Well, I didn’t have as precise an answer as I like to give but I had a pretty good outline. There are at least two races that I know for sure I will be doing, Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon, their 20th anniversary, and Ironman Arizona. Yeah, I wasn’t going to do any official IMs next year but after CdA the missus definitively stated that she would be racing IMAZ 09 so what the hey…there is no joy quite like the household in full Ironman training.
Apart from those races I am really looking more at next year as an ultrarunning year. You see I have it in my head that I might want to run Badwater and in order to get into Badwater you have to build a credible ultra-distance racing resume. You don’t have to be fast but you have to have proven you have a reasonable chance of finishing. The minimum qualification standard that I will go for is the completion of a continuous 100 mile foot race. Of course that is the bare minimum. They say the “ideal” applicant has extensive experience, 5 years, in ultra endurance sports as defined by ultra-triathlon (double-ironman or longer), ultra-cycling (500 mile races or longer) and ultra-running (100 miles or longer).
Double irons are rare and seem to take place mostly outside the U.S. and seem like they would be mind bogglingly boring. They seem to pretty much always take place in a pool on a mile or so ling closed circuit road and on a track and it is one iron distance per day for consecutive days. I think I would rather attach leaches to my eyes and pop them out.
The ultra-cycling, well, I’ve given that somewhat of a try and, um, after more than 13 hours on the back of a bike, well let’s just say I was panic stricken for what felt like years…let us never speak of this again.
So, what is left to me is running, which is a good thing, I think. So like I was saying I MIGHT want to run Badwater and I am not one to let my dreams slip away for lack of trying but I have never run 100 miles and am not so audacious as to start making too many 100 mile race plans without some realistic understanding of what I am getting myself into so I await my Lean Horse debut and then I’ll be in a better position to plan my 2009 season.
In the mean time, oh yes, you didn’t really think I was going to leave it at two measly races with the remainder of the year spread before me like a sea of darkness, did you?
In the mean time I am planning a serious base building activity in the form of the 50-Miles Texas Style Grand Slam. This slam consists of:
1. Palo Duro 50-mile – mid-October (2008)
2. Rocky Raccoon 50-mile – early February (2009)
3. Cross Timbers 50-mile – late February (2009)
4. Grasslands 50-mile – end of March (2009)
5. Rocky Hill Ranch 50-mile – mid-April (2009)
Depending on how Lean Horse goes I will probably use this slam to jump start a season that may include a couple more 100s. Actually, if Lean Horse goes well I may attempt the Rocky Raccoon 100 instead of the 50 since, as I have already discovered, I would get credit for the slam if I were to finish 50 miles of the raccoon even if that meant a DNF for the 100.
I have done Grasslands before and loved it. I also have tremendous faith in Texans and their ability to put on a fun race so I don’t have any worries about any of the others.
Yes, yes, I am staying focused on the rest of my current season but how can you not get excited when the future is so full of possibilities!