2015 Race Objectives

01.13.2015 | 11:24 am

I believe I have made mention, once or twice, that I intend to be fast in 2015. Faster than I have ever been before. No, even faster than that.

I have explained that all of this is with the goal of having an incredibly fast (maybe, for me, unattainably fast) time when I race the Leadville Trail 100. I hope to complete this problem in under eight hours. So I’m doing some serious research on what bike to buy and build, I’m doing all this training, and I’m putting some serious mental energy into the universe to ensure good weather.

And if I get this thing done in under eight hours, here’s my solemn promise: I will tattoo this finish time on my left calf. 

What I have not explained, however, is the extent to which I am planning my year. How incredibly careful I am being in selecting my races. Indeed, I have very specific reasons for choosing each of my races this year. In fact, I would go so far as to call my planning “sublime.” 

You would do well to emulate my race selection strategy and reasons, which I shall now list.

True Grit Epic

My first big endurance race of the year is the True Grit Epic, which is March 14. Two short months away!  There are two variations of this race: the fifty mile version, and the 100 mile version.

I have not yet decided which version I will race, though I am kind of leaning toward the 100 mile version, because I think it will suit my purpose for this race more effectively. 

And my objective for this race? Simple: to humiliate me.

I know full well that this is an incredibly technical race, and I am not a good technical rider. Further, I know that I am about twenty pounds overweight at the moment, and I really doubt that I am going to get rid of more than ten of those pounds by mid-March. Finally, I am hardly going to be in race condition at that point, so the only thing that would kick my corn more thoroughly than a fifty mile race would be a 100 mile race. 

Regardless, my corn will be kicked. Which is precisely what I want

Why? Because nothing motivates me to start dieting better, training more faithfully, and otherwise getting ready for a race season than a really truly horrible result: watching my friends and would-be competitors—people I should be just as fast as, if not faster than—completely obliterate me.

I think the True Grit Epic will accomplish this objective very thoroughly. I can hardly wait.

[Bonus: The weather for the True Grit Epic has been completely awful for all but one of the years it’s been put on. This should augment my misery and self-loathing nicely.]


I am so excited for Boggs, and not just because I’ll get to race with BFF (Best Friend of Fatty) Jeff Dieffenbach and Levi Leipheimer in the eight-hour relay.

No, I’m also excited to be racing because by this time (first weekend of May), I expect to be at racing weight and in racing form, so plan to really give my all in the Hill Climb the day before the relay.

Specifically, my strategy is to feel really strong and fast as the days lead up to the race. Maybe I’ll even pick up a few of those newfangled annual KOMs on Strava (you know, the ones that are designed to help you feel better about the fact that you can’t get a real KOM on the same segment).

I plan to start secretly harboring plans of podiuming in my age group. Maybe even show folks in the next age group down a thing or two about a thing or two.

Then, on race day, I expect to discover how adorably slow I am, relative to all the hotshot racers in Northern California. You know, the people who have actual talent, and not the picayune substitute we have for talent in rural Utah.

This will be very helpful in helping me keep my expectations reasonable for other races during the year.

Rockwell Relay

I’m not even going to pretend to be humble about this one. My primary objective for this race—this, the race I care more about than any other race—is to freak my teammates out. You see, The Hammer has gotten a couple of our friends to join and be our teammates, saying this “will just be for fun.”

It will be my objective, for months before this race even begins, to make sure they understand that this is not about having fun. 

Indeed, I have already begun work on this objective in earnest. Last weekend, for example, the four of us went out to dinner. The other three of them kept wanting to talk about other things, but I would drag the conversation back to the topic of The Rockwell Relay, with the tenacity of a badger. 

“Hey,” I said to Lynette, “I know that right now you’ve only got a Tri bike. You need to get yourself an honest-to-goodness road bike pronto, and get used to it.”

“Let’s talk about our racing rotation,” I said, later. “I know we’ve all picked our spots, but I think it might be an interesting exercise to model other scenarios. I’ve created a spreadsheet that will help.”

And I went on. And on. And I expect to continue to do so, to the point that everyone else will start losing sleep before we begin this race.

