Plans For 2017

During the last post, ‘My Ultra Running Journey – Getting Started’ I shared a personal background in running, or lack there of. Training 1-2 times a week I averaged 7-14 sporadic weekly miles. This got me through a yearly 10K and one off half marathon.

Upping the distance and switching to hills ended with injury on more than one occasion. I needed help and October 2016 marked a start to my guided training plan with Jayson Cavill, a great coach. I am hoping the additional help and guidance will not only improve my times but get me through an exciting year. (You can track my training progress from the page ‘Training Stats’ and in monthly training updates.)

Below is my race schedule for 2017. I would be happy finishing in the top 25 of some races but its hard to say if I am even capable of that…time will tell if I can set such goals.

Hardmoors White Horse Half Marathon (more like 16 miles) – April

A tough half marathon with around 1600ft elevation gain. The route circles near Sutton Bank taking in varied scenery and terrain. This is a training race for me and used mainly to maintain motivation for June. The White Horse will represent my first Trail race.

Supporting Matty McNamara’s 200 mile Hardmoors race – May

A mammoth challenge, hats off to anyone attempting this. Matty will be writing up some reports himself on this blog so keep your eyes peeled for those. He has recruited the support of a few people and I’ll probably do a 30 mile stretch. This will tie in well, forcing my distance up before June. The race itself takes in some of the Wolds Way and then the Cleveland Way.

Hardmoors Wainstones Full Marathon – June

My main event, everything leads to this! 26.2 miles and the equivalent of climbing Ben Nevis in elevation gain. This will be one tough cookie and in all honesty scares the crap out of me…but who wants to spend their life in total comfort anyway? I would be happy with a top 25 finish, but only time will tell if that is achievable.

EnduranceLife Coastal Trail Series North York Moors 10K – September

An 8 mile trail race taking in the Cleveland way and around 800ft elevation gain. I wanted a shorter race for the year that I may be capable of competing in and I think this is it.

Hardmoors Osmotherley Half Marathon – October

A beautiful route and one I’d like to do reasonably well in. The course is very hilly and 16 miles plus so a challenge for sure. Having said that, I’d like to improve on my 16th place finish from the White Horse half.


Trail Running Magazine started their latest campaign, run 1000 miles during 2017. This is just another motivator really.

Potential Further Races

How I progress in training and the races above will effect further entries but below are some events up for consideration.

  • Hardmoors Rosedale Half or Full Marathon (August)
  • Hardmoors Osmotherley Half or Full Marathon (October)

The Future

Progress will dictate my path. I need to get through all the above injury free before even considering my future direction. If I feel good it may be time to progress to Ultra Races for 2018. After all, Ultras are the main focus of my blog.

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Darren Smith

Training with purpose since October 2016 Darren has gone from trailing the pack to winning local races and the times keep on falling. A true believer in hard work over natural talent he writes to help others realise their true potential. Darren's race schedule for 2018 includes the Hardmoors Wainstones marathon (1st place), Keswick Mountain Festival (10th place), Scafell Skyrace and Salomon Ring Of Steall (World Championship race.)

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