Excuse the pun as I write this post at a snowy Munich airport, waiting to board a flight to San Jose, CA. I figured I could use the time to give a look ahead on this year's race planning.

Last week I registered for the New York City Marathon, to be held on November 4th, 2018. That is the real reason for this blog post's title. I have to wait until the end of February to find out if I have a spot or not. If I understand the procedure correctly I should have two irons in the fire: I registered for a time-qualifier guaranteed entry. For my age (at race day) the qualifying time is 3:05:00 and with my Berlin Marathon time of 3:01:26 I should be good. However, entries for qualifying times run in non-NYRR races are limited and go first come, first serve. I have to say I'm pretty confident as it only took me five minutes to register. Registration opened at 6 pm local time and my confirmation email came at 6:05 pm. The current status is "Time verification pending". If that option doesn't work out my application is automatically transferred to the lottery, which then is iron number two.

Spring Races

Regardless of the outcome of the fall marathon, I will not run a spring marathon this year. For one, a mental break after the Berlin Marathon is in order. Second, my favourite spring marathons don't align well with my family's calendar this year. Lastly, I didn't get into the London Marathon via last year's lottery.Instead, here's the current plan for spring/summer races:

  • Season opener happens on March 29th, running a local 10km North of Munich. It will be my third consecutive start in that race. The course is flat, fast-ish, with four loops and there is usually a good crowd cheering.
  • Another 10km on May 1st (a bank holiday in Germany) in a race that I've done a twice before, last in 2016.
  • The next races are a staple in my race calendar. Not that I love the track so much, but I like the challenge of going all out on the 400m oval. The result of these races will be added up to a final time, so I have to show up to all of them:
    • 3000m on June 6th – time to spike up!
    • 5000m on June 20th – hold on for dear life!
    • 10000m on July 20th – 25 laps of insanity!
  • To mix up all the track action I'll run a road 5km on June 10th. The race is close to where I work, I know the course inside-out as it covers my usual lunch run paths. In 2016 I finished 4th overall, let's see what this year brings.

And then we wait some more …

I'm still debating whether or not to enter the London Marathon ballot again this year in May. I know I will be running Boston Marathon in April 2019. London is usually a week apart from Boston and I'm certainly not one to run back to back marathons. As I see it though, if I'm lucky and get a spot for the 2019 London Marathon, I should be able to defer the entry to 2020. The downside is that I would have to pay the race entry fee twice. If I enter the lottery, it'll be another long wait, as the results are usually announced in October. NB: Why does it take five months to get the results of a race entry lottery announced?

Fall Marathon

Well, as mentioned in the beginning, the goal is to run the New York City Marathon. It would be my fourth of the six World Marathon Majors. To be honest, in terms of race planning, I currently don't have another option for a fall marathon. I'm leaning towards a half marathon instead, but again my favourite races don't work with the family calendar.

And now we wait ...

My season planning for the 2018 season. To New York or not to New York?