This year I'm getting smart: Rarely will I pre-register just so I can get those great early-bird prices. Too many times in recent years (OK, including this past year) I've had to punt on races because family obligations, travels, or other things came up. Also, I have one more child in college that we hope to visit, and I am on a nonprofit board that meets out of town quarterly. But here are a few I'm tentatively planning on. For now, here are the ones I'd like to do:
1/15: 5K4MLK: An urban run through East Nashville. I actually ran this one last year for the first time. Enjoyable run that's a sizable but not uncomfortably massive field of runners.
2/17: Hot Chocolate 15K: Fairly expensive, but great swag (pullover, medal, lots of chocolate to consume at the finish). Ran this two years ago and nearly froze my--well, let's just say it was dang cold.
2/24: Fangtastic 5K: A fairly boring 5K course through downtown, but OK swag (shirt, medal, 1 free beer) for the money, and hey, we're all about our NHL team in Smashville! Good memories of running this one with my son five years ago, when he won his age division.
3/17: Music City Trail 12K: Never done this or any other trail race before. Would be a welcome change of pace. 12K is a harder distance than it seems. That will be 7 miles and change on trails and gravel roads.
4/14: Purity Moosic City Dairy Dash "The Smitty" 15K: Newish 15K distance for a race that has long had a 5K and later a 10K. The sponsor of the race, a dairy, ran out of ice cream (promised to finishers) when I ran this two years ago. That better not happen again.
4/28: Iron Nugget Triathlon (sprint distance), Dickson, TN: I like this race, in part because the lake will most likely still be cold and I'll be able to use a wetsuit. A hard half-mile swim, followed by running up a bear of a hill to get to transition. By the time of the 5K run, I'm usually just wanting to die.
or, also on 4/28: Bo Bikes Bama in Auburn, AL. Not a race, but a charity bike ride with Bo Jackson! (If you even need to ask, then just leave now.)
5/28: Chattanooga Chase: As I've said many times, this is my favorite race, in large part because it passes in front of my childhood home.
6/9: Buster Britton Memorial Triathlon, Pelham, AL: Never done this race, but it's been around a long time, and I like these shorter-distance triathlons.