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Sunday, February 4, 2024

2024 January Monthly Mileage Check In


Just under 283 miles for me last month which is my highest mileage for January ever! Hopefully that is a sign of bigger performances to come this year. With the race schedule I have planned for the year (a 48 hour race and 3 backyard ultras), I’m going to need to run some long distances to hit my goals! Let’s go!

Wish upon a star, and then act properly, in accordance with that aim.

- Jordan B. Peterson





Wednesday, January 31, 2024

2023 Goals Reviewed and 2024 Goals


Enjoy the journey en route to your goals.



It's that time of year again. Time to assess last year's goals and set new goals to work towards in 2024. I figure the best way to do this is to just go down my list of goals from last year.

1. PR and CR at the 24 hr Adventure Trail Run in Triangle, VA. Status: Failed

I made my attempt and came up short of my PR I ran there in 2021. I struggled with some digestive issues, inclement weather, and a lack of motivation, but I still managed to hit 100 miles which was good enough for first place. So although I failed to hit my personal goal, I still went home pretty content with my run.

Here is the full race report.

2. Run Capital Backyard Ultra and be sure to secure my spot at Big's this year. Status: Success

This was my best performance of the year in my opinion. I felt great for pretty much all 75 hours. Then I won an award for a shortened version of my race report that I entered into a writing contest!

Here is the full race report.

3. Run a 12 hour race at the Midnight Squatchapalooza. Status: DNS

4. Run Backyard Squatch again. Status: DNS

5. Run a 200 mile race. Status: DNS

6. Run the individual backyard world championship at Big's Backyard in October. Status: Success… kind of.

Well, I did run Big's Backyard for the individual backyard world championships last October, so in that sense I was successful in that goal. However, just like last year, I felt like I didn’t have the race that I hoped for.

Here is the full race report.

2023 was a mix of success, partial success, a little failure, and a decent amount of failing to attempt. I’m pretty sure I was over reaching when I put together last year’s list of goals. Between professional responsibilities and a super busy family life, there’s only so much time to get away for races. I may still have some lofty running goals for 2024, but there will certainly not be as many. So with that, here are my running goals for 2024 (in chronological order)!


1. Run a 48 hour race - Running a longer timed race is something I’ve thought about a lot since running Capital Backyard last year. I put a lot of that blame for this goal on Victoria Brown who I met and ran lots of miles with there. Victoria is quite an accomplished multi day ultrarunner and triathlete. After chatting with her quite a bit about multi day events, I’m way more interested in them and curious of what I might be able to accomplish. So that is my goal at the 48 hour Dogwood Ultramarathon in Green Bay, VA: to find out how far I can run in a 48 hour period. It’s new to me because although I have run for longer than 48 hours at backyard races on multiple occasions, I have never run for that length of time without the pace restrictions that come with a backyard ultra. I of course have some distance goals in mind (a bottom tier goal of 200 miles, and a top tier goal of hitting 240 miles), but I also have other reasons to be excited for this event. That reason is the fact that my family is planning to join me for this race, something that hasn’t happened since I ran the Backyard Squatch in 2021. And to add to my excitement, my two older boys are planning to pace me for some of my laps during the race and one of them has the goal of running his first half marathon distance while pacing me! I am really pumped to start my running season off with a race experience that I am so excited about!

2. Run Capital Backyard Ultra - I ran Capital last year to make sure that if my spot at Big's was at risk, I’d have a chance to fight for it.This year is partially the same motivation. Although as of now, I feel like my best performance of 75 yards during this two year qualifying period makes my at-large spot pretty safe. The rest of the motivation to go back and run Capital for a third consecutive year is simply that it is an amazing event. Sarah Smith, race director, does an amazing job organizing the event and making sure all of the runners are so well cared for to have their best performance possible. I have greatly enjoyed my long days of running there and all the people I’ve met there. Besides the running and the impressive food spread, I’d say the people are right up there with my top reasons for wanting to go back again. Last year, only my second year there, felt like a reunion. I don’t think I’ve felt that accepted in such a short amount of time anywhere else in my life.

3. Run Bob's Big Timber Backyard Ultra - Why would I plan to run another backyard this year? Like I said earlier, I think my at-large for a spot on Team USA at Big’s is pretty safe this year, so the fact that Bob’s Big Timber is a silver ticket event isn’t a major motivating factor for me. The real reason is all because of a stupid belt buckle. I heard from Levi Yoder, or maybe I read it on Facebook, that the race director of Bob’s Big Timber had special 200 mile buckles designed and made for anyone who breaks 200 miles at his backyard race. Well, so far that has not happened there. It was the day after my race ended at Big’s last year (maybe a bit during the race too, tough to recall exactly) that I was chatting with Levi about this. He had said he intended to go 200 there last year, but no one else running the event was able to continue with him that long. I mentioned that I had considered signing up for it last year and he said I should so we could break the 200 mile threshold. I agreed that if we were both there the race director would very likely get to hand out at least two of those buckles. So that’s why it’s all about a silly belt buckle. I’m being a bit sarcastic there. It is about more than the buckle. I’ve greatly enjoyed all the trail miles I’ve run with Levi, so why not run another backyard with him? Not to mention, I look forward to meeting and running with lots of new folks at a different race to add some variety to my running schedule.

4. Run with Team USA again at the 2024 Backyard Team World Championships - If you read either of my race reports on my two experiences (2022 and 2023) at Big’s Backyard, I think I’ve been pretty forthright and honest about how I feel about my performances there. The bottom line is that I feel like I still have not achieved what I am capable of at Big’s and I still have my best performance at Big’s in the making. I have no excuses for the last two years there. I believe I came up short of what I am capable of there and have come home disappointed both years. This year, my goal is the same as last year: to do my best with no excuses.




Scott Snell
14 January 2023