An Endurance Racer’s Year in Review – Looking Back on 2017

The start of 2017 race season was a plan to get out of my comfort zone with the intent to set myself up for training for RAAM, the coast-to-coast bicycling race from California to Maryland (but more on that later).

Kathy Muncie 2017
Kathy Roche-Wallace finishing the 2017 Muncie 70.3 Ironman.

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The next event was the National 24 Hour Challenge in Middleville, MI. As the name implies, you have 24 hours to ride as many miles as you can in a 24-hour period. Making the race was even more difficult this year, a lightning storm forced the race director to close the course down from midnight until 3:30 am. It was a challenge to get going again after you were forced to stop, especially after riding for that long. I rode it like I was racing RAAM, trying to stay focused. In the end, I finished 1st in my age group 3rd overall with a total of 339 miles (even with the 3 1/2 hour break from riding)!

After that came Muncie 70.3 Ironman triathlon, I have not done one of these in quite a few years, and it’s strange to say this is a “short” race for me. Most of my training has been in the ultra-distance world. It was a great venue, but I seriously got my butt kicked. Still managed to finish 4th in my age group, but this engine is used to running for longer distances and the shorter course really didn’t play to my strengths (but still good training).

Next came The Marquette 100k Trail Run. This was amazing and one of the most beautiful and challenging trail runs I have ever completed. I was proud that I was able to just finish and 2nd overall female.

Lastly was the Wisconsin Ironman in Madison, WI. Again a great venue with great spectator involvement and a beautiful/challenging course. I finished 2nd in my age group and very happy with my results on this challenging and hilly course.

Now that my official racing for the year is over, training dials in for RAAM (Race Across America) coming up June 2018. This is a 3,000-mile bicycle race from Oceanside CA. to Annapolis MD. I’ll again (yes, I’ve done this a few times now) race in the solo women category and will have 12 days to complete the entire course or be disqualified.

~Kathy Roche-Wallace