Like most people, I have set my fair share of New Year’s resolutions and start-of-year challenges. From healthy eating to run day streaks and mileage goals, I have succeeded and mostly failed at a wide spectrum of ambitions set on January 1st. Despite my batting average, the process of annual goal-setting is important to me in creating an initial direction to guide my training and preparation.
As I thought about goals for 2021, I couldn’t help but think about this crazy year we have completed…finally. So many of us had plans that went up in smoke as COVID-19 spread across the world. The race calendar provides a reliable framework for runners, but with the vast majority of races and events cancelled across the country, runners have had to get more creative.
Fastest Known Times (or FKTs) have boomed in the past 9 months as the pandemic impacts have grown. I have been awed by some of the incredible performances and this relatively new form of running experience creates so many unique opportunities for runners of all ability levels to design their own route or take their shot at a one of the thousands of routes already created outside of a race environment.
Goal 1 – Complete 1st 50-mile distance race
Although I have run a 50-mile training run in the past, my longest race distance thus far has been 40.5 miles. I am excited to continue building my endurance training to conquer a 50-mile run. Pending impacts from COVID-19, I am planning to take on the Beast of the East 50-miler on April 10th.
Goal 2 – Create a new long-distance running route in the Triangle area and establish an FKT
There are a handful of established routes in the Triangle area of North Carolina with FKTs, but I think there is a lot of room for additional creative routes. I am excited to scour the local greenways and Google maps to develop a route that connects the three triangle cities (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill) into one long-distance route that can earn FKT status.
Goal 3 – Strengthen the downtown Raleigh running community through the East Street Run Club
I am most excited about this opportunity in 2021. The East Street Run Club got off the ground in December hosted at the brand new Current Wellness studio on East St. in Raleigh. Owners Brit and Nathan of the Current have been wonderful in helping to create a welcoming environment for runners pre and post run and we are steadily growing participants. The east downtown area has so much life and we are excited to weave a run club in with the culture and community being built in this area. I hope 2021 brings more collaborations with local businesses, more awesome participants, more runs, and a continued growth in the running community.
Goal 4 – Host and direct a unique running event in the Triangle
A dream of mine for a long time, I am very interested in hosting and directing a race. With COVID-19 impacts, this may not happen in 2021, but I’m excited to give a run at it (see what I did there?). I have a number of ideas for potential running events, but mostly I’m excited to bring a unique running experience to the area that both challenges runners and builds on the great running community of this area. Races are about lots of different things for different people. Some runners race for the competition, others for the challenge, others for the community, others for the route, others for the swag, and others for the food/drinks at the end. I’m hoping to develop an event that caters to all of these reasons.
I hope you all reach your goals for the new year and most importantly stay healthy and active. I’d love to hear what your goals are for 2021! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect on Instagram @fatguysrunningmarathons.