|Running with Achilles Guide Nacho Valle in the 2017 NYC Marathon. |
I earned my 3rd BQ at that race.
So after racing IM Maryland and stopping my quest at mile 16 of the run, I had two choices. Rest, recover and reload for another go at an Ironman race in 2018, or come up with a new goal. I decided for the later. Deep in my heart, I am confident I will return to Ironman racing. I am also pretty sure it will be in Maryland. As I have stated numerous times, the Cambridge, MD community opens their collective arms to their Ironman visitors. And as I have also stated, Gerry Boyle is an unparalleled race director. Ask any multiple Ironman finisher, who has raced Maryland, I am sure they will all agree.
So my next task was to come up with a new goal. I thought of one of my good friends, Becca Pizzi, the first American woman to complete the World Marathon Challenge. She currently holds the women's record for this race. This challenge is 7 marathons, in 7 days on 7 different continents. There is NO WAY I could complete this task, nor would I try. But my idea is something similar, though not on the same scale.
I have decided that starting with the 2018 Boston Marathon, I am going to complete 12 marathons in 12 months. If I am successful, I will be the first person with dwarfism to complete this goal. I have to date completed 10 stand-alone marathons, and think I have completed the most by anyone with dwarfism. All of this since 2009, when I completed my first, multi-sport race, a sprint triathlon, at the age of 43. I will be turning 52 at the end of January.
I hope to race Boston and finish in less than 6 hours, giving me another BQ time, so I can then race Boston 2019, as the last of my 12 marathons. Luckily this year's Boston is on April 16th, and in 2019, the race will be on April 15th. If all goes according to plan, I will be finishing my 12th marathon on the 6th anniversary of the tragic events that happened in 2013, when the finish line of the marathon was attacked. On that day, I was racing and was stopped less than a mile from the finish line. My wife Sue and son Owen were waiting at the finish line, but were not physically harmed by the blasts.
The trick now is to plan all of those races. I have to try and juggle training, recovery, travel, work, and family life all around this year long task. At this point I have the following races planned, And race in BOLD is either confirmed, or very close to being confirmed.
April 16th - Boston Marathon
May 9th - Toronto Marathon (Lifetime Fitness)*
May 27th - Vermont City Marathon*
June 24th - Sanford Marathon, Sandford, ME
August 11th - Sweltering Summer Marathon* - Pittsfield, MA
September 1st - Nightglow Marathon - Hamilton, OH
October 8th - Newport Marathon* - Newport, RI
November 4th - New York City Marathon
January 13th - Carlsbad Marathon or RnR Arizona or MLK Marathon in Atlanta, GA
February 24th - Hyannis Marathon
Mar11th - RnR Washington DC
April 15th - Boston Marathon
I am grateful that a number of these races (*) have offered me either partial or fully complimentary entries into their races.
I also want to thank Achilles International for their continued support of me as an athlete. My work with the athletes and guides from both the NYC and Boston chapters has been invaluable. My coaches, Brian Hammond, and Travis Hawkins from WORKLIVETRI have been amazing resources and mentors, helping me become a stronger and smarter athlete.
Thank you also to Champion Systems, Seven Cycles, HED Wheels, Blue Seventy, Surf Butta, and Salem Cycle.
I hope to still race two triathlons this summer. I will return to race the NYC Triathlon (8th year in a row for me!) and also the Pumpkinman Triathlon.