skiing at Diamond Peak, Lake Tahoe, NV)
Death Valley Marathon, Death Valley, CA - Run through Titus Canyon? Oh, yeah! I think this one will be great for pics. It's a good warm up for the ultra season too.
Rucky Chucky 50k, Foresthill, CA - I did this one last year as my first 50k, and thought I would do it again to benchmark my performance. Plus it's a gorgeous area of the Sierras.
Pony Express 100k, Cameron Park, CA - I've never done a lap course, so I thought I would try one. I've heard that a lap course makes the experience much more social, since you see people over and over again. It's a safe place for my first 100k as well.
Miwok 100k or Nevada Passage - Assuming all goes well at Pony Express, the Miwok 100k would be my first point-to-point 100k. I've spoken with so many runners who just gush about this race, particularly the coastal views, I thought it would be a good anchor race. There is another race this weekend that could be fun too - The Nevada Passage, a four event stage race (mountain bike, kayak, trail run, ATV) that was a week-long reality TV show in 2005, but will be open to the public in 2006. I would really love to try it (and I would REALLY love to do the show), but will have to wait until registration opens up to get the details. Since Miwok fills quickly, I've signed up for it.
Trans-Sierra Crossing, Lake Tahoe, NV - A two event race comprising an 18-mile trail run and 61 mile road bike, going up the incredibly steep Rubicon Trail in Lake Tahoe, and down 5,000 vertical feet throughout the bike course. Sounds steep, fast, and fun! I thought it would be fun to work in some biking this year, so this is a good one (as would an Xterra race, which I would love to do someday). This is one stage of the four stage "RACE Across California" that I'm hoping will return to fame in 2007. Envirosports is doing two of the four stages in 2006.
Sunsweet Trail Festival, Oakridge, OR - A new weekend event with a wide range of distances (5k to 50k, plus a mountain bike event) for individuals and teams. It's put on by the Abbs, so it's going to be super fun. I'm trying to convince my dad to join in on the action.
Tahoe Triple, Lake Tahoe, NV - Three road marathons in three days, all the way around Lake Tahoe. I've always wanted to try a multi-day race, and this one will earn me some props from the locals. ;-) Not a trail run, yes, but one I've been dying to try.
As you can probably see, I'm mixing up my season a bit with some new distances (100k), new trails, new types of events (bike/run, lap courses, multi-day runs, etc.), and brand new events (Sunsweet Festival). All in all, my 2006 goal is to have fun, enjoy nature, push my limits, and meet cool people. I'm still contemplating competing in one of the Series, and will check on that once their race schedules are firmed up. I'm not sure if I'm going to target a 100-miler this year or not, but if so, I thought Rio del Lago, Angeles Crest, and the LeanHorse 100 all looked pretty good for a first timer. My work travel schedule hasn't been defined yet, and that might open up some opportunities. Last year, I was able to add six races.
I got a kick out of looking at my first blog entry in 2004 (at the bottom of the page), where I griped about my tendency to sign up for way too many races before I even dusted off my gear. Hopefully I'm getting better!
I hope y'all are having a great new year so far, and are getting excited for the 2006 season! Let me know if any of you are heading to these races.