On Your Mark

There’s no denying it now. The snow piles, which seemed invincible in mid-January, are subsiding. They leave in their wake about half a ton of grit and road salt at every intersection, which makes for lots of flat tires on bike rides and crunchy, tenuous footing for runners. But that doesn’t matter. Spring is here, and it’s a beautiful thing.
This weekend marked the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, and with it another hour of precious training time in the evenings. Teams and individuals everywhere are gearing up for events of the season.
And there are an abundance of competitions in and around the south-central Wisconsin region to enjoy. On the triathlon scene, there is the J-Hawk Earlybird Triathlon, the Wisconsin Triathlon Series, the Racine 70.3 Ironman, and the granddaddy of them all –Ironman Wisconsin.  Runners can gear up for the Crazylegs Classic, the Madison Marathon, MadCity 100k, and the Madison Mini Marathon. Cyclists have an abundance of choices, including the Wisport series, WCA series, and ABR series. Possibly the biggest new development for cyclists in 2010 is the inaugural year of the Centurion Wisconsin in Middleton, which will bring up to 3,000 cyclists to the rolling hills of western Dane County.
And those are just a handful of the competitive events available for endurance sports. Tours and charity events abound as well, from the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure to the Horribly Hilly Hundreds bike tour.  If you’re in the mood for something really different, there’s always the Syttende Mai Run, now in its 38th year and possibly the only running event in the US to be paired with the Norwegian delicacy of lutefisk. And for the truly insane, there is the MC200 relay – a 200 mi running relay event from Madison to Chicago.
So let’s hear it: what are you training for? Is your team organizing a race, tour, or other event? Are you training for a charity event and raising money for a cause? Share your thoughts in the comments – and enjoy the sunshine!