If Ryan Hall can use God as his coach I see no reason why crowd sourcing may not work just as well? I have been debating the pros and cons of the best race option to earn a qualifier for the 2017 U.S. National 24 Hour Team. I have outlined my thoughts around each of the four 24 hour races that are candidates. I have lots of opinionated ultra runner friends. Let me know what you think! What would you do?
- North Coast 24 - Sept 17th, 2016 – 24 days
- Due to my injury and mental blocks I have not had much time to train. My volume was way down for over a year with most weeks with less than 25 miles. I had gained a lot of weight.
- The weight seems to be falling off rapidly now that I have my diet in order and I should be able to drop another 10lbs in the next 24 days which will put me at a really good racing weight.
- There is no way to get any more volume between now and then, my next and last long run will be Runway 27 miles on Saturday. I will be running this at or below MAF HR of 138 as all of my runs for more than a month. This has been going great and fitness is improving and I feel refreshed and invigorated before and after running.
- My current plan for North Coast 24 is here. With an act of god I could hit a qualifier here but I have serious doubts on that. If I feel like it could impact my performance in any of my other chances I will drop. Strangely this lack of pressure seems to be bolstering my confidence.
- One Day at the Fair – Nov 12th, 2016 – 80 days
- Close to home, friends and family could easily come out to support me.
- It would be cool as a lifetime NJ resident to qualify for a national team in my home state.
- 80 days would be an ideal timeline with my current base training.
- Any runner that hits the USATF Qualifying Standards in the 24 hour event will be issued a check for the opening entry fee upon completion of the event.
- Big bummer is it’s one week before the JFK 50 miler which I am already registered for.
- Desert Solstice – Dec 10th, 2016 – 107 days
- This is an elite field on an ideal surface but the obvious drawbacks of being on a 400 meter track and higher pressure environment.
- I have nightmares of the travel and recovery from this race in 2014.
- Across The Years - Dec 31st, 2016 – 129 days
- Should make for a nice holiday, with a spa hotel available for rest and relaxation after the race.
- I enjoy the running party atmosphere of this race and the crushed gravel path
- Its the last chance to qualify. This gives the most time to train, which could be good or bad since I have fallen apart during long training blocks before. Should have a good idea of all of the top 6 qualifiers times.
The qualifying window doesn’t close until April 2nd 2017 but I don’t think there are any 24 hour USATF certified races after Across The Years. Does anyone know of any other qualifiers? What do you think?