2011 Race Schedule

Now that we’re solidly into 2011, I’m starting to seriously consider which races I’ll do this year, my first full year of running. Last year, I only did 5ks until October, so I’m up for trying different/longer races. But based on what I know so far, and where I’ve already put money down, here are my 2011 plans. Are there any others you suggest?

F*ing Freezing Frozen Lake Half Marathon – I was peer-pressured into this small grass-roots race, which is now not really “officially” happening due to permits. But I’m still planning on running 13.1 miles in the cold with friends next Saturday. I think I’m crazy.

Indy Mini Half Marathon – I scheduled this as my very first half marathon, and I think it will still feel like my first “real” half marathon. I’m really excited about it, especially because I’ll have spring weather to train in rather than this icy, cold nonsense. May 7.

Elgin Fox Trot 5k – This was my very first race, and it’s a wonderful hometown race through downtown Elgin and the adjoining historic neighborhood. They also offer a 10 miler that runs all the way to Trout Park, but I think for nostalgia’s sake, I’ll stick with the 5k. In the past, it has been on Memorial Day, so I’m assuming it will be Monday, May 30.

Warrior Dash 5k & Obstacle CourseA warm-weather version of the Cross Country Challenge, with more obstacles and a shorter distance. The course includes cargo nets, mud, a river, bales of hay, fire and more. This may  be the most interesting race of the year. June 18.

Helping Hands 5k – This Elgin race had only 110 participants, but it was my very favorite of 2010. The course was interesting – part subdivision, part open prairie trail, part golf course, with plenty of big hills – and the volunteers were great. The atmosphere was laid back yet energetic, and the post race “party,” sitting on a hillside in the grass, sipping beer in the sunshine, was simple but perfect. Plus, it supports the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin and the Community Crisis Center. I really hope they do it again in 2011. Last year it was the last Saturday of August, so I’m penciling it in for August 27. Though I may  be out of town that weekend…

Sycamore Pumpkin Run 10k – I loved this race in 2010 – great course, excellently managed, and overall just a great experience. I’ll be back this year. Oct 30.

Gifford Park Turkey Trot – This inaugural race had only about 50 people participating (the cold mist and wind kept a lot of registrants home, I think), and no awards or even official times – just two laps around the park, and a guy with a stopwatch at the end. But it was perfect for Thanksgiving morning, and I hope they do it again this year.

Cross Country Challenge – This truly challenging 8k, through prairies and muck and creeks and giant, ice slicked hills was definitely one of the more interesting experiences of 2010, and I’m looking forward to doing it again. December 4.

Apparently if I find good races in April, July and September, I’ll have one a month for the whole “season.” I may look at doing the Fox Valley Half Marathon on September 18 – the course gets excellent reviews and it’s local – but again, I need to see how some fall travel plans shake out.

Any other suggestions?

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5 responses to “2011 Race Schedule

  1. Dang – this is the START of your race calendar?! I think you’ll be running more races than I will this year! Looks like you have a lot of really nice smaller races mixed in with some more challenging courses/distances! Looking forward to running a few of these with you!

    • I think one a month is about right for me – just enough to motivate me to get out there on days I don’t want to run, knowing that there’s a race looming. I’m hoping to slot in some smaller races in the months I still have gaps. Glad we’ll run a couple of these together!

  2. It definitely sounds like you’ve got your plate full. I don’t know all the races I’m doing this year but here a some I know I will be doing:

    April 16th – Fox Trot. This is held in Batavia and is only a 5K but the course is really nice running along the bike path on the Fox River. Ran it last year and had a lot of fun.

    May 7th – Lake Geneva Half Marathon. This will be my first half marathon. My fiance is running the full marathon which will be her third.

    May 14th – Lifetime Fitness Run Wild 5K. This is held at Brookfield Zoo as part of the Run Wild series of races held around the country. It’s a bit steep but you get a shirt and a free pass to the zoo which is nice.

    May 30th – Fox Trot. I ran the 10 miles last year which was the longest race I had ever done and I look forward to doing it again this year. Hopefully I’ll beat my time and that the weather cooperates more.

    There are a bunch of races in the fall that I’ve run before that aren’t posted yet. There is also a really good trail run (8K) in April sometime in Crystal Lake. It was probably the most challenging course I’ve run yet.

    My fiance ran the Fox Valley Marathon last year for the inaugural event. It seemed like it was well put together from what little I saw of it.

    I am hoping *fingers crossed* that the inaugural Jurassic Classic 5K will take place sometime in mid-October to benefit the Elgin Public Museum. Trying to plan this and a wedding may be too much to handle on my plate but I’m going to give it my best shot. Worst case scenario is that it is held in the spring of 2012.

  3. Wow, that’s shaping up to be a great running year! It’s so wonderful to see you – the “I’ve tried it and didn’t like it” woman – enjoying running.

    You have a nice mix in here: long, short; local, travel; plain, odd; new, familiar. If you really want to fill out the year, though, I suggest you add 3 that you’ve not done before. (You may not not have a choice, since I’m guessing you’re probably already doing all the ‘old standbys’ anyway!)

    http://www.cararuns.org maintains a great calendar. BTW, if you’re not a CARA member, join. It’s a good organization that supports the Chicago area running community, as the name implies: Chicago Area Runners Assoc. Click on the “Racing” tab for a list that you can sort by date, location, distance, etc.

    Alternatively, you could volunteer at races in those “open” months. I always add those opportunities to my race calendar. You’ve volunteered before, so you know the energy, excitement and inspiration you get from he experience.

    APRIL: The Shamrock Shuffle is a good one to volunteer at. I don’t like to run it any more because it’s 25,000+ people running (?) 5 miles. Too crowded. The Lakefront 10 is a good race, I hear, and that would be a nice tune-up for Indy.

    JULY: Come on! July has to be easy to find a race! Every town, village and burg has a 4th of July “firecracker 5K”! Do one. They’re fun.

    SEPTEMBER: The Chicago Half Marathon starts and ends in your old college stamping grounds. It’s a pretty nice course – running mostly straight up and down LSD. Unfortunately, the last half is running away from the downtown skyline, but it’s still nice. The beginning is really narrow, but after about 2 miles, it’s wide open on LSD. If you can survive the beginning, the course is fast. There’s also a half mary in Oak Brook that I’ve heard is really nice. I want to do it some year. This may be the year.

    Have a great year!

  4. Pingback: Happy Runniversary | The Adventures of Elginista

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