My 2014 Race Schedule….Roughly.

MontMichel

It’s slightly past that time of year, again, but, I figured I’d give a quick overview of some of the races I’ve got on the calendar for the upcoming year.  As is usually the case, the events I ultimately end up competing in will be a blend of races seen below, as well as last minute additions based primarily on my work/travel schedule (which, is in and of itself, last minute).

Right now, the focus is mostly on running, and will largely remain that way into May.  I’m still cycling multiple times a week, but swimming is a bit more backseat right now.  As I get closer to April/May, the cycling portion will grow larger, but for now it hangs out pretty constant with a blend of both indoor trainer rides and outdoor long rides.

Here’s how things are looking as of now:

February: Barcelona Half-Marathon
March: TBD
April: Paris Super Sprint Tri, Boston Marathon
May: Mont Saint Michel Marathon
June: Olympic Distance Tri, narrowing down a few French & US options
July: Alpe d’Huez Triathlon
August: Olympic Distance Tri, narrowing down a few options
September: Satrouville Triathlon
Fall: Running races in Europe

So, that’s the rough thinking.  Here’s a few items of note in the above:

Boston Marathon: The Girl has a spot already, and I’m in discussions with a few charities on finalizing a spot with one of them.  I’d be running the race with The Girl, as her first Boston Marathon (you can see my past run run of it here).

Paris Super Sprint Tri: This is largely an indoor triathlon, except the run, similar to the one I did a few years back.  This one is being put on by the local expat triathlon club, which I’ve hung out with a few times and are a good group of folks.

Mont Saint Michel Marathon: This should be fun. It’s a one-way race that ends in front of the famous Mont Saint Michel island and cathedral.  The same place that one of the Tour de France Time Trial stages ended this past year that we went up and watched.  It’s also pictured above.

Alpe d’Huez Triathlon: I’m pretty excited about this one.  The course is right up my alley. After a swim, you’ve got a straight shot mostly flat bike section for a little bit before you bike up the famous Alpe d’Huez climb.  Then, once up top you’ll do a 5-mile on/off-road run.  Super excited.

March: I’m not sure if I’ll race anything in March.  My travel schedule while far from final is kinda wonky looking with at least 1-2 pond-hopping trips going on.  So perhaps I’ll do something last minute close to where I am for work on a given weekend.  Or perhaps nothing at all.

June: I’m looking at a few options in continental Europe for a June tri.  Ideally one involving only a single train, or a single drive.  Last year I did the Stowe Triathlon north of London, but that was honestly a bit of a pain logistically for me from Paris with train + transfer in London to rental car + drive out of city.  So, simpler this time.  At the same time, I expect to be back in the US East Coast later in the month, so I might just do something in the US then.  Definitely tri focused.

August: This is also a bit dependent on how my summer shapes up location wise.  While the Virgin London Tri in early August is appealing, it doesn’t mesh date-wise with Alpe d’Huez being 3 days earlier.  So that’s kinda out.  Ideally something more mid-month would be best.  And again, simplicity from a travel standpoint is key with a bike.

Fall Running Races: There’s lots of options here.  Last year I ran the Paris to Versailles ~10-Miler in September, and there’s a few other options in/around France/Europe that are easy to get to.  With just running, I’m a bit more flexible on the travel side since I’m not dragging a bike along.

Alcatraz

Obviously, scheduling wise you don’t see me targeting a half-iron or iron-distance event this year as my work travel simply doesn’t really permit me to train for it the way I’d want to (primarily on the long bike side).  Someday I’ll return to those events – and some of the European ones look incredible.  But not quite this year.

Now, for those curious about how I structured my schedule – it doesn’t quite have the same flow that you might typically follow from a build standpoint.  This is somewhat because I didn’t actually take a break of any consequence coming off of my marathon back in late November.  I pretty much just kept on training.  So my running base and paces are fairly strong right now – which is ideal.

I’ll have to increase my swimming as we get closer to the season, but since swimming is a logistical and quality nightmare here in Paris, I tend to focus as much as possible on the bike/run pieces.

Typically, you’d want to do some sort of event build – in terms of distance.  For example, if you were aiming for a June Half-Ironman (triathlon focused), you’d typically do an Olympic distance event no later than May, and a sprint around April.  Logical build and progression to work out any kinks (nutrition, transitions, etc…).

