Cold Mountain, Flushing Meadows, Utah's Salt Flats + Cathedral Cavern

Plus: How we'll train for the rest of December

Good Tuesday morning! ☀️ I hope you had a great weekend wherever you are in the world — it’s been SO cold here in Atlanta, reaching the 20s on a lot of early mornings here. Still, I like it because it feels like winter. ❄️

I wanted you guys to know how much fun I’m having watching your progress in our Strava group as many of us take on the challenge of running 100 miles during the month of December. I know it’s going to be a big challenge for some of us — me included! — but I love that we’re still getting to stretch ourselves during a time when there are few races running.

What I’m thinking for how we’ll progress is this: we just came off a fall half marathon training program, and I’d love to do another one for a spring race. (Virtual or in-person.) We’ll use this month as an interim to get ready for spring training, to stay in shape before springtime arrives.

And in the meantime, the 100-mile challenge is a great intro to a range of running challenges we can try in the future — in fact, one of our fellow members just completed 100 miles in 11 days!

Let me know your thoughts — and go out there and have a great run this morning. Stay warm!

— Terrell

Sri Chinmoy New Year’s Day Half Marathon

Queens, N.Y. | Friday, January 1, 2021

Run through one of New York City’s iconic parks at this (probably cold!) race, which will unfold inside Flushing Meadows Corona Park, perhaps best-known as the home of the U.S. Open tennis tournament and the site of two World’s Fairs back in the early and mid-20th century. You’ll run a fast, flat route past several of the park’s best-known monuments, like its Unisphere — commissioned for the New York City World’s Fair back in 1964 — as well as baseball’s Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The race will incorporate Covid protocols and will be capped at 200 runners.

$40 and up | Sign up here

Cold Mountain 50K & 25K

Canton, N.C. | Saturday, March 13, 2021

Run in the footsteps of the characters who wandered through these western North Carolina mountains in Charles Frazier’s bestselling 1997 novel Cold Mountain, along either the ultra course or one that’s just over the half marathon distance (the 25K). You’ll run through a remote section of the Pisgah National Forest, starting from the Sunburst Campground. From there, organizers say you’ll “climb high above Lake Logan and traverse Lickstone Ridge, cross high mountain creeks that originate in the headwaters along the Blue Ridge Parkway, [and] then descend to the West Fork of the Pigeon River.”

$65 and up | Sign up here

Race to the Cave Half Marathon

Woodville, Ala. | Sunday, March 21, 2021

You’ll get to run your final 1.2 miles of this race inside the cave at Cathedral Cavern State Park, whose name comes from the 26-ft.-high entrance and cathedral-like appearance of the stalagmites inside, one of which measures over 45 feet tall. The rest of the race, including the start, takes place outside the cave on the grounds of this 460-acre park, which lies roughly a half-hour’s drive from nearby Huntsville.

$75 and up | Sign up here

Salt Flats Endurance Runs

Bonneville, Utah | Friday, April 30 - Saturday, May 1, 2021

Run one of the most unique race courses anywhere on earth at the world-famous Bonneville Slat Flats in northwestern Utah, which stretch across more than 30,000 acres (or nearly 160 square miles) and are made up of salt deposits that reach six feet in depth in many places. A geologic wonder that goes through a continual process of wearing away and smoothing out thanks to the whipping winds and water that floods them each winter, the flats dry away in the spring and summer months. It is said that when you stand on the flats and look out over the horizon, you can detect the curvature of the earth — and perhaps you’ll get to see it at this race’s 5K, 50K, 50-miler or even its 100-miler.

$30 and up | Sign up here