Does it feel like we just crossed the finish line of a really long race or are we toeing the line for the next race? Maybe the New Year feels a little like both. Either way we would love to hear what you’re most looking forward to in 2010! As with our previous post that asked runners to take a look back at their 2009s, we’ll provide you with a collection of examples from top trail runners and other trail running insiders. Please take a look at what they have to say and then share your thoughts.
Susannah Beck (former USATF 50 mile national champion):
Have just moved to Orcas Island, Washington, I’m looking forward to running in the gorgeous park here everyday (and becoming a hill monster).
Elyse Braner (iRunFar columnist/coach for The North Face Endurance Challenge -Washington, DC):
I am most looking forward to seeing how the running lives of my run friends, training partners, athletes that I coach, and runners I meet through run groups develop. I love hearing about every workout, race, PR, lifting session, and core workout, and love to see how everyone progresses. I am also looking forward to seeing how my amazing running friends and mentors like Bryon Powell, George Banker, Naoko Ishibe, Julie Culley, Jeff Horowitz, and Elayne Chow continue to inspire and motivate the run community through their work in 2010!
Buzz Burrell (adventure runner extraordinaire):
Be in nature, play outside, be grateful. I’d like to repeat my “Maze Super-Loop” route this spring, and attempt my “Wind River Circumnavigation” in August. Running will be problematic, but I should still be able to move forward.
Devon Crosby-Helms (Salomon speedster/foodie):
I am really looking forward to continually growing and developing as a runner in 2010, taking on another 100 miler in WS and exploring a ton of new trails, including some long trail adventures.
Greg Crowther (Seattle Running Company runner/scientist/Phil’s dad):
I can imagine a lot of neat things that could happen in 2010: I might finally break 7 hours at White River, I might finally break into the top 10 at the World Cup 100K, I might finally beat Michael Wardian…. But I don’t know my schedule beyond the Rocky Raccoon 100 on February 6th, so for now, I’m just looking forward to that — you know, in the way that one looks forward to a final exam in a really hard class.
Scott Dunlap (Inov-8 runner who publishes A Trail Runner’s Blog):
Looking forward in 2010, I’m going to try some new distances, surfaces, and geographies and open myself up to a range of experiences. I will be racing everything from the indoor mile, to the steeplechase, the Dipsea, the 10k, 1/2 marathon, coast-to-coast marathons, and 50k, 50m, 100k and 100m. It’s going to be epic!
Brian Hall (shoe designer at Vasque who’s first 100 was Leadville 2009):
Fresh off a positive experience at the Leadville 100, my beginner mind has decided that the Hardrock 100 seems like a great race for next summer. A healthy challenge for a flatlander, but I love a big goal to train for. I know my chances are low for getting in, so I am also looking at Leadville again or possibly the Wasatch Front 100. Beyond racing, I am really excited to reciprocate some of the love I have received by doing some pacing/crewing for a good friend.
Bobby Gill (Brooks and Drymax runner we know from our DC days):
With the release of Chris McDougall’s Born to Run [iRF review] , the increasing popularity of Vibram FiveFingers and the release of the New Balance MT100, minimalist footwear has become a big source of discussion in 2009, especially amongst ultrarunners since we are the ones logging the big miles. I am looking forward to seeing the progression of this trend in 2010 with the release of the Inov-8 190, additional Vibram FiveFinger models, etc. Will minimalist footwear become an essential tool in the ultrarunner training toolkit, or will it prove to be another hiccup in the business plans of the big footwear manufacturers?
Bruce Grant (a kind Canadian):
I am looking forward this year to expanding my boundaries, and have a concept that will take me farther, hotter, and colder than I have ever gone before. Before that, I will be revisiting some old courses and looking to improve my time on them – you know those ones that you just feel you have not yet run your best on yet? But as always, I am looking forward to sharing trails with friends and teammates old and new; sometimes arranging those meetings will drive what event to go to, where the company is more important than the race.
- One of the things I am most looking forward to – even more than working toward my own running goals – is helping my wife Holly to fulfill a long-time dream of running the Miwok 100K.
- There are some local backcountry runs I’m excited to do in the Boulder area: Longs Peak FAST, my house to Nederland, and the Boulder Skyline (South Boulder Peak, Bear Peak, Green Mountain, Flagstaff, and Mount Sanitas).
- I’m really looking forward to getting my cyclocross bike and mixing up my training more. I’m frankly tired of being a one-dimensional athlete … and it’s wrecking my body.
