Monday, December 11, 2023

Scheming and Dreaming Season – iRunFar


AJW's TaproomAs we transition from fall to wintry weather within the Northern Hemisphere, many runners are pondering and making plans their 2024 race schedules.

In fact, on the best of many runners’ lists are the large 3 occasions of the Western States 100, Hardrock 100, and UTMB. With those occasions all having qualifying requirements and lotteries, many people are ready eagerly to find their destiny someday within the subsequent month or two.

With that during thoughts and understanding how tough it’s to get into the “large 3,” runners also are making early plans to run the Western States 100, Hardrock 100, or UTMB qualifiers in 2024 as a hedge in opposition to now not being selected this yr.

In my position as each a operating trainer and somebody who has been within the game for a very long time, I spend reasonably a bit of of time all through this a part of the yr speaking with athletes about their plans and serving to them strategize for the approaching yr. This yr, I’ve noticed 3 traits which might be value noting:

1. The 200-Mile Increase Is Actual

Increasingly more, I see athletes gravitating towards the 200-plus-mile distance. What used to be only some years in the past a perimeter area of interest in a perimeter game has now change into mainstream.

The expansion in passion for the 200-mile distance originated with Italy’s Tor des Géants, which began in 2010 and which stays the globe’s hottest 200 miler. Along with people searching for to run a number of of the Vacation spot Path 200 milers, which introduced 200-mile racing in earnest to North The usa, passion in more recent occasions just like the Cocodona 250 Mile in Arizona and the brand new Southern States 200 Mile in Alabama continues to extend.

Alongside the way in which, we’re finding out extra about what works highest in all these occasions, because the reviews of extra folks train us in regards to the keys to luck, and the trails to failure, in those large multi-day races.

Franco Collé - 2023 Tor des Géants - men's winner

Franco Collé, the 2023 Tor des Géants champion. Picture: Zzam! Company/Roberto Roux

2. Runners Need Reviews

As the game has grown and tournament choices have larger, the selections runners face can also be dizzying. During the last two years particularly, I’ve noticed runners transferring towards occasions that now not simplest supply a race surroundings, but additionally an ride. From pre- and post-race festivities to distinctive locations, the ride issue continues to persuade runner selection.

Possibly the best instance of that is the Javelina 100 Mile in Arizona. Consisting of 3 distances unfold out over Halloween weekend in past due October, Javelina has one thing for everybody — even for many who don’t run.

Additional afield, I’ve been inspired with the selection of on a regular basis runners flocking to the Madiera Island Extremely-Path and Transvulcania Ultramarathon as those historical occasions supply alternatives for athletes to have interaction with distinctive cultures and landscapes they just would now not ride had been it now not for those vacation spot occasions.

I believe we will be able to see extra experience-driven occasions stoning up across the game within the years yet to come.

2021 Javelina Jundred Mile atmosphere

The Halloween spirit alive and neatly on the 2021 Javelina 100 Mile. Picture: Javelina 100 Mile

3. Mother and Pop Occasions

At the side of the improbable approval for the “large 3” and the entire occasions which give qualifiers for the Western States 100, Hardrock 100, and UTMB — I’ve spotted a paradoxical development, as neatly. Extra runners I discuss with are searching for to run the small, old skool mother and dad sort races that for such a lot of years had been the spine of our game. From small fats ass runs over the vacations to easy occasions hosted via regional operating golf equipment, I’m seeing a resurgence in all these occasions as runners lengthy for the homegrown ride that introduced them to the game within the first position.

I, for one, am excited and inspired via those traits and hope that as runners proceed to dream and scheme in regards to the 2024 season and past, they search to seek out tactics to stretch their bodily and psychological limits, to find reviews which might be attractive and amusing, and not lose sight of the roots of the game which might be so necessary to such a lot of folks.

Bottoms up!

AJW’s Beer of the Week

Deep Ellum Brewing logoThis week’s beer of the week comes from Deep Ellum Brewing Corporate in Dallas, Texas. Their flagship beer, Dallas Blonde, used to be first launched in 2012 and has change into a mythical beer within the Lone Celebrity State. With a citrusy end and a easy, nearly flowery aroma, Dallas Blonde is among the highest blonde ales I’ve ever tasted.

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