Challenges for 2020 – madder than usual

The Ridgeway – route of The Race to the Stones

After the cycle ‘everest’ in 2017 and last year’s solo ride out to the alps, I promised to do no silly solo challenges in 2019. I’ve kept to it, neither the Rotterdam Marathon nor the Ride London were solo.

However, I am completely sure that the promise was limited to 2019 so all bets are off for 2020 so ‘silly’ is permissible – possibly even ‘mad’ is allowable.

The current thinking revolves around cycling, a marathon, a triathlon and an ultra marathon. Specifically:

  • to give the White Horse Challenge a real go in April, with the aim of finally breaking 5 hours for the 150km ride. That takes care of the early part of the year as it will require some proper training of the sort I rarely do in the first few months (being a cold weather wimp). The plan is to ride at least 1000 miles before mid-April and perhaps a trip out to an early season training camp?
  • to have a go at the ‘Race to the Stones’ in July. I was tempted by the full 100km route but doing ‘just’ the second day of the event (50km starting from near Wantage and finishing in Avebury) seemed slightly less mad, given that this will be my first ultra marathon, and it being along the Ridgeway and not on nice flat tarmac. My usual gym companion had mentioned doing this but seems to have decided not to – shame. I have entered although I don’t see how I can get a full training plan in around the White Horse Challenge so I think this will be less of a race for me, more an extended run/jog/walk
  • I’ll try to be fitter for my weeks cycling in the alps to be closer to the front up the mountains than I was this year (not that we are competitive, of course). The focus on running for the Race to the Stones might not help much
  • I’ll do a marathon later in the year – possibly Bournemouth (where we have a house) or Abingdon, (near to us in Oxfordshire) or (more exotically and harder to get into) Berlin – but the aim will be to go under 4 hours, aged 65. With luck, both sons will run with me this time (‘with’ being a word to describe being in the same race, not denoting running together for very far)
  • I’ll get back in the pool and see if I can fit in a sprint triathlon in 2020 and improve my swimming sufficiently to go for an olympic distance triathlon in 2021.

No real idea if any of that’s achievable and there is a huge amount that could go wrong and ruin it all – but it’s good to have some targets in mind.

12 thoughts on “Challenges for 2020 – madder than usual

      1. Julie

        Thanks Vince! My poor dad died 3 weeks ago so I’ve been all over the shop really. But back to work and running so that keeps things normal.


      2. The Omil Post author

        So sorry to hear that. We lost my mother-in-law 3 years ago. Our only comfort was that she would not have wanted to carry on with the quality of life she had. My sympathies to you, your family and all who knew your father.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Julie

        Thanks Vince. Yes I hope I will have that comfort in future but don’t really feel it yet, though I don’t think there was a way back for Dad.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. aquavista

    I like the sound of this Race to The Stones thing, which has has appeared in my social media feeds as if by magic 🤷🏻‍♂️😃. I must look into it more……have you done similar (or this) before?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Omil Post author

      I’ve been vaguely aware of the Race to the Stones/Tower/King series – but have never thought about having a go until I started to look for some challenges for 2020. I’ve only done ‘ordinary’ marathons before but the RTTS looks like a fairly gentle introduction to ultras and trail running (and is almost on my doorstep). A bit of a leap into the unknown for me but that’s what challenges are all about (he says, whistling in the dark).



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