Planning out the year ahead…

February 24, 2015

With two races in the Liverbird New Year’s Day Marathon and Peddars Way Ultramarathon in the bag, and my next race just around the corner it’s time to start looking ahead to the rest of the year.

Over the past few weeks I have been drawing up a shortlist of 30 or so potential races for my 15 in 2015 and after much deliberation I was able to further narrow this list down to just 15. The plan is to run at least one race a month, with ideally 5 of these being Ultramarathons, choosing a variety of distances and course types where possible. Many races I longed to do didn’t quite make the cut, either for clashing with another or not being logistically possible.

Here is the list of 15 races I plan to run for Mind this year:

January 1st – Liverbird New Year’s Day Marathon
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Status: Ran
Blog: New Year, New Adventure (Liverbird New Year’s Day Marathon)

In 2013 I ended my fundraising challenge in Liverpool, running up and down the River Mersey. One year and one day later I would be back, this time to run the New Year’s Day marathon and to kick start a whole new fundraising challenge. A flat, relatively ‘easy’ marathon made difficult by running 11 miles to the start line and tough, wintery winds it became a mental battle, as much as it was a physical one and a great start for the year ahead.

January 31st – Peddars Way Ultra

Castle Acre Priory

Castle Acre Priory

Status: Ran
Blog: Winter Madness (Peddars Way Ultra)

Having tried (and failed) to run my first marathon in Norfolk, I was hoping for my first Ultra to be more successful. 48 miles from the edge of Suffolk to the North Norfolk Coast along the old Roman Peddars Way it would be far out of my comfort zone. Ultimately running the 48 miles would prove to be the easiest part of a day filled with blizzards, hail storms and even attacks from four-legged ‘friends’.

February 28th – Belvoir Challenge
Belvoir Castle

Belvoir Castle

Status: Entered

Taking place in the shadow of Belvoir Castle, the renowned 26 mile Belvoir Challenge has been on my to-do list for quite a few years. Many factors go into deciding which races make the cut, location, course, entry fee, medal/t-shirt but for the Belvoir Challenge the one thing that drew my eye was the notorious feast lined up at checkpoints. Cake, cream tea, cake, soup, cake, fruit, cake, pizza, cake, cake and cake. It’s an eating competition with a marathon squeezed in.

March 22nd – Canalathon 75KM
Rochdale Canal, Hebden Bridge

Rochdale Canal, Hebden Bridge

Status: Entered

Finding a suitable race for some months was much easier than others, for March I was spoilt for choice and torn between the Canalathon, Haworth Hobble and the Oldham Way Ultra. Eventually I decided on the Canalathon, a flat Ultra that runs through both Lancashire and Yorkshire, it then became a choice of which distance, the 50KM, 75KM or 100KM. Ultimately I settled for the goldilocks option, the 75KM, playing safe from taking that step too far, too soon with the 100KM whilst still picking a challenging distance.

April 19th – Huddersfield Marathon
Huddersfield

Status: Pending Entry

A race claiming to be ‘possibly toughest road marathon in the UK’? You have my interest. One of Team OA’s three West Yorkshire Marathons, last year I ran their Halifax Marathon and I’m anxious to see if the Huddersfield Marathon lives up to infamy.

April 26th – London Marathon
Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Status: Entered

A race that needs no introduction. Since running it as my first marathon back in 2013 it’s been one I’ve been desperate to run again. I still remember the goosebumps I got when I turned the corner onto Tower Bridge and heard the roar from the crowd spectators and runners. Two years ago I was very much focused on simply getting round and surviving the distance, this year I intend to savour every mile.

May 17th – Dukeries Ultra
Major Oak, Sherwood Forest

Major Oak, Sherwood Forest

Status: Pending Entry

Having previously lived in Lincolnshire for 6 years, I’ve had an eye on the Dukeries Ultra for quite a while as a local-ish Ultramarathon. A race I’ve always heard great things about, I’ve opted for the 40 mile option, to include the trip past the Major Oak, Britain’s favourite tree and said to have provided shelter for Robin Hood and his Merry Men.

