two heats, an Elite race for men that have broken 17:00 and women who have broken 20:00 in thelast year, and a race for everyone else. The Elites run a loop course, giving them multiple passes in front of the crowd and eager racers and the race announcer works to keep the energy level high. As soon as they finish, the rest line up and run a more extended, but usually flat course that lends itself to a strong finish. The race name comes from one of the night’s many prizes: any male who breaks 20:00 and woman who breaks 24:00 gun time walks away with an apple pie. Beyond the giant running festival it creates, the race represents one of the few times I get to race side-by-side with many of my runners, for the love to turn out for this one.
July 13, 2013: Make it by Midnight Marathon. A silly marathon, limited to 175 entrants and run in a gated community. The goal is to run a great marathon, but to time your start so you finish as close to midnight as possible. At a modest $45 cost, the race is run in 6.55 mile loops within a gate community. While the course if not Boston certified, if has a fun feel that is rarely applied to the distance. I’m using this race as a summer race within driving distance, hard with marathons.
July 26, 2013: 24 Hour Race Around the Lake Ultra (12 hour race and Marathon). A Massachusetts marathon, run at night, in conjunction with an ultra marathon. Debating either the marathon or the 12 hour race. USATF certified course, that is flat and done in 3.17 mile loops around the lake. I am hoping to break into the 3:20 range if I run this race, something I have trained near in the past, but never executed.