2017 race plans – going Barkley

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A new year … but not really a new resolution

The “resolution” as such, or main challenge / target has been set over a month ago, and since then I was busy putting together my race plan that will lead me towards the main challenge (well, and somewhat busy trying to re-ignite my training).

If you missed the updates on my Facebook page, the big challenge I chose is “The Barkley Marathons”. A somewhat naive sounding race name given the enormity of the challenge it represents. That is – I am targeting the 2018 version of the race, which takes place in early spring (somewhere around April fools’ day, how appropriate).

This is not planned to be a post with detailed explanations of the challenge itself, the strategy, or an account of the last year, but it seems appropriate to do a bit of a quick recap of the last year – the year that brought me from a near-Ultra-virgin to a Tor-des-Geants-finisher.
(If you read Hebrew – there is now an ongoing column here for ongoing thoughts and progress. For English, I hope to do some short recap from the Tor soon).

2016 Activity recap

About a year ago, I similarly published a race list for 2016 – great reference. So here is a quick recap:

7 Ultra races (with time to finish):
Trans Gran Canaria – 125 km \ D+ 8,000m \ 29:40 hours
Penyagolosa \ CSP – 115 km \ D+ 5,700m \ 24:56 hours
Oh Meu Deus – 160 km \ D+ 8,000m \ 42:06 hours (last to finish)
Lavaredo Ultra Trail – 120 km \ D+ 6,100m \ 23:56 hours
Orobie Ultra Trail – 140 km \ D+ 9,500m \ 36:42 hours (Top 50)
UTMB \ CCC – 101 km \ D+ 6,100m \ 19:20 hours
TDG – 340 km \ D+ 31,000m \ 129:15 hours

1 Marathon Barcelona.

Lavaredo Ultra Trail

A moment during Lavaredo Ultra Trail, end of June

Many months of training In Israel, Spain and mainly Italy – I spent June in the Italian Dolomites, July in Orobie area, and August around the Italian Alps and Aosta valley.

I do not have a full account of the numbers, but it seems safe to say the year included over 4,000 km distance, over 200 km of elevation gain, and it seems – about 7 million steps.

Whoowa!  #3Years3Letters. With a bang.

2017 Race plans – 454 days to Barkley

So we can now look forward into what is going to happen in the coming year, leading up to (hopefully) the 2018 Barkley Marathons.
This is a long time stretch, so naturally, these plans are 90% right at best. Some of the races are in the plan as far as I am concerned, but it is yet too early to actually register (so I mark these with a *). Hopefully, a month from now these will be fixed as well.

[The Montane Lakeland 100 – tougher than looks “on paper”, and should be one of my bigger tests this year – 100 miles of navigational race]

This year, I am kind of “grounded” in Israel until the end of April, so my “wake up” from winter slumber kick-in-the-ass duo in March are in Israel – including a new Ultra technical race – probably the toughest trail race (officially, not even a race) in Israel at the moment.

Then from May, I will start with the heavy traveling and international races (The picture at the top is from the very first – Transylvania 100). This should include some extended training periods out there that I am yet to plan, but with high probability – these will include August in Japan and September in Tennessee, USA.

July is going to be a huge testing month, with two really tough 100 milers.

This is going to be a really exciting year. Here we go:
[where relevant: distance, elevation gain, time limit]

Mar 10 – Jerusalem Mountains Ultra Trail – JMUT challenge (Jerusalem mountains, Israel) – 68 km, +2,800 m, 15 hours – Done.
Mar 17 – Jerusalem Marathon (Jerusalem, Israel) – Done.
Mar 25 – Isael Rogaine (Jezreel Valley, Israel) – 10 hours (orienteering) – Done.
May 5 – Desert to Sea (Pora National Reserve, Israel) – 50 km – Done.
May 20 – The Transylvania 100 (Transylvania, Romania) – 100 km, +6,590 m, 30 hours – Done.
May 27 – Maxi Race (Annecy, France) – 110 km, +7,000 m, 31:30 hours – DNF @ 68 km.
Jun 10 – Travesera Picos (Arenas de Cabrales, Spain) – 74 km, +6,560 m, 21 hours – DNF @ 50 km (cutoff).
Jul 4 – Andorra Ultra Trail – Ronda dels Cims (Andorra) – 170 km, +13,500m, 62 hours – Done (Top 100).
Jul 28 – The Lakeland 100 – (Cumbria, UK) – 169 km, +6,900 m, 40 hours (navigation/ unmarked)
August – something in Japan? + Training at Mt. Fuji
Sep 2 – Kyoto Grand Traverse – 65 km, 12 hours.
Sep 16 – The Barkley Fall Classic (Frozen Head State park, TN, USA) – 50 km, +”ridiculous amount” (5,200 m?), 13:20 hours
Oct 20 – Grand Raid – Diagonales Des Fous (Reunion) – 167 km, +9,700m, 65 hours?
Nov 18 – SkyRun (South Africa) – 100 km, D+ 4,445m, 30 hours (fully autonomous, unmarked)
Jan 15* – HURT 100 – (Honolulu, Hawaii, USA) – 161 km, +8,200 m, 30 hours

Apr 1 (2018)* – The Barkley Marathons!  (Frozen Head State park, TN, USA) – by popular estimations: ~200 km, +20,000m, 60 hours.

Yep, good luck with that 🙂

A bit of taste of the Barkley's light version - next fall. [Photo from Nick Yeates account of the race on Ultrarunning.com]

A bit of taste of the Barkley’s light version – next fall. [Photo from Nick Yeates account of the race on Ultrarunning.com]

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