I talk more about that whole process in this post: Reminder and tips: The triathlon registration season is upon us

Now, if you haven’t done any sort of triathlon planning at all (first time), I’d recommend checking out a post I did on ‘How to kick start your way to your first triathlon’ – which basically talks through all the logistics of planning a season and going from zero to hero.  It’s often a surprise to many how quickly races – especially in the US – sell out.  Many big name or popular races have already sold out back in November/December, as people plan their full seasons around them (obviously, Ironman races sell out 364 days in advance).  So do some digging now, not later.

And the same is true of fall running races.  Those events tend to have registration opening up between January and April.  This would be for major events like the fall marathons, 10-milers, and so on.  Anything that’s highly popular and sells out you’ll want to be on top of.  Events like the Marine Corps Marathon in DC will sell out in a day or two (or less).

With that – if you’ve got any suggestions for the TBD slots in my schedule above – feel free to drop them down below in the comments.  I’m always interested!  And, if you have any schedule/first-time-triathlete type questions, the same as well!

Thanks for reading!

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70 Comments

  1. lex

    The Alpe d’Huez triathlon is definitely going to be great. I did it last year and it was worth the trip (I’m from Holland)

    Reply
  2. TheBlackKite

    What about the Luxembourg Night Marathon on the 31 May? From Paris it is just a jump away ;-)

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I think my coach might kill me if I do two marathons on back to back weekends. ;) Or, my legs might strike!

      Reply
  3. Michael

    Hi Ray, I’m doing Alpe D’Huez as well. It is my seasonal highlight and I am very exicted too. Hope to see you there. As a beginner (I have never done a triathlon before, but I’m planning two olympic ones before) I’m sure not in your pacegroup. Your Blog helps me well through the triathlon world and I want to say thank you for that. Greetingf from Berlin! Michael

    Reply
  4. Ivan Diaz

    In June, you could run Laredo a Olympic Distance triathlon (no drafting) in the north of Spain, I ran it last year and it was very well organized, Cantabria is a charm region, with beaty landscapes, and good food. It is not a thousands of people triathlon, but the level is quite high.
    Yo have also an olymplic distance or two in Madrid in June (both with several distance options in paralell from supersprint to half distance) that take place in former ITU World circuit o similar.
    Best regards from Spain

    Reply
  5. Mr Magoo

    ‘lo
    I’m thinking of doing the alpe d’huez short distance. How long are you gone be on spot before ?
    ’cause of altitude impact… fake or not ?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It would have an impact, but I’m not terribly worried about it to be honest. We’ll probably go down a day or two before. But with the TdF ending in Paris on Sunday, we’ll definitely be there for that, and then maybe drive down Mon/Tues. The race is Thursday.

      Reply
    • slartiblartfast replied

      Sounds as though you will be doing the “short” version of the Alpe d’Huez triathlon. The long course is strictly for masochists. It is a brilliant race – if you like climbing. It is definitely worth getting there two or three days before and staying in Alpe d’Huez to get a bit of acclimatising in. Being in the mountains the weather can be variable …

      Reply
  6. Dave southgate

    What about Dartford midnight ironman. Eurostar door to door. Depart Saturday morning return Sunday having bagged a ironman finish. Just treat it as a long training session :)

    Reply
  7. Rabany florent

    Go to the Natureman (4octobre). Best half ironman ever link to vimeo.com

    Reply
  8. Troy McLure

    There is a Triathlon in Abu Dhabi on 15th March would be great to see you do an article on it.

    Great blog by the way :)

    Reply
  9. Nicolas

    There is a nice triathlon in Barcelona October 5th.

    Reply
  10. Brian mclellan

    How about the coniston old man triathlon in June?

    Reply
  11. The Mont St. Michel Marathon will be my first ever Marathon !! I’ve just started training (along with my Christmas gift, the Garmin FR 220). Although you’ll finish LONG before me, it’ll be pretty cool knowing that somewhere in that mass of people someone else I “know” will be there too ! Have fun !!

    Reply
  12. Michel

    Nice program for 2014, here in the Netherlands is an good OD 15th of June in Huizen.
    Would scratch that september sprint-tri and replace it with one of the nicest 1/4-tri’s around which is in my hometown Weesp. obv did my 1st triathlon last year in this race.

    Reply
  13. Den

    Ray, we will have Kyiv Triathlon Cup on 28th of June link to triathlon-cup.com (sorry, site is in Russian :))
    A short video from last years start link to vimeo.com
    They moved swimming stage to the much better place this year.
    p.s. Chicken Kiev is on me ;)

    Reply
  14. i’m actually tempted to do a Paris Super Sprint Tri… though, this is just one week before Paris marathon, so I don’t know in what condition i will be on that weekend…

    Reply
    • Nick replied

      Matty, the Super Sprint is one week AFTER the Paris marathon – so a great way to help recovery ;-) – i’m doing both

      Reply
  15. Happy Runner

    A charity slot for the Boston Marathon? Sacrilegious! It’s time for The Girl to accomplish solo.