Why am I doing this? Honestly I have no idea. Certainly, it’s not productive, and it may well be counterproductive. I can’t seem to help myself, though. Not that I’ve tried.

Crusher in the Tushar

This is the last big race before the Leadville 100. My objectives for the Crusher in the Tushar are simple and twofold:

  1. To demonstrate to myself that I am fast, strong, and ready to race The Leadville 100, by beating my best time by half an hour.
  2. Be so far ahead of schedule that I have time to go recover some litter I left near the trail a couple of years ago. I will bring tongs and a ziploc bag for this purpose. 

PS: I’m also considering racing the Park City Point to Point. My objective for this race is to convince The Hammer that it wasn’t so awful the first time and that really, she wants to come race it again.




  1. Comment by Justin L | 01.13.2015 | 11:29 am

    are you doing Levi’s ride this year, there is a new panzer route which means more pain

  2. Comment by The Hammer..Lisa | 01.13.2015 | 11:44 am


  3. Comment by BostonCarlos (formerly NYC) | 01.13.2015 | 11:48 am

    I’m excited for the other Boston Fatty (Jeff)! Should be fun to race in NorCal with Fatty and Levi!

  4. Comment by Dan J | 01.13.2015 | 12:13 pm

    I can’t wait to read 34 days of race reports!

    (Psst. Check your hyperlink to Boggs.)

  5. Comment by leroy | 01.13.2015 | 12:50 pm

    My dog volunteers his services as a tattoo artist for your Leadville time.

    His artistic flair is impeccable, although he has had trouble with his calligraphy.

    My “leroy” tat looks a little like “le rot.”

    He assures me he’s been practicing and the first “t” in Fatty won’t look like an “r”.

    I have to admit the sketch he has for “The Destruction of Pompeii” back tat he’s offering me is quite dramatic.

  6. Comment by T.J | 01.13.2015 | 1:03 pm

    Looking forward to the race reports. Especially the Rockwell Relay (my secret dream is to be able to join you for that one day). Since you’ve started using TrainerRoad, I know you will be fast this year. Lightning fast. Like a greased up hog that’s caught the scent of truffles. (that’s pretty darned fast)
    Loved the DNA jersey (that finally arrived) by the way. It’ll probably be my go-to jersey as spring comes along in a few months. Haven’t started the book yet. I’m saving it for when I move into my new house in about 7 weeks (gonna need a cheap hobby like reading when I start downpayments on the mortgage) And with regards to the pie-eating contest we might one day have… Don’t be to sure of yourself there. When it comes to eating, I am sometimes referred to as a bottomless pit… just saying…

  7. Comment by MattC | 01.13.2015 | 1:31 pm

    Excellent selection Fatty! I truly look forward to all your race reports! My 2015 race schedule looks eerily similar to yours with just a few small differences…here’s my schedule:


    And there you have it! See! Just a hair away from an exact match!

  8. Comment by MattC | 01.13.2015 | 1:33 pm

    Of course, with such a busy schedule, I did leave just a teensy bit of room to slip something in if I HAVE to.

  9. Comment by Mefly | 01.13.2015 | 2:09 pm

    Checked out the video on the True Grit site, looks incredibly technical and awesome. Good luck.

  10. Comment by Miles Archer | 01.13.2015 | 2:22 pm

    As I was riding on Sunday, I was thinking about your race strategy for the relay. Why? I have no idea. I think of the oddest things while on a bike.

    Anyway, I was thinking that you should have two riders working together for the segment where it’s always terribly windy. Being faster on that segment would offset the fact that someone has to ride an extra segment.

    Would this be legal?

  11. Comment by Eric D | 01.13.2015 | 3:23 pm

    Come race the 6 hours of Temecula (http://www.socalendurance.net/12–6-hours-of-temecula.html) in 2 weeks to really beat you down (and make me feel better), then enjoy the 50 miler of True Grit. 50 at True Grit is plenty.

  12. Comment by Jim | 01.13.2015 | 3:33 pm

    You had me at “So I’m doing some serious research on what bike to buy and build…” I can’t imagine there isn’t a bike in the quiver worthy of this task but who am I to say you can’t have another?

