My favorite off-time hobbies are training for, and competing, in running and cycling events. The training time, with friends or in solitude, is valuable time for me to relax, reflect, and think. I enjoy competing and usually lead the front of the middle of the pack across the finish line. These are the races and events I am tentatively participating at in 2010 that will culminate with the Birkie Trail Marathon in late September. Some races are old favorites and a couple are new.
Bellin 10K Run
The Bellin Run, named for the Bellin Hospital and to benefit the Bellin School of Nursing Scholarship fund, starts in front of Bellin Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The route is on tree lined roads in Green Bay and the suburb Allouez before ending in front of the hospital.
I grew up in Green Bay, but I did not run in the Bellin until I had been gone for more than 15 years. The race which started with just few hundred people has grown to be one of the largest 10K runs in the country. A small group of elite athletes will lead the field followed by more than 15,000 runners and walkers from all over the world. The crowd of runners and walkers is so large that as the elite runners and fastest recreational runners are finishing many walkers will be just leaving.
The Bellin is already completed. I enjoyed the event as always and am pleased that I finished well within the top 1000 and the top 10% of my age group. The day was cool, cloudy, and humid. Conditions close to ideal for running. My personal highlight was spotting my wife finishing with her wave and being able to cheer her to the verge of causing embarrassment as she neared the finish.
Bucky Bash – Stevens Point to Madison Bike Ride
The Bucky Bash is a private group ride that I joined for the first time last year. On a weekday morning in mid-July a group of cyclists will leave Stevens Point and ride about 125 miles to the Capital Square in Madison. The official ride end point is Great Dane Brewery and Restaurant. If you can average 18-20 mph on a road bike, are comfortable with group road bike riding, and are interested in joining the ride send me an email or Twitter DM.
Race the Lake
Race the Lake is a circumnavigation of Lake Winnebago, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the United States, by bicycle. The 90 mile race starts and finishes in Fon Du Lac and will take me and other riders through High Cliff State Park, Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, and Oshkosh.
This will be my first time riding “Race the Lake.” I will only be racing against my time goal – to be determined – while riding with my regular cycling partner. I am sure we will find ourselves riding with riders of similar skill and pace throughout the day (I say this loosely since the race starts at 5:30 and we should be done before noon).
Stevens Point Duathalon
The Point Duo is a new event where I live. I have never done a tri or duo so I figure this would be a low risk way to give it a shot. The course is a 2 mile run, 13 mile bike, and another 2 mile run. The second run leg will be on the Green Circle Trail in the Schmeekle Reserve of the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. The trail is a soft soil surface with a few boardwalks through a wonderful woods and wetlands area right in the middle of town.
My goals for this event will be making quick transitions from run to bike to run and enjoying a competition on my home field with many running and cycling friends.
Birkie Trail Marathon
The capstone event of my summer and fall season and the focus of my training regime for the next four months is the Birkie trail marathon on the ski trail made famous on the American Birkiebiener Ski Race.
Last summer I was ready to be done with marathons and the significant training time investment. That sentiment persisted until about thirty-six hours after I finished the 2009 Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon. Then any reservations I had total evaporated after I was a spectator at the May Green Bay Cellcom Marathon and Madison Marathon. As much as I enjoyed watching I would much rather be running.
The Birkie Trail run in the last few years has had a half-marathon and team relay marathon. This will be the first full marathon on a course that will be run point-to-point and south to north. Late September in northern Wisconsin could mean anything for weather from blowing snow, driving rain, high heat, or a perfectly crisp and cool fall day. We will see.
This will be by far the hilliest marathon I have run. My previous marathon races – Milwaukee, Whistlestop, Fox Cities, and Twin Cities – are all known for flat and fast courses. Before the marathons I did run/hike the Glacial Trail Run 50K in Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine State Forest. The climbs up the moraines and descents into the kettles were frequent, fairly short, and steep. The Birkie trail hills, at least on the map, look higher, longer, and just as steep.
I regularly review EMS related products for EverydayEMSTips.com. I know from comments on past posts and analytics that many readers share my interest in recreational running and cycling. If you have a product that you would like me to use during my Summer and Fall training and racing I would be happy to consider it. View my product review guidelines.