The 2020 road and trail race calendar features numerous fun and challenging opportunities. Alex Busack/GiddyUp Events photo

This is a fun time of the year for road racing and trail running enthusiasts. So much time ahead and so many challenging and fulfilling events from which to choose.

The year is a blank canvas and planning the brush strokes is an enjoyable part of the process.

Although I’ve already plucked off a couple events in the first week of 2020 (a mile sprint in South Portland and an indoor marathon in Minnesota), those were more of an exclamation point to 2019. The new year is about to begin with a fresh marathon training cycle commencing on Jan. 27.

Several years ago, in my mid-50s, it wasn’t unusual to run 30 to 35 races (5Ks to half marathons) a year. Gradually, I began to favor endurance distances (marathons, half marathons, ultras), but that required a change in how many times I could subject my aging body to the pounding of races.

I’ve also become quite attached to the quiet time of long training runs around Kennebunk and Kennebunkport. In all seasons.

Qualifying for the Boston Marathon has been sitting on my shoulder for a few years now, and the biological clock is ticking. With that in mind, for the first time, I enlisted the help of a coach to help develop a formal marathon training plan last summer. Rob Gomez of Eastern Shore Training helped me get back on track after some injuries at the end of 2018.

Following the Wineglass Marathon in October, posting an age-group qualifying time for Boston remains 18 minutes in the distance. But that’s 23 minutes closer than it was before Wineglass. Sometimes it seems as though my auto-immune disease limits the return on the training investment, but I’m going to give it another spin.

Monday, Jan. 27 marks the beginning of preparation for the Maine Coast Marathon. It’s Boston or bust as I make the turn toward 60.

That’s where the bull’s-eye is, as the schedule for 2020 comes into focus. Here the events on the easel as of today:

March 1: Irish Road Rover 5K, Portland.

March 15: United Airlines New York City Half Marathon.

April 4: Falmouth 4 Miler, Falmouth, Maine.

May 9: Maine Coast Marathon, Kennebunk.

June 28: Bay of Fundy 10K, Lubec.

July 17-18: Down East Sunrise Trail Relay, Ellsworth to Eastport.

Oct. 4: Maine Half Marathon, Portland.

Oct. 18: Mt. Desert Island Marathon.

Nov. 14: Wells Veterans’ Day 5K.

Dec. 5: Millinocket Half Marathon.

Looking for local events? Here are some upcoming dates:

Jan. 26, Robert Burns 10K, Westbrook, www.crowathletics.com/robertburns10k.

March 14, Thirsty Leprechaun 5K, South Portland, www.thirstyleprechaun5k.com.

April 4, Race 2 the Point 5K, Scarborough, www.race2thepoint.org.

April 18, Kennebunkport 5 Miler, www.running4free.com.

April 25, Dash for Dyslexia 5K, South Portland, www.running4free.com.

April 26, Memorial Middle School Wellness Run 5K, South Portland, www.running4free.com.

May 2, Southern Maine AIDS Walk/5K, Ogunquit, www.peabodycenter.org/aidswalk/.

May 9, Maine Coast Marathon and Half Marathon, Kennebunk/Biddeford, www.mainecoast262.com.

May 17, Wells to Kennebunk Beach 10 Miler, www.running4free.com.

June 7, Kennebunk Beach Classic 5K, The Center, Lower Village Kennebunk, www.seniorcenterkennebunk.org/5k/.

June 20, Sailors and Sirens 5K, Kennebunk, www.sailorsandsirensrun.com.

Dan King is editor/page designer for the Kennebunk Post and South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Sentry. He may pull a Forrest Gump and walk home if he qualifies for the Boston Marathon.

 

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