Race Schedule 2019

So here we are, it’s March already and I need to get my schedule down and decide which races I’m training for. The last three years have been pretty messed up due to family health issues, a sports hernia operation and then being hit by a car, so I haven’t had a full season for quite a long time, fingers crossed this year will go as planned

Gurye Ironman finish
Finishing the inaugural Ironman Korea, Gurye 2017

Last year I started off with the lofty ambition of qualifying for something. I’d have settled for anything to be honest as long as it required qualification, however my unplanned flying lesson provided by an unobservant driver, meant I was lucky to be able complete one triathlon at season end.

This year has gone reasonably to plan so far and I have managed to put in some good base work, so my goal will be to make some significant inroads on my times, then use the improvements this year to launch a brilliant season next year and qualify for something in 2020.

So let’s see what’s in the crystal ball for me in 2019

Nagoya Marathon – 14th April.
I had signed up for this last autumn but then looked like I wouldn’t be in Japan at the time so had given up training for it. However, I may be still in the country so trying to decide if 5 weeks is enough time to ramp up my fitness level to at least not embarrass myself.

I’d class as C+ race, aim to finish under 4hrs and without injury, but seeing as I am not really trained and the chance of injury and screwing up my plans for the year are high, less than 50% chance I will do.

Marbella Half IM. April 27th
Only two weeks after Nagoya marathon, which is another reason I’m not sure if I’ll do that, this, both or none!

This race won’t suit me, not only is it too early in the season, it has lots of climbing and descents on teh bike which really is my biggest weakness. But looked at another way. it is a brilliant way to improve on my limiters and set me up for a great season! Also I persuaded a friend to sign up for this race as his first tri, so feel I should not let him down either.

Interesting note is organisers changed the day yesterday (7.5 weeks before the race) due to the Spanish elections being held on the Sunday. That’s fine and understandable, but I was shocked to see they’ll only offer 25% refund or allow you to change to another race as long as you do by end of next week. Considering many athletes will be flying in from overseas on limited budgets and timescales and would have just found out about the changes, I imagine many will not have the option to rebook their reservations and take extra day off work, so at least the organizers could have offered full refunds. The business side of IM stinks sometimes.

Japan Half IM – 9th June
I have done this race a few times, and very likely to do again. This is potentially my first A race of the year, although there is a slight chance it will not match with my travel schedule

To be honest it’s a horrible race, swim is pretty mucky, the ride is around industrial estates and highways, and the run is hot and messy. But it’s the only IM sanctioned race in Japan, and having missed due to injury etc last few years, want to see how I manage now

Sado B 1st September
This is a slightly longer than HALF IM race on the Island of Sado in northern Japan. One of the most scenic and friendly races I have ever done, totally love it, and will be extra special this year as a huge group of my fellow Triathlon in Tokyo club members (knows as TiTs) will be attending. Has an amazing sea swim of 2km, a 105km ride around half the island, then a 20km run through the countryside, all in lovely early autumn weather. The issue is that its just 3 weeks before my main race of the year, so  maybe a little close to participate. I have to decide in next week before registration for the lottery closes

Gurye IM. 22nd September
I have done this every year since it started in 2017, so this will be by third time. Last year I was all set up for a massive PB until I collapsed on the run, so I am determined to make it count this year and really kick butt. As long as injury, accident or illness keeps at bay then no reason to think I won’t do well, and if things go as plan and I can go around or under 12 hours, then this will be my first concrete step towards qualifying for (insert relevant championship name here – I ain’t fussy) in 2020.

So that’s it for now, to be honest not much of interest to the average reader out there, but maybe you can take some inspiration from my plans. Now I am building up the training schedule to fit all this in, and make 2019 the year I finally make a break through to leap from middle of the back half to middle of the front half and maybe stop feeling like a pretender to the title of Ironman.


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