At the beginning of the year, I set out to complete a great big fitness challenge: in honor of my 40th birthday, I decided to compete in 40 races in 2019. I’m happy to share that I’m halfway to my goal, and have achieved some notable accomplishments along the way, including – drum roll please – my first-ever age group podium win!
I’m going to get into details of that age group podium win shortly, but first, some big picture stats. I’ve done 20 races since the beginning of January. I’ve done more races in the past five months than I’ve ever done in any previous year. Wow.
Five of the races were stair races. Six of the races were 5K runs, and a seventh was a 3-mile run, which is almost a 5K. Seven of the races were 10K runs. And I also did the Red Bull 400, which belongs in its own “WTF, this is crazy” category. That’s 20 races!
It boggles my mind that I’ve already covered over 100 kilometers / 62 miles in races so far this year, and I’m only half done with my challenge! (And that figure doesn’t even include the vertical miles from the stair races!)
All this racing has taken a toll. I’ve pretty much done a race every weekend of the year, with only a couple exceptions, and I’m feeling pretty worn down. Last week I decided to start taking it easy during the week, and limit myself to daily long walks with JJ or maybe just a moderate workout once or twice.
Then, this morning, I woke up with intense pain in my foot. I must’ve rolled or strained it yesterday, but I didn’t notice it at the time. I’ve experienced this before, and time and rest will do wonders, so I’m taking a couple days off from exercise altogether. I have a few races already lined up for June, and I want to be healed for them!
I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that I’m keeping track of all my races. OF COURSE I AM, because I’m a nerd and that’s what nerds do. So here’s my updated list, all the way up to #20, with added information on races I haven’t mentioned yet on this blog. (The first 13 already appeared in my last #40years40races challenge update, so if you read that post, just scroll down to #14.)
2019 #40years40races Races!
1) Dallas Vert Mile. 1/13/19, Dallas, Texas. Stair race, 550 stories. Read more here.
2) Winter Fun 10K. 1/20/19, Long Beach, CA. Time: 1:06:39. Read more here.
3) Beverly Hills 10K & Fitness Blast. 1/27/19, Beverly Hills, CA. Time: 1:04:02. Read more here.
4) Surf City 5K. 2/3/19, Huntington Beach, CA. Time: 30:24. Read more here.
5) Valentine’s Day 10K. 2/9/19, Encino, CA. Time: 1:03:52. Read more here. (Note: due to a poorly marked course, I ran 6.4 miles instead of 6.2. I crossed the finish line in 1:06:02.)
6) Miles of Music 5K. 2/17/19, Los Angeles, CA. Time: 28:22. Read more here. (Note: Not a PR because I’m fairly certain the course was shorter than a 5K.)
7) Scale the Strat. 2/24/19, Las Vegas, NV. Stair race, 108 stories. Time: 14:42. Read more here.
8) OutClimb Cancer Challenge. 3/2/19, Salt Lake City, UT. Stair race, 6 hours, 1.9 vertical miles. Read more here.
9) The Enormous Elephant Run 5K. 3/9/19, Los Angeles, CA. Time: 33:47. Read more here.
10) Fox Trot 5K. 3/10/19, Los Angeles, CA. Time: 33:07. (Note: I ran 3.23 miles, instead of 3.1, for the reasons outlined here.)
11) Sunrise Marathon (5K). 3/23/19, Novato, CA. Time: 33:18. (Another race where, because it was poorly marked, I ran 3.25 miles instead of 3.1.) Read more here.
12) Fehringer Ranch Race (3 miles). 3/31/19, Morrison, CO. Time: 30:19. I ran with JJ – his fourth race! Read more here.
13) Run Michigan Cheap – Northville Edition 10K. 4/7/19, Northville, MI. Time: 1:00:20. Read more here.
14) CN Tower Climb for Nature. 4/14/19, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Stair race, 144 flights. Time: 19:12. Read more here.
15) Milford Easter Dash 10K. 4/20/19, Milford, MI. Time: 1:05:35. Most of this was on very hilly, muddy dirt roads, and had I known that, I would’ve worn my trail shoes!
It was very chilly that morning – below 40 degrees – and in addition to the cold, it was a very challenging course in a small town about 30 minutes away. They had a professional photographer taking pictures during the start of the race…
…and here’s my finish:
45 minutes after I finished, the sky opened up in a tremendous downpour. I’m glad I finished when I did!
16) Storm the Stadium. 4/27/19, South Bend, IN. Stadium stair race. Time: 36:41. Read more here.
17) Upland Hills School – Over the Hills and Through the Woods 10K. 5/4/19, Lake Orion, MI. Time: 1:10:48. What a blast from the past! I went to a summer day camp at a farm when I was 9 or 10 years old, and that farm was the venue for this trail run! Lots of memories came flooding back.
And I met baby cows!
This was the race where I won my first-ever podium medal! Out of all the men in the 40-49 age group, I came in second place! As I said on Instagram that day,
I came in 2nd out of 2. And 7th out of 8 among Men. And 9th out of 13 overall runners. It was a small race, but it was a tough, muddy, swampy, hilly 6.2 miles. I can laugh that I got a medal for coming in last in my age group, but I’m still proud of my run!
I also got injured at the race. I slipped in the mud while running downhill and took a tumble. I recovered quickly and kept running, and didn’t even realize until after the race that I had scraped up both knees, and was bleeding through my leggings.
It wasn’t fun to clean out those wounds but I was fine.
18) Red Bull 400 Copper Peak. 5/11/19, Ironwood, MI. 400m uphill run. Time: 12:39. Read more here.
19) Groves High School Orchestra Forte 5K. 5/19/19, Beverly Hills, MI. Time: 29:18. A small and special run that benefited my old high school’s orchestra program. And held at a park that I’ve gone to all my life.
The run was through local neighborhoods, and along the route, members of the orchestra were playing music, which was a fun touch. And I was only four seconds away from setting a new PR! So close!
20) Ridge Run 10K. 5/27/19, Chicago, IL. Time: 1:03:39. Held on Memorial Day, in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago, this race was promoted as featuring Chicago’s largest hill. It wasn’t that big – Chicago is pretty flat!
The race was very well organized and executed, and neighbors all along the route were on their porches and sidewalks cheering us on. Some even taped their hoses to trees or signposts, set them on the mist setting, and pointed them into the air, so we could run through the mist and cool down during the run. I loved that – such a great idea!
It wasn’t a particularly fast run for me, but I had a good time, and this was the race that got me to the halfway point in my challenge… so I’m glad I went!
Plus, I may never stop thinking like a 14-year-old boy… but the route of this race totally looks like a wiener.
Stay tuned. I’m going to keep climbing and running, all the way to my 40th race. I’m one month ahead of schedule, and excited to keep this challenge going!
Keep it up, David!
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