- On the professional side, I’m looking forward to helping more and more runners understand the inherent disadvantages of using shoelaces. The North Face Sentinel Boa will be a big running shoe this spring and summer – while the Vasque Aether Tech will continue to excel. Are other running shoe companies warming up to the Boa Lacing System? Mayyyybeeeeee …
- This is not something I’m looking forward to as much as something I’m hoping for in 2010: I wish all races could coordinate their lottery efforts so that we don’t need to play this waiting and “If-Then” game while trying to set our racing schedules (i.e. If I don’t get win the Hardrock 100 lottery, then I will do the Leadville Trail 100 again …). Here’s an idea we should start promoting: what if the Big 100s all held their entry lotteries on the same exact weekend in early December? Think about it – it could be the Super Bowl Saturday and Sunday of the off-season: Western, Hardrock, Wasatch, Massanutten, etc. Maybe even Miwok 100K and Way Too Cool! And let ultrasignup.com run the entire shebang! Wouldn’t it be great to know in December which races you’re running the following summer?!?!
Matt Hart (Montrail/Nuun/Backcountry.com runner/coach/dood):
Being injured for the entire 2009 season, I learned a lot as an athlete and even more as a coach. I’ve realized the amazing potential I have to be a po
sitive force in my clients lives. I’m looking forward to helping even more people this year and that fills me with excitement.
And obviously… I can’t wait to just race again. I absolutely love the process of getting to the starting line. We’re all an experiment of one. I’m pretty jazzed to see what this body and these flawed genetics can handle. This week I’m applying for some of the harder mountainous 100 mile races. If i don’t do the Wasatch 100, I will be taking Canadian superstar Jen Segger up on an offer to run TCC Bolivia. We used to adventure race together, so I know that we’d do well running the 160km course in one shot, and I’ve never been to Bolivia.
Mostly though, this sport of ultrarunning for me is all about the amazing people I meet. Bryon, you and I solidified our friendship at the TransRockies Run in 2008 (the last time I actually raced by the way). It’s the people and experiences that I most look forward to.
Meghan Hicks (iRunFar’s Chief Inspiration Officer):
- I’m excited for wrangling, far-flung, wild running and other life adventures.
- I’m excited to run up and down trails listening to the footfalls of friends around me.
- I look forward to running hard, feeling fast-moving air seer through my throat as I breathe hard, feeling my arms and legs ache with fatigue, feeling my body go, and go, and go.
Andy Holak (Adventure Running Company):
In 2010, I’m looking forward to meeting many new people on the trail and exploring many more beautiful trails. I’m really looking forward to meeting more runners through our Adventure Running Co. tours, sharing beautiful trails with them and helping them have a super trail running experience.
Andy Jones-Wilkins (2010 Western States F2):
As has been the case for me since New year’s Day 2005, I am most looking forward to Western States. I quite simply love the event and everything about it. 2010 should be particularly interesting as I just squeaked into the top 10 in 2009 and will have my work cut out for me in 2010.
Max King (world class cross country harrier/steeplechaser/ultrarunner):
Well, 2010 is going to be what I would call an experimental year getting out of my comfort zone and entering the ultrarunning foray. I’ve got big plans for a few ultras this year and whether those plans are realized depends on how I can adapt to the longer distance. My previous two ultras went well, but felt awful. This year I’d like to figure out how to train in order to do well AND feel good. That, of course, is probably asking way too much of an ultra, but I figure I’ve got to at least train that way. So, the biggest change will be actually training for an ultra. I’m really looking forward to getting in the weekend long runs on some spectacular Oregon trails and seeing just how this year goes with big goals of Western States and then The North Face 50 with many ultras in between.
Aric Manning (team director for Team Pearl Izumi-Smith):
Putting 2009 behind and looking to a HEALTHY 2010. Sitting out 2009 sure made me more appreciative of the ability to get out and run. So basic and primitive yet taken for granted. I am looking forward to many new friendships and sharing the trails with truly unique individuals!
Ed Martinell (publisher of Trail Running Soul):
Running-wise this new year should be even more exciting [than last year]. Moving from “I do trail running in my spare time” to “I trail run for a living” is a challenge that I look forward to facing. A life-changing year… for better or worse.
Sean Meissner (Montrail runner/friend of iRunFar/all around good dood):
What I’m most looking forward to in 2010: one word…Chile. It’s gonna be awesome! [Sean’s talking about The North Face Ultra Maraton des Los Andes he’s be racing after winning The North Face’s Canadian Death Race in 2010.
Karl Meltzer (100 mile runner of the decade):
Don’t really have any real plans yet, other than running [the Hardrock 100 and the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc]. My name will be in the hat for Mt. Blanc, but it’s a lottery. Hopefully, I can wiggle my way in as I know the RD’s and the fact that they would like to see me return. Things could still change in an instant, I may even do the [Appalachian Trail] again next year if the ducks fall in a row. Goal is to win at least one 100, so I’ll try and keep the streak alive with winning one every year for 11 years in a row.
Sara Montgomery (La Sportiva runner/freelance writer/snowshoer):
My biggest goal is to get 100% healthy after some hip issues the latter part of ’09. To be able to get out there soon for long runs on the trails will be great, and then the longer-term plan is to do a 50 miler. It’s an honour to be on the La Sportiva Running Team again this year.