    Reply
    • A runner replied

      I must agree, to run Boston without qualifying dilutes the integrity of the race. If you would like to raise money for charity great, please pick one of the other thousand marathons. Instead of buying your way into Boston, make your own race. My father ran Boston 16 times and every time my mom, two sisters and I would have a race of our own to see how many times we could cheer my dad on. Our record was 8 times, I dare you to beet it.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Shrug, to each their own.

      Ultimately, I’ve qualified in the past – including re-qualifying at Boston itself.

      Reply
    • Ronald Scott replied

      I definitely agree with the others. The past is the past. In your most recent attempt, you were not able to achieve the qualifying standard. Running Boston is an honor that should not be diminished by those with disposable income who can buy their way in. Maybe it is just me, but I’d feel horrible being shoulder to shoulder with a runner who earned their way in if I knew that I missed the qualifying standard and was reduced to buying my way in.

      Reply
    • Greg replied

      “dilutes the integrity of the race”??

      Piffle. Charity runners are part of the deal, laid out in the rules. There aren’t a lot of them, they don’t “dilute” anything.

      (not that it matters, but this will be my third Boston, qualified for each one, including re-qualifying with a PR in last year’s race)

      Ray–glad you and The Girl are coming to Boston! The weather has been crummy the last few weeks, but it (probably) won’t be snowing in April.

      Reply
    • Ganabu replied

      Raising money for a charity… diluting a race? Doing something to help less fortunate rather than a selfish act just to brag about. Think about it dude.

      Reply
    • Timeless Dancer replied

      A CHARITY entry to the Boston Marathon? “Say it ain’t so, Joe!”

      Reply
    • sebas replied

      You are only as good as your last race ;)
      Great list, makes me wanna step up my game, good luck in Boston!

      Reply
  16. Bob Zipperlen

    Ray, Philly tri is on June 21and 22, with direct flights from Europe. Hope to see you there. Thx

    Reply
  17. Mark

    At least run the BAA 5k 2 days before the marathon! link to baa.org

    If you haven’t done it before, run with 10,000 of your closest friends. Fast. I did a 21:30 last year, and didn’t break the top 500! I was even 70th in my AG. I registered for it yesterday, when registration opened. Expensive for a 5k though, but you’ll be here anyway. And it’s a lot cheaper than another trip to an airport…

    Reply
  18. Ray it’s great/not so great you haven’t committed to going long in Tri…when are you going to commit? Mate looking forward to it

    Reply
  19. Sebas

    How about the Marathon Des Alpes-Maritimes from Nice to Cannes in November. Look great!
    link to marathon06.com

    Reply
  20. Fran

    For Spanish runners, Behobia – San Sebastian is a must in November. Google it or check my mail :)

    Reply
  21. Alfie

    Did you ever get to enter the NYC Marathon? I noticed that you did apply for the lottery twice in your blog but didn’t see anything else on it. Being originally from NY, it is my dream to run this marathon and actually secured guaranteed entry this year (woot!) via the missing 3 times route (I was in the last group that could qualify this way).

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, I only tried those two times. At one point the qualifying bar was a few minutes easier and I had a qualifying time that way (it used to be 1:23 for a half). But, now it’s down to 1:19, or roughly a 6:00/mile. Not quite feeling that lucky for next weekend…

      Reply
    • Alfie replied

      Try the lottery again. At $11, it’s a bargain! Or you can go via charity although some people seem to object to this. I don’t as it is helping a good cause, in my opinion.

      Reply
  22. I ran this past NYC Marathon. What an experience! You’ll love it Alfie, being a New Yorker especially, since each borough has it’s own flavor..

    Reply
  23. A great, nice and fast race in the Netherlands: SevenHills in Nijmegen. I’m sure you have heard about it. Highly recommended for solid organisation, great public, hilly but (very) fast.

    Reply
  24. momoftwins

    Ray-just thought I’d mention that the Marine Corps Marathon has switched to a lottery system because the servers crashed last year when everyone tried to sign-up the day it opened. Guess you don’t follow the DC race scene as close you used to! Love your blog, it really helped me decide on what was going to be my first GPS running/bike watch, the Garmin 610. Haven’t tried it on the bike yet, but I wanted to get as much bang for my buck!

