What will 2016 race season hold? How many of you are already thinking of next year? I think next year will be a lot different for me and my family. For me the last few years, I have been doing Half Ironman distance races in spring while training for a full, in the fall. This year, however, I am changing my focus. I am still going to do a spring half, but I will also do a fall half, but in between I will focus on Olympic distance races. This will give my son, Logan, a chance to race at the same events, doing mini triathlons, while I race Olympic distance, on the same day. I think we both are going to focus on doing some time trials on the bike, as well.
The 2016 race season will actually start for me this December with the USAT National Challenge Competition (NCC) for the Black Triathlete Association (BTA). Here is the link to the competition http://www.usatriathlon.org/audience/clubs/national-challenge-competition.aspx . The event is 90 days long and is based on individual accomplishment, team’s accomplishments and the club’s accomplishments. The focus for each month is built around the separate events that make up triathlon. December is swim focus, January is cycling focus and February is run focus, over the entire 90 days is the combination of all three events. I am proud to be invited to compete with the BTA by a very good friend, Kevin Petty. I am looking forward to having the rest of the team to push me to train harder this winter than I normally do.
In April of 2016, the season will really start to ramp up. I plan on a return trip to Xenia YMCA in Xenia, Ohio. It is a good half marathon event; it is priced right and brings out a great group of volunteers. I ran the event this year, and I had not trained properly for it. I did not have enough long runs or enough intensity on other runs for a fast time. I hope to shave at least a few minutes off of this years’ time. This is a link to this year’s race https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/744603690 . I ran it in a little over 1 hour and 45 minutes and I really would like to run it in sub 1 hour and 40 minutes next year.
The first weekend of May, will be the Calvin Challenge. This is an event that I have wanted to do for a few years, but it always falls on the same weekend as Logan’s piano recital. This upcoming year, I will do it. We all talked about it and since I have not missed any of his music recitals, it will be fine to skip one. The event has a 12-hour, 6-hour and century ride event. They had a 50 mile event for a couple of years; I had not been following the event for the last few years and was not aware they had done away with the 50 mile event. I will do the century. The link to the event is http://www.calvinschallenge.com/history/
For the first two events, I will be doing a modified shorter taper. I want to do well at both of them, but I will need to remain focused on the triathlon season, with the main focus on the half triathlon distance events. The first half will be the Toughman Indiana Race. This is the second race of the Toughman Triathlon Series and should be a good event. The course is fairly flat, with a hill at the beginning of the bike and run, but not much elevation change after that. The race will be held in Noblesville, Indiana on the 21st of May, 2016. Hers is a link to the race itself http://toughmanindiana.com/ and a link to the race series http://www.toughmantri.com/
In June, my focus will shift to Olympic distance triathlons. I have not raced pure Olympic triathlons since 2012. I have completed the Olympic triathlons that were attached to the American Triple T and Savageman Triathlon over the last couple of years, so it will be fun and a good change of pace. Speaking of pace, pace is something I will have to work on, with this distance. I will have to focus on pushing myself deep into the red zone to race Olympic triathlon, unlike the Half and Full distance that I have been racing the last couple of years. The first of the Olympics I will be doing is the Maumee Triathlon on the 19th of June; Logan will do the Mini distance the same day which should be fun. He is 13 and it wil be his first non-youth race. I raced at Maumee in 2012 and it is a great course to go fast on. The bike and run course are fairly flat. The race company HFP Racing always puts on great events; I have done several of their events over the last five years. Here is a link to the race site http://www.hfpracing.com/events/fit/maumeebay/ .
I am up in the air about the Mohican Endurance Festival on June 26, 2016. I have done the half distance at Mohican the last two years. Both years were on different courses but both were extremely challenging, making for hard days. Mohican is run by the HFP Racing Company, as well. If I do race there, it will be the Olympic distance. This race is one that Andrea and I believe might be a little too rough for Logan this year. Last year, grown men and women finished or did not finish in tears. I know a few people doing this event so it might be worth it if my legs feel good. Here is a link to the race http://www.hfpracing.com/events/signature/mef/
Alum Creek State Park on August 7, 2016, is another race by HFP Racing. Again, Logan and I will be doing the event. Neither Logan nor I have raced here before, it is a new event added by HFP Racing this year. I heard good things about the event and I know a few people from that area that I hope are planning to race, it would be nice to catch up with them. The course on the website shows that the bike leg is not overly hilly, but it is not a flat course, and the run looks a little flatter than the bike leg. Here is a link to the race website http://www.hfpracing.com/events/fit/alumcreek/course.htm
Vermilion Harbour will be the next race that we will do. Logan has done the kids triathlon there twice before. The youth course stays in the park mostly, so he will be racing a different course than the one he has raced in the past. The bike course is not overly rough, but I know from friends, and by reading race reports, that there are a few technical spots on the course that can cause accidents. The event will be on August 28, 2016. Here is a link to the site http://www.hfpracing.com/events/fit/vermilion/
The second half distance race will be the Toughman New York on September 11, 2016. This is the Championship race of the Toughman Series. This is a qualifying race for most, but being an Ambassador for the race company, this year I get an automatic seed in the race. The bike course is two laps with a nice size hill to climb at the beginning of each lap, and with lots of good rollers. It should be a good bike leg. I will have to keep up on the hill training in Mohican State Park and Cuyahoga National Park this year. The run course is more of the same, as far as a couple of nice hills. I will have to really work hard this summer on run training, to build some good leg strength in the running department. Here is a link to the race site http://www.toughmantri.com/toughman-ny/course-maps/
This all that I have planned right now, I do not really plan on adding much of anything, but I might add a fun bike ride if Logan and/or Andrea want do something as a family, such as Hancock ride or Irish Hills ride, or something like that, just for fun. I might do the Frank Ride, if one of my friends wants to go and do it, but nothing else is planned as of now. I want this year to be a little more relaxed and I want to focus and speed and run training.
Logan had said he would like to do some time trials on the bike, so that might be something that gets added, or I might just drive him around and enjoy being a spectator. I do enjoy watching him race.