Du it in the dirt (a spring calendar)

Until Sunday night at about 8:30, I didn’t know how I planned to race this spring. I want to get my upgrade to Cat 3 on the road, but looking at the Virginia calendar, there just aren’t that many races. Still I could race the mid-March VBW Smackdown crit in Suffolk, then Jeff Cup and the Casey Crit in Newport News in mid-April. There was even the very intriguing Fawn Grove Roubaix on April 5, which offers a mix of paved and gravel roads north of Baltimore. But the road races seem few and far between and very much a crap shoot for earning upgrade points (and Fawn Grove is far away).

However, I’ve really enjoyed my Sunday mornings this winter on the Trek Top Fuel hitting the trail in Williamsburg. There’s also a great calendar of mountain bike races in March, followed by a series of off-road duathlons in April leading up to the Off-Road Duathlon National Championships in Richmond on April 25. I’ve been running all winter for Kale Running’s Mud in Your Eye series, which wrapped up Saturday. (I got 2nd in the 40-44 age group for the series.)

So last night as the time to register for Jeff Cup loomed, I decided to stick to the dirt for the next two months (despite past success at Jeff Cup) and see what I can do. Jeff Cup conflicts with the Virginia Duathlon, which will be my first duathlon in preparation for nationals.

My spring schedule (subject to change based on the girls’ spring soccer schedules):

March 8: Camp Hilbert #1 (either enduro or expert vet)

March 15: O-Hill Meltdown

March 22: Ride the Ridge

March 29: Virginia Duathlon

April 5: Dirty Duathlon

April 11: FORD (Fredericksburg Off-Road Duathlon)

April 19: Twisted Tire (Poor Farm)

April 25: National Off-Road Duathlon Championship

While I’m not expecting to make any real noise at nationals, I want to give it my best shot. And I love mountain biking, which is wall-to-wall fun even when you’re pushing yourself inside out. There may be tremendous joy in winning on the road, but it really is as much a game of chance as it is fitness.

I’ve got the rest of the spring and summer to race on the road, but who knows when I’ll get to compete in a national championship in my backyard again.

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