Friday, 3 March 2017

2017 race calendar

In 2017 I have scheduled a great set of races. In the last few years I've refined my racing and training to perform better in the mountains, but I still haven't quite raced as well as I think I'm capable of. This year I want to race to the limit of my abilities and to do that I've been more conscientious and careful in building a season plan that suits me.

There are a number of factors that are important for me which led to the season plan in its current form. The basis of deciding what races included the following principles:

  • I race best when I'm running in events that excite me and that I know I will be motivated and driven to complete a full training cycle for;
  • I prefer to race on routes that I know or where I can reduce the number of factors outside my control by careful study of the race profile and route;
  • I am able to adapt to heat (Jungle Ultra) or altitude (Atacama Crossing) but I need to perform a full and diligent adaptation protocol; and
  • I find traveling and new race venues add additional stress and without careful management that can affect how I race.

Using these principles I have prioritized races that are close to home, that particularly interest me, and which are well scheduled to provide time for any adaptation and specific training. I will be racing almost exclusively in France and Switzerland on race routes that I've run before and within an easy drive from home. Fortunately I live in trail running heaven with some of the biggest races, the best competition and the most scenic routes nearby.

2017 race calendar
This is my calendar of key races and includes all the races I've already entered and a few more at the end of the season that I will enter closer to the event. I may enter a few other smaller races for preparation and training, but these are the goal events and where I'm focusing my effort.

Trail des Cabornis
Details: 40km, 2000m D+
Date: 5 March 2017
Location: Chasselay, France
EntryYes
Previous result: 2016 - 4h26
Focus: My first race of the season in 2016. I want to go back as a test to see what state my fitness is and how effective my winter training has been.

Trail des Reculees
Details: 46km, 1800m D+
Date: 2 April 2017
Location: Lons-le-saunier, France
EntryYes
Previous result: 2016 - 4h13
Focus: This race is in a beautiful area in the Jura with some spectacular little villages that it runs through and amazing scenery (the Reculees). I'm excited to go and enjoy this region again.

Nivolet-Revard
Details: 51km, 2700m D+
Date: 30 April 2017
Location: Voglans, France
Entry: Yes
Previous results: 2016 - 5h44, 2015 - 5h56
Focus: This is a great early season race that's close to home and I have run it for the last two years. I want to run the race again to test my fitness and compare my results to previous years.

MaXi XL Race
Details: Day 1 - 42.5km, 2550m D+; Day 2 - 41.5km, 2780m D+
Date: 27 & 28 May 2017
Location: Annecy, France
EntryYes
Previous result: First time racing.
Focus: I love the area around Annecy and enjoyed some great running there with Moises before he ran the 85km MaXi race in 2016. This race is my first goal race of the season where I want to race all out and go for a top performance. It will be great to run a stage race again and I'm looking forward to having a great weekend of running in Annecy.

Mont Blanc Marathon
Details: 42km, 2730m D+
Date: 25 June 2017
Location: Chamonix, France
EntryYes
Previous result: First time racing.
Focus: This will be a test event for me and a chance to run hard and fast before the Eiger a few weeks later. Chamonix is an incredible place to run and I'm keen to run a new race there and to explore some new trails in the area.

Eiger Ultra E101
Details: 101km, 6700m D+
Date: 15 July 2017
Location: Grindelwald, Switzerland
EntryYes
Previous result: 2016 - 14h05
Focus: I ran this race last year and it was fantastic! This is definitely one of my favorite races so it's an easy choice to go back and to try and improve on last year's result. The is my second goal race of the season.

CCC
Details: 101km, 6100m D+
Date: 1 September 2017
Location: Courmayeur, Italy
EntryYes
Previous result: 2016 - DNF
Focus: The UTMB trail festival with all of its races is the pinnacle of trail running for me. I've been there to crew, been there to watch the races, and last year I started CCC. I know the trails well and I want to race the best competition and run the best I can at this event. The CCC is a great distance for me and I have some demons to concur after last year's DNF. This will be the third goal race race of the season.

Humani'Trail Les Diablerets
Details: 56km, 3600m D+
Date: 23 September 2017
Location: Les Diablerets, Switzerland
Entry: Not yet.
Previous results2015 - 7h13, 2014 - 7h52
Focus: Les Diablerets is a beautiful area and this was my first trail race in Switzerland so it has a lot of significance for me. I can run faster here and I want to!

Trail Vallee de Joux
Details: 35km, 1870m D+
Date: 8 October 2017
Location: L'Abbaye, Switzerland
Entry: Not yet.
Previous result: 2016 - 3h59
Focus: This race takes place on the trails that I train on all year round. It's my local race, it's over some beautiful trails, and it's low-key and fun.

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