Friday, March 14, 2014

Race regrets and future plans

Back in 2000-2001, I had no kids, no wife (barely a girlfriend) and not really even a job, but my dad—who signed me up for the Marathon des Sables, partly to share time with me after learning he had cancer, partly to get me out of my troubling (and troublesome) lifestyle in Los Angeles—probably would have helped finance and join me on two races (at least as support) that I learned about on that first participation in the MDS: Badwater and the Diagonale des Fous in Réunion. I still have high hopes of doing both, but it will take a few more years before I get there. Then there was that missed sign-up for the UTMB in 2007 before they instated qualifying points (and before my second child was born).

I’m still planning on going back to the desert next year—not the MDS!—but not sure that I’ll actually manage to swing 9 days off work that are not dedicated to my family. 

Which reminds me: I won’t say which race I want to do. In fact, I never considered sharing my wish list of races on this blog as so many others do, because it consists on the one hand of a few that are so well known now in any case (the aforementioned + Leadville, GUCR, Hardmoors, Tor des Géants,…) and that I’d like to do despite difficulties getting in or overcrowding because I could experience new and incredible landscapes, and on the other hand of a growing list of trail runs that are not well known or in their infancy, and therefore hold the promise of very few participants and a more genuine feel...

The Costa Brava Extreme, a must-do in my opinion

Sure I want to do the UTMB for its beauty and for the myth, but when I see pictures of 2,200+ runners traipsing up the mountains, I figure there are more enough tough, beautiful trail races out there where there are fewer people and easier to get into. The numbers are growing every year as everyone seems to want to organize a race and there seem to be more and more people turning to trails--all a very good thing.

So I think that apart from a few staple races and some as yet undiscovered races, I will now seek out inaugural or first editions to be part of the fun from the start. The 104-mile Jordan Desert Cup back in 2000 is the perfect example (it no longer exists, in fact it didn't last long, but I think it's been replaced by another). The UT4M is another, only on its second edition this year and limited to 500 competitors.

So if you know of any... well, I don't expect you to share the good news (but I will swap), but if you are organizing a new race, don't hesitate to let me know...

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