As we ring in the New Year, a common topic of conversation is upcoming plans for the year, especially among us runners. The icy streets and freezing temperatures have many of us daydreaming about all the spring, summer, and fall races and perusing Ultra Signup with a glass of wine and a credit card.
But not me.
I achieved some epic race goals in 2016 but this year I’m feeling non-committal when it comes to registering many months ahead for organized races … especially after having blown like five years of race budget on the TransAlpine Run in September (I regret nothing!).
That’s not to say I don’t have some pretty awesome plans for this year …
There are so many free or cheap events, challenges, and adventures available in the community. I plan to take full advantage of these.
Club Fat Ass
One of the most infamous trail and ultra running groups around, Club Fat Ass hosts a number of events throughout the year. They keep track of participation through their points series which is based on early RSVPs, distance, and time with bonus points for trash pickup. Pro tip: you can land yourself in the negatives by RSVPing and not showing up.
I’ve already got a good start by running the New Years Day 50K and partaking in the bonus polar bear dip at the end.
However, the main thing on my list is their Van 100, a double crossing of the rugged and technical Baden Powell trail on the North Shore for a total of 100 km. It’s not a race per se, but more of a self-supported (or plan your own crew/support) challenge.
I also plan to participate in the Bagger Challenge again, a friendly, honour-system contest to see how many of the run/hike-able peaks on the North Shore you can summit. I did this on a limited basis last year, attaining only the few peaks that are along the Howe Sound Crest Trail, but I am planning to bag a few more this year.
At the top of my list is working with a new race series, Sweaty Yeti, as volunteer coordinator and social media manager. Started by a crazy running friend, Sweaty Yeti has plans to host challenging and adventurous ultra marathons in our beautiful corner of the world including the Survival Run Canada in Squamish (registration is open) and the Longest Day Race (currently being finalized) on the Sunshine Coast.
I am looking forward to continuing my involvement as an Altra Running Canada ambassador, West Van Run ambassador, and BibRave Pro – all fun and innovative brands created by and for the running community.
Last but not least, this year I will take my commitment to volunteering to the next level! Volunteering at races is more fun and less painful than actually running and just as rewarding to help others achieve their goals. I highly recommend it.
In addition to the usual local events, I plan to do the August volunteering “triple crown” so to speak by completing the following on consecutive weekends because, why the hell not?
- Crewing/pacing a friend at the insane Fat Dog 120 (mile) race
- Captaining our second annual Farside aid station extravaganza for the epic Squamish50 race
- Volunteering for the Survival Run Canada (and so should you! Sign up here).
So that’s what I’ve got on my 2017 to-do list so far – it’s already shaping up to be another awesome year!
What are your plans and goals for 2017?