For the first time in a while I’m feeling really hopeful that we’re on the back-side of this pandemic. Vaccines are rolling out, case numbers and deaths are falling, and the harsh winter cold is starting to subside. However, there’s still trepidation when deciding to make plans for later in the year. Many of the races I know and love are starting to make their first steps back to returning, but it’s often with caution. Therefore, I’m going into 2021 with that same cautious attitude, but still making some plans.
The big news for 2021 is that my friend Mike B. and I will be tackling a through hike of the Superior Hiking Trail in late September. We’ve both been wanting to do this for a while and the cards seem to all line up to make it happen in 2021. We’re not shooting for an FKT or anything like that. Though, we are hoping for a 13-15 day completion time.
Since this will be a huge adventure, much of the rest of the year will be structured around this, and preparing for it. That still means I’ll be doing some events, but they’ll have a different focus.
So far I’ve only signed up for one race, the Sugar Badger 50K down in southern Wisconsin. It’s a May race, and the earliest that I’d consider doing an in person event. It’s a flat rail trail that I can do mostly self-supported if it came to that, but I’m looking forward to seeing people again. I’m considering returning to the Badger in August, but it might be with the goal of hiking 50K with a 75% full pack (see above).
If Eugene Curnow Marathon happens I’m hoping to get into that one. I need to spend some time on hills and rugged terrain, and I’ve always wanted to do this race. I usually end up volunteering, so need to step out from behind the table from time to time and actually get in a race. Usually this event is in summer, but we’ll see if that happens this year.
Finally, if at all possible, I want to get in on Surf the Murph 25K again. I wasn’t able to do it in 2020, which is the first time in 5 years. It was my first ultra, and the course for my 100 miler, so it has a lot of sentimental value to me. That one is always in October, which means it has a very good chance of happening.
On the biking side I often do a lot of my own adventures, however, this year I might try and sign up for at least one short gravel race. I’m thinking one of the Heck of the North races could be fun, but I’ll need to figure out if the schedule will allow it.
Besides official events I’m sure I’ll be getting out there a lot for fun rides, and I know for a fact that I want to do a couple short bikepacking trips. We had a ton of fun last year loading up the bikes for adventures, and I see no reason that has to change for 2021.
Once my job allows me back in the office I’m also going to try and bike in as much as possible, or use a combination of transit and biking, like I’ve done in the past. I like human powered commutes for both work and pleasure and want to reduce my driving time when possible.
As always I’m sure we’ll be camping and adventuring a lot. Despite the pandemic we still found a lot of opportunities to get out on our own in 2020. Once things start opening up more, 2021 will give us even more options. Even if it’s just short day trips where we hit up a new brewery.
I’m excited for what’s to come this year!