2011 Trail and Ultra Race Plans?

For many of us, the end of the year is a time when racing and big adventures wind down. Instead, it’s the time when we plan out some of our key races for the following year. For many of you ultrarunners out there, it also means the excitement, complication, and possible disappointment that is lottery season. We’d love to hear which 2011 events or adventures you’re already getting excited about. Below, we list some upcoming ultra lotteries before I share my daydreams about the 2011 racing season.

Ultramarathon Lotteries
Here are a few upcoming ultra lotteries. It’s far from comprehensive. If you’ve got any others that we should list, leave a comment.

[Yes, we know that Badwater is not a true lottery, but it fits the spirit of the above table.]

My Race Plans
After a year away from racing, the first major piece of my 2011 races plan was set when I signed up for the Western States 100 two weeks ago. It’s also almost certain that I’ll be headed back to Chamonix, France next year. This time I won’t just be reporting on the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc… I’ll be running it. In fact, UTMB and not WS will be my focus race if/when it pans out. While my fitness is still lacking, I’ve trained consistently since returning from UTMB 2010. The recent move to Park City, Utah has me even more excited to train.

With my two big races more or less already on the calendar, I’m left pondering my tune up races. I like a 50 miler four to six weeks out from my 100 miler and plan on running one. Either the Rocky Mountain Double Marathon and Squaw Peak 50 mile is my likely target. I’ve run both and each has upsides. RMDM is extremely runnable (good for States), I think the course is beautiful, and it’s four weeks out from States. Squaw Peak is the better hill training for WS’s descents, is a much better UTMB training run, and I could drive there from home on race morning. On the down side, Squaw Peak is only three weeks before States. I’m actually toying with running both. I’d race RMDM and, provided I recover, sit back and use Squaw Peak as a long, supported mountain training run. Still, choosing one is likely a better option.

There’ll also be at least one and, more likely, two or three 50k to 40 milers on my schedule before the 50 miler. Antelope Island 50k is a shoe in. It’s close, it’s in late March when I normally run my first pre-States 50k (HAT Run in Maryland), and I’ve wanted to run it for awhile. I’d strongly consider running Red Hot Moab as a training run in late February, but I’m pretty sure it’s already full. Being new to the area, I’ve either got to find a few additional race options for some dry dirt running in late winter and for a 50k to 40 mile tune up in late April or early May.

I’m already thinking of running some non-ultra races, such as the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase and Mid-Mountain Marathon, both here in Park City in August and September, respectively. Sadly, I likely have a conflict with the Steeplechase… the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, where I hope to once again race the Uphill Challenge.

Call for Comments
Any thoughts on my 2011 schedule? Remember to share what’s got your already dreaming about next year.

There are 33 comments

  1. Steve Pero

    Hi Bryon….

    For me and Deb, as always, the year revolves around Hardrock. If we get in that is our focus and all races before that point to the big race. The dessert of the year is the Bear in September….yes, I'll be going back ot that also.

    If we get into Hardrock our prep races are Zane Gray 50, Jemez 50 and San Juan Solstice 50.

    Have a great 2011!


  2. Bish


    I got an email from the Red Hot 50k yesterday. They are opening up 50 more slots on December 1st, which the race director says will fill up in minutes. Good early season race in a really beautiful venue. They changed their website recently, so I couldn't tell you where it is.



    Hi Brian.. Very good to see you racing again…

    1- I will be possibly running Trail De Paris (Eco Trail) 80Km – +1500 altitude change. 26 March of 2011 . My file is complete and i am eligible :-)

    2- I will %100 enter the UTMB TDS or CCC lottery this year; as you know i ran UTMB CCC but i have been stuck on TRIENT door @72th KM; where the race is cancelled due to mudslide and cold weather. :-( The story is here… http://www.geziyorum.net/utmb-ccc-2010/

    3- Between those; i will be running the ADAM (Anatolian Mountain Marathon in Turkey) which is the 11th edition and epic one; where you carry all your stuff camping gear etc with orienteering. The race has 3 options of Short- Medium and ultra distances varying from 20km- 40km and 60km (Bird Fly) edition and they give 2 Points for UTMB as the altitude change is over 3000meters :-)

    For more info about enrolling this race which is held in vest part black sea and anatolia region please look at the official site and my blogposts with repectively…

    Offical Site in English: http://fgonendik.wixsite.com/dask1/adam
    DASK photos videos in my blog: http://www.geziyorum.net/dask-adam-2010/


    See you on chamonix (if we are lucky in the lottery)

    A fanatic of irunfar.com from Istanbul; Turkey.

    1. Bryon Powell

      Wow! I coulda swore the Wahsatch Steeplechase always conflicted with Western States… maybe I just thought it was too close to WS in 2005 and 2006 when I was previously here. It'd be fun to at least check it out.

  4. Steve

    If you would like a holiday and throw in a bit of a run try this one out in march 2011, the end of New Zealand summer northburn100.co.nz

  5. Moogy

    I'm going to test my rehab at C2M (100k), then I'm in the lottery for HardRock and after go for FatDog and then the Bear. If I don't get into HR then FatDog will be my focus race, otherwise it will be the Bear. I'm thinking about BigHorn 50 or Lake City 50 as well before HR/FatDog. Just tought to get races planned to fit my sched. Hope to seya soon dude!

