Just a note before we get into it. There are other races in 2017 but these are the main 4 I will be concentrating on for the year.
All photos of the races are by Ian Corless, apart from the CCC photos I took 🙂
February 24th 2017 at 11pm
125km (77 miles) and 8,000m (26,246ft) climbing
Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
This monster will have the most climbing in a race I’ve ever done. I think going into the unknown will have my legs screaming in pain, but that’s all part of the attraction to it. TransGranCanaria is a big European race, part of the Ultra Trail World Tour so I’m expecting it to be very difficult with a fantastic atmosphere from runners all around the world, and a nice wee expo too.
I’m looking forward to going out there for a holiday with Vicky (who will run the 42km 1,200m race) as part of the same ‘festival’. Neither of us has ever been to Gran Canaria before, and the promise of nice weather coming from Africa along with all the sightseeing during the races got us really excited to sign up for it. Hopefully the weather will be nice and warm to replicate what the conditions were like during the CCC and make full use out of all the newly purchased white running gear. Bring on the ‘All you can eat’ all-inclusive resort, woo hoo!
Less than 2 weeks to go now.
June 28th 2017
105 miles and 22,493ft climbing
Lake District, England
Yes! This is the granddaddy of 2017 for me. I’m hoping to successfully conquer the 100 mile distance this year – phew! Again the unknown is very exciting to see how the body will respond to this task. The 100 mile distance has been on my bucket list for a while now, and having failed last year to bag it at the WHW race I have a fire in my stomach to get it done. It’s been my goal since I started ‘Ultra running’ and now is the time to strike!
A huge draw for this race was the fact that it’s a circular route taking it a lot of the Lake District National Park in England – Starting and finishing in Coniston.
The seed for this was planted 2 years ago when I ran with an experienced friend and told him about my plans to try and do a difficult 100 miler my first 100. He said that was a silly idea because there are plenty of easier (flatter) 100 mile races in the UK, but that didn’t seem appealing to me.
Race starting at 6pm should be interesting and fully expect to be out for two nights, just hoping my head torch will last haha– Let’s do this!
September 1st 2017
101km (62 miles) and 6,100m (20,013ft) climbing
Italy, Switzerland and France
Ding Ding, Round 2!
Chamonix was stunning, a lovely place to visit on holiday and couldn’t resist going for it again when I found out I never had enough points for the UTMB (maybe that was good news in the end). I was super nervous going into this race last year and had visions of having to pull out because of my rubbish ankles. Surprisingly things worked out incredibly well and I started to enjoy the race the longer it went on. I would like to improve my time of 22:57 by maybe 57 minutes or more, but time will tell after the Lakeland 100 miler. Again this is another race on the Ultra Trail World Tour circuit.
We’ve booked a nice little lodge in Chamonix for 3 nights, and around that we will be staying with our lovely Irish friends who have emigrated over there. Their house is really beautiful in the next valley on, it will be nice to relax after the race on their balcony with a beer looking at Mont Blanc. Love the hospitality of the Irish – Can’t wait for round 2, just hope the weather is nice again.
Salomon Ultra Pirineu
September 22nd 2017
110km (68 miles) and 6,800m (22,309ft) climbing
Bagà, Catalonia, Spain
This isn’t too long after CCC so I’ll be taking a risk hoping to be fit enough for this race after such a short recovery time. This race appealed to me because it is part of the Skyrunning World Series – Which guarantees it will be difficult as it falls under the ‘Sky Ultra’ category, plus its been quite hard to get into for the last few years, so for both of us to get in is amazing news!
There looks to be some technical aspects, incredible support, memorable feed stations, beautiful views and tough climbs. This will be the final race of the year for me so I can hopefully prepare for a good start to 2018 (if things go to plan) – It stacks up pretty similar to the CCC in terms of climbing and distance.
This will be Vicky’s first race over 82km and also the one with the most amount of climbing she’ll have done. Why not start off with a very tough 110km race we both thought – “Go hard or go home”.
2017 is a year of big dreams and bucket list races.