The time has come to announce the 2008 race schedule, or rather, the first half of the 2008 schedule (mainly so my parents can plan their vacations over to the US to coincide with any big races!). The second half has a few definite races but is still a little up in the air depending on what happens in the first half! It is definately an Ironman year though.
March 2nd, 2008 - B & A Trail Half Marathon
March 29th, 2008 - Suntrust National Marathon
April 5th, 2008 - Tour of Walkersville (ABRT Race)
April 6th, 2008 - Cherry Pit 10 Miler
As is the usual case in my season it starts off with some running races before the triathlon events begin to kick in. This tends to give me some motivation during the winter months and also makes me put an edge onto my running build. Last year I scheduled my first ultra trail race and this year I have scheduled my first stand alone marathon (The only marathon I have ever run, aside from two ultras, was at IMFL). This marathon is the Suntrust National Marathon, here in Washington DC on March 29th. It isn't a huge race and so should be a nice course to get out and run, rather than be crammed in with 25,000 of your closest friends! In preparation for the marathon I also have scheduled the local B&A Trail Half Marathon on March 2nd.
April 27th, 2008 - Short Course Duathlon Nationals
May 4th, 2008 - Devilman 1/2 Ironman
That brings us into April and the start of the triathlon/duathlon season and right off the bat I have the Short Course Duathlon Nationals down in Richmond, VA. Although this is the nationals it is really a warm-up race to get the season started and to see what I need to work on as the rest of the season gets going. Of course it would be great to get a result but the race itself is the most important thing.
The week after the Duathlon Nationals is the first triathlon of the year, the Devilman 1/2 Ironman race in New Jersey.....no nice hot and sunny races for me, no Florida 70.3m, no St Croix, just plain old Cedarville, NJ. If conditions are like last year I won't be pleased...winds were gusting at 25-30MPH, the temps were high 40's and fortunately for me but not others still out on the course, the rain started just after my finish! This really is a key race as it will give me a huge idea of where I am in terms of fitness and to get an good idea of what I can do to prepare for my "A" race in the next month. The primary element for Devilman is to run strongly and get a PR in the 1/2 Ironman run.
May 18th, 2008 - Columbia Triathlon
My early season is a bit crammed and it is scheduled that way for a reason. I did almost the same schedule in 2007 and it worked really well in getting me in good racing condition after a not so great winter training period. With a good winter of training behind me this year I hope to be able to actually focus on the racing and be able to try a couple of different race plans and strategies.
The Columbia Triathlon (Olympic Distance) in mid-May is my closest triathlon geographically and so has become a staple of my season and comes three weeks prior to Eagleman 70.3M. Being only three weeks from Eagleman, Columbia will be a great test and will give me a race to blow off some steam that builds up during the training phase.
June 8th, 2008 - Eagleman 70.3M
The Eagleman race is my first "A" race of the year, with slots being available for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii and the 70.3M World Championships in Clearwater. The main aim is to get to Hawaii but I know that I would have to pull off the race of my life and perhaps be lucky with some roll-downs....if you don't shoot for the stars! Last year I had a great race, managed to snag a 70.3M Worlds slot and now am coming back looking for more. The entire first half of the season is working towards this race and even if I don't get to Hawaii at least I might have a PR to take home with me.....everything will be left out on the course and I will know that I have given it my best.
So that rounds off the first half of the season. The events at Eagleman will shape the rest of my season but tentatively, if I don't get to Hawaii, the season will include the ChesapeakeMan ultra distance triathlon (An independant Ironman race) on September 27th and the JFK 50 mile trail race on November 22nd. Of course there will be other triathlons, running and cycling races thrown in for good measure.
August 2nd, 2008 - Catoctin 50KM Trail Race
September 7th, 2008 - Diamondman 1/2 Ironman
September 27th, 2008 - ChesapeakeMan Ironman
October 11th, 2008 - Baltimore Marathon
November 22nd, 2008 - JFK 50 Mile Trail Race
Lets look forward to the season ahead!