    Reply
  25. Wow, what an amazing list. Mont St. Michel looks fantastic. I can’t wait to see some shots while you’re there!

    Reply
  26. Minh Nguyen Ba

    Did the Alpe d’Huez tri short distance last year and it definitely was the highlight of my season.
    Going for the long distance this year!

    Reply
  27. Jan van den Hoven

    If you’re still looking for an OD distance in June
    link to triatlonnieuwwest.nl

    Amsterdam – paris has a direct train connectiong.
    English pages aren’r update for 2014.
    Exact dates are june 7 and 8 2014

    Reply
  28. Magnus

    I would like to run the Mitja Marató in Barcelona (hopefully next year). I am looking forward to the race review. Bona sort!

    Reply
  29. Dsoler

    Great! I’ll run the Barcelona half-marathon too! The race route is not the best for city sightseeing, but you have a better chance 4 weeks later with the marathon :-)

    Reply
  30. James

    Come and do the Abingdon Marathon, Uk on 19th October, speedy course and can sample Oxford for the weekend

    Reply
  31. Greg

    The Lausanne Tri (Formerly a round on the WTS) is on the 23/24th of August. It’s an enjoyable race set on Lake Geneva. When I did it the transition area was in front of the Olympic Museum

    link to trilausanne.ch

    Reply
  32. Stacey Scarboro

    Have a look at Rev3 Williamsburg. They have an Olympic distance option. I did it last year and will be doing the 70.3 option this year. Great area and a great event organizer

    Reply
  33. We organize on June 29 an olympic triathlon in Saint-Suliac charming village near Saint-Malo, about 3 hours from Paris. (www.triathlon-cote-emeraude.fr)

    We would be glad to meet you and the girl.

    The Mont Saint Michel was my first marathon, the course is quite flat but beware of the wind (it’s a one way course) and less support between 28k and 35k

    By the way I like your blog.

    Reply
  34. Marcie Mann

    Ray,
    If you’re on the East Coast in June, there’s the IRONMAN 70.3 Syracuse – great race, very hilly, beautiful Central NY… worth a look!

    BTW: Love your blog – I follow it religiously. My husband loves the product reviews. You keep us both happy!

    Reply
  35. Elizabeth

    We are running our first ultra this summer and its close to you. Zermatt ultra on July 5. I’m excited and nervous to run a. An ultra marathon b. an completely uphill race (I’m a downhill runner c. A race where I may be one of very few Americans and d. Running such a race in the middle of an 8 day vacation to an amazing destination I’ve never been to before.

    Reply
  36. Stefan

    for all those races you will likely train a lot indoors – have you tried the XSPIN? link to pafers.com
    Looks like a good motivation!

    Reply
  37. Joseba

    Hi DC, living in Paris yoy should come in june to the Basque Country, where a great MD triathlon will be held for the 28th consecutive year. Great atmosphere and nice place to be.

    Reply
  38. Joseba

    I was talking about Zarautz: link to zarauzkotriatloia.com

    Reply
  39. Brano Jacko

    Hi

    As a preperation for Alpe d’Huez Triathlon you should try this link to oravaman.sk. Quite long movie link to vimeo.com

    If you would like a spot of this sold out event i might get you in .

    Reply
  40. Joshua Williams

    If your looking for a great Triathlon kind of on the East Coast near the end of June, you could come the Chattanooga TN! We will be having our annual Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon, and since we won the bid, about 3 months later we will hold our first Ironman race in Chattanooga, which we have for 5 years. I am hoping to make the Waterfront Tri to kick off for training for the Ironman in 2015! Hope to see ya down here!

    2014 Triathlon Information
    When: Sunday, June 29th, 2013
    What: 1.5k swim / 42k bike /10k run
    Where: Riverfront Parkway / Downtown Chattanooga, TN

    Reply
  41. Chris McNicholas

    Budapest Marathon looks interesting – I think we may enter the relay.

    Reply
  42. John A Galani

    You should try one day the Makeni Marathon in Sierra Leone. It is scenic and quite a change to put it mildly. The only issue is that you will not win against the locals and should definitely try not to push yourself too much in the heat and humidity. In fact you are lucky (unlucky) you might been running in torrential rain the likes of which you will not have seen either! I myself prefer these downpours to the heat, but I then need to take my top off otherwise my top rubs me raw.

    Reply
  43. Arnaud M.