  13. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.13.2015 | 3:41 pm

    I think you are setting an excellent map for many of us. It’s frightening to think I have also mapped out a humbling schedule to be ready for August. Not to set any record, but to finish!
    April; SoNoMas, May; Boggs, July; Camp and some ride near Beaver(wherever that is), August; Final Exam.

    I believe DaveT, and ChrisD are thinking Boggs as well so we’ll gather around the table and share some pie.

    Throw in some tandem Centuries to keep Jeffrey happy and you have a year.

  14. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 01.13.2015 | 3:55 pm

    @davidh DaveT, a rider to be named later
    and I are going to make sure that Elden has a very interesting race at Boggs.

  15. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.13.2015 | 4:04 pm

    Of course your race season should conclude with you and Lisa, together, setting new RPI Tandem Record!
    The idea that Jeffrey and I presently hold that spot is ridiculous in the extreme.

    Of course you’ll need a bike, we can go by the shop when yoiu are out for Boggs:

  16. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.13.2015 | 4:16 pm

    Apologies Doug, my mind (what little is left) deserted me (i was not thinking about pie).

    As for the bike, Fatty:

  17. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.13.2015 | 4:55 pm

    The Bike, Fatty;
    (fingers crossed)

  18. Comment by Tom in Albany | 01.14.2015 | 12:22 pm

    Humiliation has been motivating people forever. Planning your own humiliation is a stroke of pure genius and funny at the same time. Someone might refer to you as a Comedian Mastermind. Though, I’m not sure who…

  19. Comment by Heidi | 01.14.2015 | 1:26 pm

    I just love Leroy’s dog…

  20. Comment by Bart the Clydesdale | 01.14.2015 | 1:59 pm

    Fatty, I take it you did not receive the bike in your Christmas list. That sweet ride would surely help along the way to a sub 8 hr Leadville 100.
    If the MTB gods show favor on me tomorrow and I gain entry my plan for a sub 9 is in place. Now I just have to convince Dave Weins to tow me up Columbine, and Powerline.

  21. Comment by davidh-Marin,ca | 01.14.2015 | 2:36 pm

    @Bart the Clydesale I wish you good lottery Kharma! If we can get enough FoF’s in attendance they’ll give us our own starting ‘corral’….with pie. Good Luck!

  22. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 01.14.2015 | 4:29 pm

    I was really hoping to win the Boggs trip and help set a course record (based on Levi and Fatty’s awesomeness, not mine), but it was not to be. Good luck Jeff.

    But as they say, if you can’t join them, beat them! (or something along those lines) so if anyone want’s to make an alternatively fabulous FoF team let me know.

  23. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.14.2015 | 4:44 pm

    There’s a decent FoF attending: DaveT, DougB, ChrisD, myself, and according to Doug, a ‘player’ to her named later. Would like to encourage Yann, Angie, LeighAnne, The Noodle, NicGrillo, The Chapeks, and some of those East Bay Area Fatties to join us.

    My plan was the 8hr solo, but ‘team’ might be an option.

    Would love to have you around the fire sharing some brats….and pie.


  24. Comment by Dave T | 01.15.2015 | 11:48 am

    My race objectives for 2015 are to survive the season. Tierra Bella, Boggs, Rockwell, Leadville, Rebecca’s Private Idaho, Levis GranFondo. Looking to add a few more like this one http://www.climbtokaiser.com/ Davidh any interest in this one good training for Leadville. Fatty I think you will do just fine against some of those fast nor cal folks.

  25. Comment by justin | 01.15.2015 | 4:40 pm

    sounds like a big year! good luck

  26. Comment by warren | 01.23.2015 | 3:30 pm

    You should do the Park City Point 2 Point. I remember reading your blog about last time you did it…..and you suffered a penalty due to course issues. Did this race last year. Course was really well marked, excellent event. I am hitting it again this year. It would be a shame to miss such an excellent race so close to home.

  27. Comment by steve j | 03.10.2015 | 10:44 am

    Your schedule looks like it could use a recovery ride after Boggs? Local Fondo….


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