  6. The Trail Jogger

    Hi Bryon. Thanks for bring up this topic.

    About a year ago I embarked on a journey to transition from fat to fit. I set three goals:

    1) quit smoking,

    2) lose 50 lbs., and

    3) complete an ultramarathon.

    I have completed goal one and have been smoke free for 1 year. I have lost 30 of the 50 lbs., and my training for my first ultramarathon is going well. I plan to run my first ultra in November 2011.

    I blog my journey at http://www.thetrailjogger.com

  7. Travis

    Anytime you need some dry dirt running in the winter, the St. George area is a great place to be. Maybe even down into Southern Nevada.

  8. Stacy

    Lots of "adventure runs" and very little racing for me.

    That's an exciting calendar you have setting up!

    Sounds like a "mini camp" in SGU around the end of February could be just the ticket. You know a guy who could help make it happen. ;)

  9. Jacob Rydman

    Way Too Cool for sure, hoping to get into '11 Western States. If the lottery eludes me, shoot for top two at AR 50. This year has been unreal for me and I'm having a blast doing what I love.

  10. Jeff F

    Wow, big year ahead for you Bryon, I didn't know you were doing the UTMB. There's going to be plenty of good stuff for you to post about here.

    My plans are a bit more tame: I'm doing the Sehgahunda Trail Marathon in May and then doing the Virgil Crest 50 in September. My hope is to do well enough in the 50 to qualify for the 100 in 2012. I paced a buddy of mine this year and the course is a bear (which you already knew…), this is going to be a big test for me.

      1. Jeff F

        Yep, more trails and less road. But it was always a tough course. Not that UTMB is going to be a cake walk for you… That should be the race of a lifetime my man.

  11. jimm Ouellette

    I will be throwing my hat into the MMT Lottery again this year. MMT is my first choice; if I don’t get in I hope to run Vermont.



  12. Matt

    Bryon – welcome to Utah! Haven't seen you since Bolinas Ridge AS at Miwok '10 while sporting my new iRunFar.com coolmax hat. Recently moved from Folsom, CA to Salt Lake City, so let me know if you find yourself here in the valley and need to get a few miles in on the windward side of the Wasatch Mtns.

    FYI, you may want to check out the 2nd Annual Sapper Joe 50k Trail Race on May 29 at Camp Williams in south Salt Lake as well as the Kahtoola Bigfoot Challenge (snowshoes) on Jan 29 at Soldier Hollow in Midway.

    1. megatomic

      I only ran a marathon's worth of the course this year with my buddy and it was a sonofagun. Doing Greek Peak at night (when I ran, from 7pm to just after 5am) was surreal.

  13. Carter

    UTMB and WS is a full plate, good luck to you and I can't wait to read your reports. I am tackling the Beast series this year and Highland Sky for the second time.

  14. Chihping Fu

    Bryon, great to hear you move to Park City. Since you are doing UTMB, I assume you won't run Wasatch. (however, I did run with a guy at '07 Wasatch, who wore UTMB shirt that he just ran two weeks ago). I wish you have great run in both WS and UTMB. I also hope to meet you at Wasatch if you happen to volunteer there and I'm lucky to be selected.

    My major 2011 races

    lottery: MMT, WS, Hardrock or Badwater, Wasatch.

    others: AC, CC

  15. Ravi

    I'll be doing the 2011 Copper Canyon Ultramarathon as my first 50 miler! It's on March 6th 2011….should be quite the experience to run with the Tarahumara.

  16. Jason

    Most envious, targeted UTMB for next year but will have to satisfy for CCC. Great warm-up 80K in Paris (Eco-Trail) end of Mar finishing on the premier etage of La Tour Eiffel. In Chamonix next Sat for a bit of skiing and will be wistfully enjoying my surroundings. Good luck and hope your winter training goes well.

  17. matt lindsey


    Unfortunately, I did not get selected from WS this year. So my race focus for 2011 has changed. As of right now, I will be running the Frozen Sasquatch 50K in West Virginia on January 8, 2011. Then it will be the Lt J.C. Stone 50K in Pittsburgh, PA on March 19, 2011. Then it will be the 150 mile law enforcement memorial run from Philadelphia to DC. (This run is normally a relay, but I am planning on doing the entire run solo.) Then it will be the Oil Creek 100 in October in Titusville, Pa. Mix in a couple of trail marathons throughout the year in PA and my schedule filled up quick.

    I am a little dissapointed about not making WS, but it will be alot easier and cheaper for me to get my crew and family to Titusville. Only 3 1/2 hours away vs the other side of the states.

    Happy running my friend, and maybe we will see you on the east coast for a run.

  18. Ashley

    Ultra virgin here. Kinda limited because I don't have the means to travel too far to get to races. I was hoping I could get someone's opinion on my lineup for my first official season, especially since I've seen the Rothrock Challenge mentioned here and I live in the State College area.

    2011 Races:

    April 26 – Tiadaghton Trail 20K

    May 7 – River Towns Half-Marathon

    June 4 – Rothrock Trail 30K

    Sept. 18 – Dam Marathon

    Oct 23 – Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK 50M

  19. Midpacker

    Bryon, do you have any information on the lottery success rates? I know what it is for Western & Miwok from having followed those in the past (i.e., not getting picked), but am curious about the others.

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