June 13th – Norfolk 100KM
Norfolk Coastal Path

Norfolk Coastal Path

Status: Pending Entry

After finishing Positive Steps PT’s Peddars Way Ultra back in January I instantly began looking for my next Ultra. I didn’t have to look far as I soon stumbled across another Ultramarathon by the same organisers, a 100KM race that incorporates the, now familiar, latter half of the Peddars Way before continuing along the coastal path, ultimately ending at Cromer Pier.

July 4th – Hamsterley Marathon
Hamsterley Forest

Hamsterley Forest

Status: Pending Entry

‘A hilly trail marathon in one of the most beautiful forests in England’

Covering over 20,000 hectres and with 29 miles of footpath it’s perhaps no surprise that the Hamsterley Marathon never leaves the confines of the largest forest in County Durham. Another race that drew me in with the talk of hills, trails and beautiful views, hopefully it’s a more enjoyable experience than my last race in the North East.

August 15th – Ultra Tour of the Peak District
Win Hill © sallymosley.co.uk

Win Hill © sallymosley.co.uk

Status: Pending Entry

60 miles. 9,000 feet of elevation. Middle of Summer. The Ultra Tour of the Peak District is undoubtedly the toughest race I’ll run this year, but it is also likely to to be the most beautiful. In 2013 I ran this race’s baby brother, the 12.12, got lost twice and it was one of the most challenging races I ran that year, but also one of the most enjoyable. When I return this year I’ll do so with a map, a lot more experience and hopefully more of a clue.

August 30th – Halifax Marathon
Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill

Status: Pending Entry

Last year’s Halifax Marathon ended with me stopping a couple of miles short of the finish line to throw up, before staggering to the finish line after being hit bad with dehydration. Beforehand I was expecting a reasonably flat marathon, what I got was something quite different. Now, fully aware of what to expect I’m going back this year hydrated, vaselined and plastered up for another go.

September – Robin Hood Marathon
Holme Pierrepont

Holme Pierrepont

Status: Pending Entry

A race that is fast becoming a fixture of my running calendar, having ran the Marathon for the past two years and the Half Marathon a further three times before. No longer the challenging, hilly proposition of a few years back, weather dependent it’s a great course to have a crack at a new PB.

October 11th – Yorkshire Marathon
York Minster

York Minster

Status: Entered

Since it’s inception in 2013, the Yorkshire Marathon is a race I have entered each year, as one of 6 marathons I ran as part of my 1000KM Challenge to last year when I set a new PB by 20+ minutes. A relatively flat course, save for that bastard hill 26 miles in, running through the historic center of York and along country lanes out to Stamford Bridge, it’s one I look to run each year.

November 15th – Hell of a Hill Marathon
Rivington Pike

The Mighty Rivington Pike

Status: Entered

The ‘toughest marathon in the UK’, the Hell of a Hill marathon features just the one incline, Rivington Pike, but it’s one you repeat 8 times building up to 6,000+ feet of elevation and running up 2,416 steps. As a fan of running up big, bastard hills, this is a race that caught my eye early on and I’m looking forward to joining the 50 or so runners for this marathon on a cold, November morning more than possibly any other race this year.

December – Frostbite 30
Yorke's Folly

Yorke’s Folly

Status: Pending Entry

“Run over the stunning moors and paths around Pateley Bridge, the route takes in moorland, peat bogs, reservoirs and riverside paths, and gives runners the chance to pit themselves against the sometimes brutal weather and terrain.”

Originally I planned to enter this race as my first Ultra last year, but illness and waiting too long to sign up resulted in me missing out. This year I intend to finish the year off with this local, good value Ultra, and see what I missed out on last year.

 


 

As stated at the beginning of this post there were many, many races that I planned to run this year that didn’t make the cut; Haworth Hobble, Scafell Pike Marathon, Hardcastle 24, Wakefield Marathon, Grim Reaper Ultra Marathon, Yorkshireman Marathon, Hull Marathon, Beauty and Beast Marathon, Chester Marathon, Round Rotherham Ultra and White Rose Ultra.

Some of these I’ll might end up squeezing in, others may have to wait until next year.

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