I don’t think that 01st of January is a great way to start a new year. Most New Year Resolutions fail in the first month.
That’s why for me a new year starts in July as it’s my birthday and every year I do a ‘recap’ to see what progress I’ve made during the past 12 months.
To dive even deeper, I count a year as a quarter, so basically I have 12 weeks year — a concept I learned from the book called The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington.
For me, one week is a month, so I treat each week as a month.
I believe races, ultra / endurance races are great for testing ourselves, testing our fitness levels, testing our mental strength and keeping us accountable. This is where we build resilience, this is where mental strength is built.
You are not sighing up just for a race, you are sighing up for the training required, you are sighing up for discipline, you are sighing up to train your mental strength, you are sighing up for a new you.
The other aspect of ultra trail running is adventure, a big adventure that you get to challenge yourself while doing it.
For this year (2023) racing is finished, as I just completed my last ultra race — Ultra X 110km at Peak Districk. Now it’s time to pause, rest a bit and start again in October.
For next year I signed up for a couple of races that will challenge me mentally and physically.
The terrain, the distances, the elevation and running in new countries. One of the biggest challenges is running a race at night. So it’s different level of hard.
Here are the races I signed up for in 2024:
- Transgrancanaria Classic // 130 km // 22nd February 2024
This race will be super hard as it has 6,800 meters elevation and it starts at midnight — which means I will have to run through the night and the cut off time is 30 hours! You can check their website here.
Their marketing, branding and videos are very poorly done but the only reason I signed up for it is because of the views and the time of the year the race is.
2. UTVV Slovenia / 26th — 28th April 2024
This race has the most beautiful views, spectacular support and the energy is just on a different level. This people care about their runners.
The race is about challenging your boundaries so that you can explore your potential. Their story and their tagline Challenge Yourself says it all.
Disclosure: Way Boutique is working with them.
3. UTS UTMB Snowdonia // 100km // 10–12 May 2024
This race is one of the toughest races in the UK as the elevation and the mountain is no joke. This will be hard on many levels. The terrain, the distance and the brutal cut off times are just hard.
I’m doing the 100km race with 20,997 ft elevation. This is the only UTMB race in the UK so I thought it needed to be done.
Their race video is nothing special but shows the scenery.
4. Val D’Aran Pyrenees by UTMB // 100km // 03–07th July 2024
I know nothing about this race but as soon as I got an email from UTMB and watched the video I was sold on the destination. Obviously there is the trust aspect from a well known brand, their website looks great, every thing just clicks.
For this race I booked accommodation in Moustajon it’s an hour drive from the Val d’Aran but all the places in the village are super expensive so I don’t mind driving for an hour.
5. Kullamannen Sweden
My latest race that I just signed up is Kullamannen in Sweden. There is something about this race that makes it unique and it definitely has a cool element. I suggested this race to a friend of mine and he signed as well.
5. Ironman // TBC
I said I will not do an Ironman next year but… it looks like I’m going to do an Ironman next year because I need a new finisher t-shirt.
Ironman is the best race I’ve ever done in my life, from the time you sign up to the time you finish the journey is incredible. Their videos inspired me to go through tough times when I didn’t want to do it anymore, when I felt like giving up.
I constantly reminded myself that Anything Is Possible.
This is not finalized yet but it looks more likely I will do it.
Other races I was considering doing:
Verbier by UTMB // 05–07th July 2024: https://verbier.utmb.world/
Andorra by UTMB // 14–16th June 2024: https://andorra.utmb.world/
Lavaredo by UTMB // 26th — 30th June 2024: https://lavaredo.utmb.world/
Madeira Sky Race // no dates: https://madeiraskyrunning.com/en/home/
Julian Alpes Trail Run by UTMB Slovenia // https://trailrun.si/en/home/
Ironman Vitoria-Gasteiz // 05th July 2024 // they have one of the best videos.
Ironman 70.3 Crotia // 15th October 2024: https://www.ironman.com/im703-croatia
Dragons Back Race: world's toughest mountain race: 380 km in 6 days // 02nd-07th September: https://www.dragonsbackrace.com/
This are the races I’m doing, if you live in the UK / London specifically and want to do long runs outside London you can join a private FB group I created here.