    Ray, I tried to send you an email about it before. A good idea for Olympic in June is the triathlon “Ceux de Verdun” in Verdun. It is a straight 55 mins TGV ride from Gare de l’Est to Meuse TGV and a small shuttle ride afterwards. The swim/run is in the middle of downtown and the bike follows part of the stage 7 to the 2014 TDF, going through the battlefield of Verdun. The event is on June 15th. It is a fun small event in a beautiful historical place but with tough competition.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      That’s very tempting… That might just make the cut, especially with basically an hour TGV + shuttle, exactly what I’d be looking for. Minimal travel logistics messiness. Appreciate it!

      Is it best to sign-up soon on that, or can I ponder a bit?

      Reply
    • Arnaud M. replied

      I don’t believe that it was sold out last year. So I think you have time.

      Reply
  44. PeterG

    My two cents: the Sardine Titus Triathlon in Cassis. One of the most beautiful places in the south of France (link to sardinestitustriathlon.com) or see (link to calanques13.com). Just outside Marseilles. The race is in October. If you haven’t visited Aix en Provence yet, some of the most beautiful biking in France. If you are looking for a late season bike race, one of most popular (and well organized) in France is Les Bosse du 13 (link to bossesdu13.fr). Also out of Marseille.

    Reply
  45. jeanmong

    Try the Aix 70.3 , great race. or any race in Mallorca. (70.3 or challenge tri or full IM). Mallorca is the paradise for Triathletes

    Reply
  46. Andreas Tomek

    See you in Barcelona next weekend!

    Reply
  47. David

    I wouldn’t recommend the Virgin London Tri (even though it’s out logistically this year anyways). Have done it the last 2 years and about the only thing to recommend it is that you get to ride some closed roads in the centre of London. The bike route’s not that nice though even if you do get the Big Ben and back one (and no guarantee you will – you might just get the Tower Bridge turn-around route). The run is too twisty/turny to be fast even though it’s flat. And, it is all a bit “corporate” which can be good in the well run / well organised sense but this one veers too much to the “fee paying punter” feeling I think. Each to their own though as I know others who quite like it.

    I much prefer the Bridge Tri for a London Oly (smaller, much nicer atmosphere, still closed road, still within 30 miles of central London / Eurostar arrivals). Again, not a scenic beauty but no worse than the Virgin one for sure.

    Otherwise, if you’re looking at UK tri’s it’s probably best to make a few days of it and accept the hassle factor of travelling from London – hell, I live in London and do this. (Or if you are going to be in London anyways maybe look at the Thames Turbo sprint tris – 4 a year held on the Monday of the UK long weekends. Not worth a special trip for them but definitely good to do if you’re there anyways.)

    Then there’s always the fact that there are so many awesome looking European ones to look at – am doing my first Euro Tris this year and my first HIMs – both in Austria and really looking forward to it as the courses and settings look great.

    Cheers

    Reply
  48. Camille

    You should totally consider Gerardmer HIM. It’s the first weekend of september and one of the big “classics” in Europe. It’s where IM France used to be before it moved to nice. Great course, great support and logistics. Highly recommended!

    link to triathlonvalleedeslacs.com

    Reply
  49. Hi Ray,

    First of all, thank you for the awesome job that you do with the reviews! Secondly, since you hadn’t filled your fall yet – have you considered just outside Stockholm in Sweden, 30km cross-country, 20 000+ runners and celebrating its 50th anniversary this year?

    Kind regards Mike

    Reply
  50. I did the Düsseldorf T3 tri in 2012 (they have both sprint and oly distance. It’s July 6 this year, so plenty of time between it and Alp d’Huez

    Reply
  51. hi i liked the Mont Saint Michel Marathon :)

    it’s the only marathon where you can see the end from the starting line if the weather is good :)

    Reply
  52. at the end of the summer you can come to Lille (1h tgv from Paris) to run the fastest french half-marathon, very flat, taking place during Lille Braderie famous event

    Reply
  53. john

    hey Ray — hope to see you in Boston. A group of us from an area east of Toronto in Canada meet at home plate in the north baseball field. If you drop by I’ll buy you a coffee or a half-bagel.

    Reply
  54. Ruan

    Come to Cape Town in March for the Argus cycle tour! Biggest timed cycle event in the world along a fantastic route :-)

    Reply
  55. Thomas

    May I recommend World Triathlon Stockholm in Aug 23-25 if you haven’t found something for August yet. Good logistics too!. Fly to ARN (or BMA), direct train or bus into the center of Stockholm where the race (sprint or olympic) take place.

    link to stockholm.triathlon.org

    Reply

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