It has been a while since I updated my blog so I thought I would give a quick re-cap of 2013 and the plan for 2014.
2013 cut short
2013 was a off year for me with no big races planned during the summer. I did start the 380 miles gravel road Almanzo Alexander in May. I cut that ride short to only ride 305 miles of it. The big event for the year would be my wife Connie competing in Ironman Florida in November. Connie’s Ironman went great with a finishing time of under 12:30. She rocked it all day including the ocean swim with huge waves and 3000 people taking off at once. Check out the video of the start.
We once again did RAGBRAI. My 25th and Connie’s 22. For the eight year in a row I rode out with Mike Doyle but this year Connie and a couple of her friends decided they would ride out as well. We gave the ladies a one day head start and caught them in Oskaloosa. It was the hottest ride out I have done. Friday the ride/death march from Osceola to Red Oak was the hardest day riding out to RAGBRAI in those 8 years. 111 miles with 7000 feet of climbing and an average temperature that day of 93 and non-stop head winds. The ladies picked a tough year to join us.
My season was cut short in August when at the Iowa State road race I crashed and broke my collar bone in 4 places. Unfortunately the crash was not my fault the rider in front of me went down and I had no place to go. This was the first road race I had entered in a few years. I had just aged up to the 50+ I wanted to test my fitness against some of the local talent. The race was going well up to that point. This kept me off the bike for 10 weeks during my favorite time of the year to ride. Luckily it was just a collar bone and nothing more serious. I smashed my helmet up pretty good.
This year I have scheduled quite a busy year. Both my boys will be getting married. One in April and one in August. Connie and I are crewing for a friend of mine Tim Richardson in June for solo RAAM. I briefly met Tim when we raced against each other in 2009 RAW. The next year we both crewed for Paul Carpenter’s RAAM attempt. Tim is from the UK and is one of the funniest guys I have met. My oldest Chris was on the same crew as Tim and he will never forget that great experience. Our team name is Team Brazen.
Somewhere around that schedule my plans include the 330 mile gravel race that is Trans Iowa X in April that stars in Grinnell Iowa. This will be my fourth start of this epic adventure. Three weeks later comes another go at the gravel road ride Alexander in the Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin area. Then a break for RAAM before starting up serious training for the big event in September that is the ADK540. This is an ultra race in Adirondack nation park in upstate New York.
Connie is planning another Ironman distance race in August. This race will be in Minnesota in mid August. She also is planning an off-road ultra run that is part of the Dances with Dirt series. The run takes place in Hell Michigan in September and we plan to hit that on the way home from the ADK540.
It is going to be a busy year for the Mann family with us travelling around the country and doing what we love to do. I will try to provide some updates as the year goes on. Connie does have a Facebook account but I do not. You can follow our adventures and add comments there.
Even though it has been cold and snowy we have been training pretty hard indoors and out in the cold. We are both looking forward to getting the outdoor season started as we know the big events will be here before we know it.