Anita Ortiz (Western States 100 champ):
- I look forward to running more 100’s this year and pushing myself as far as I can go. (I have 3 planned so far – that’s a lot me for me!!)
- I look forward to running with two of my daughters who are now way faster than me and make me do a tempo run every time we go out!
- Can’t wait to run some team races with my fellow EMR (Eagle Mountain Runners) friends!
Allison Pattillo (iRunFar’s Chief Elevation Officer):
For 2010, I’m tossing around the idea of becoming an ultra-runner myself. But no promises yet!
Bryon Powell (running bum/CEO):
I hope to excel at the things I enjoy most and challenge myself with thing that I’ve never attempted before. This applies to my relationships, my running, and my work on iRunFar!
Kami Semick (North Face runner/world champion):
In 2010, I am looking forward to running the Comrades Marathon. This will be a special race for me because I am working to raise money for the children who have been orphaned by AIDS in South Africa. Shockingly, 450 children a day are orphaned by AIDS in the country of South Africa. The area surrounding the Comrades race course, Durban to Pietermaritzburg, is one of the areas hit hardest by AIDS and thus this brewing crisis. An entire generation of adults has been wiped out leaving children to raise themselves. With the support of The North Face, I am teaming with Starfish, a local charity that is on the ground and making a difference in the lives of the children in the area, to select a community close to the race course, and am specifically raising funds for that community.
Caitlin Smith (a runner who’s gifted at a vast range of distances):
In 2010, I am looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone, training with some fast roadies, and seeing if I can qualify for the Olympic marathon trials.
Lisa Smith-Batchen (Team Pearl Izumi-Smith/Doer of Good):
2010 April 17th-June 17th. Project “Running Hope To America” 50 miles in All 50 states in 62 days to raise 1 million for Aids Orphans Rising. There are 67,000 Orphans in America this year! 2 women coming together after many years to run together. One nun and one ultra runner, together. The nun to run 500 miles, the ultra runner to run all 2,500 miles. America is feeling a bit helpless right now, we could all use a but of hope put into our laps. First state is NJ, second state in NYC, third is the Boston marathon! Last is Wyoming! Full circle, all of America.
Derrick Spafford (a La Sportiva Mountain Runner from Canada):
I finished 2009 with a bit of a tweaked knee after trying to jump back into hard training too quickly after the Haliburton 100. My first goal for 2010 is to get my mileage back up to where it was a few months ago and possibly look to travel to a few bigger races in the U.S. Sara Montgomery and I are also looking forward to some longer fastpacks and a vacation to Colorado this year. I’m also thrilled to be a part of the La Sportiva Running Team again in 2010.
Sophie Speidel (Team Inov-8 member and long time friend of iRunFar):
I am very excited to be on Team Inov-8 for 2010! It says a lot about a company when they sponsor a full-time working mom of three who is approaching the 5-0 mark. In addition to my key races – Terrapin 50K, Highland Sky 40 and Mountain Masochist 50 – I want to run a flat, fast road marathon next December and I am interested to see what my 7 years of ultrarunning will do for my marathon PR.
Sarah Stanley (inspirational speaker/ultrarunner):
In 2010, I am looking forward to challenging myself to an aggressive race schedule and bringing awareness to the ever growing rise of obesity via my running as well as a few other causes. Above all, I want to stay injury free, train effectively, and impact others through my running & life. 2010 will be a awesome year!
Amanda Stickel (breakout ultrarunner):
I am looking forward to doing my first 50 miler in 2010 and working with my new coach, who is working alongside my Dad. I had PR’s in every distance from 2 miles to 50k in 2009 so it’s going to be a hard year to top, but we are going to go after it. I look forward to meeting and making friends and meeting more ultra runners in 2010. Good Luck to everyone!
Brendan Trimboli (logo guru/photovoltaic phenom/ultrarunning youngster):
In 2010, I am taking a new approach to ultrarunning in hopes of surpassing my current limitations. A nagging injury has kept me from tapping into my full potential.Through, the incorporation of proper strength and flexibility training on a regular basis I hope to enter the racing season injury-free and capable of a few great performances.
- Winning the Marathon Des Sables, qualifying for the 2011 Men’s Marathon Olympic Trials, winning the Comrades Marathon, Gold Medals at the 50K & 100K World Championships and maybe doing the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc.
- Running with my family as much as possible and sharing some incredible experiences with them.
- I would also like to reduce my carbon footprint and plan to try and commute more via running and/or bike to work and just around town. Plus, I would like to grow some of my own food with perhaps a rooftop garden.
Hans-Dieter Weisshaar (100 mile marvel):
Staying alive and healthy and uninjured. That’s a lot, believe me!