Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2010 Races, Tick Tock

The 2009 season is far from over, but I have learned quickly that you need to be organized and ahead of the game in the world of trail running if you want to get into popular or tightly capped races. I have a number of such events that I want to run in 2010; in fact, I just registered for my first 2010 race this morning: The Ghost Town 38.5 mile, which is held somewhere in New Mexico, nine hours south of FoCo.

I was just perusing the website yesterday, and learned that registration for the last 40 spots was to open this morning. Wow, good timing, as this thing will likely sell out today, a full four months before the event is due to take place - crazy. It is capped at 75 runners, with first dibs being offered to previous runners - 35 decided to return. After reading and hearing a number of rave reviews from last year, I decided that I wanted in, despite the hefty $99 entry fee.

So what else? Well, if I can remember to be online Jan 1, then I am definitely going to register for the San Juan Solstice 50, which is one of those runs that any self-respecting mountain runner should run at least once, or at least that is what I am told. This one sells out on the day - a full six months before the event. In February, I hope to run the Red Hot 50k - another one that sells out quickly - or the 50/100 mile event in Huntsville, TX (Rocky Raccoon), an event that mercifully does not have a cap.

I am definitely thinking of running a California event, and had originally planned on Way Too Cool (50K), but I'm just not prepared to add to the drama of a race that sold out in under ten minutes last year. I mean how good can an event be? So instead, I'm thinking that the Miwok 100k is more my kind of thing: lots of climbing and lots of miles. In addition, I know the race director and her significant other and have wanted to run their event for quite some time. Plus, it took over a month to sell out last year, which is a better fit for my procrastinative nature.

What else? Well, I have pretty much committed in my mind to doing another 100 miler (for my sins), but I'm having a hard time with the logistics of lotteries and such like. My first choice would be Western States, but as most are no doubt aware, the chances of getting in through the lottery are not good. However, the up side is that I would find out if I am in or not (Dec 15) before having to put my name into the hat for Hardrock, which does its lottery in early January. If, as is likely, I fail to get into both events, then the default is Leadville, an event that will take anyone with a pulse and $225 (in '09).

Beyond that, I'll fill the rest of the calendar as I go. I think most of the other races I am interested in running are either not on my radar yet, or have much more reasonable entry requirements, i.e., you don't have to commit a half year in advance.

The clock is already ticking on 2010 events people. Better start planning now.


  1. Good post. I'm surprised you aren't including either PPA or PPM though - you could get a comp in again I'm sure. I too would love to go to Lake City and Way Too Cool, Lake City to finish it and WTC to race that super competitive field, but don't think either will be next year.

  2. PPM is definitely on the list. I'll register with my 50% off for winning my age group this year, and then probably try and get it back through the comp process. Either way, I'm definitely running it (presuming I am injury free of course. Knock on wood).

  3. Looks like some good plans for next year...

    The entry issue for some ultras is getting a bit out of hand. I understand why they need to cap races for safety/permit reasons but it is still a pain to play the lottery or make sure you register as soon as a race opens. Hopefully the lottery will be in my favor for Hardrock, MMT, or Wasatch.

  4. Nick - didn't realize MMT was a lottery too. As I understand it, the Wasatch lottery is not nearly as competitive as WS and HR, so you have a good chance there. Would be fun if we both got into HR (what are the chances of that?). Lots of time up in RMNP prepping.

  5. Yeah, MMT is a lottery but it is different then most. They pick 180 people based on equal probability (using the stock market) and those people can enter if they want. The wait list is then prioritized using a number of factors (prior wins, finishes, volunteering etc.) I think this system is a little better then a weighted lottery since everyone initially has equal chances but essentially guarantees entry for certain people since they are on the top of the wait list.

    Agree it would be great if we both got into HR. I think I would be spending just about every weekend in RMNP getting ready for something like that.

  6. San Juan Solstice sells out very quickly yes...but typically most of the registration list turns over through the wait list over the ensuing 6 months. I think most of the time they don't even start the race at their permit limit. So you could probably register any time in the spring and get in easily to that one. I'd love to do that one myself sometime...kind of like a PPMx2 or a HR100/2.

  7. Brett - I didn't know that about San Juan (or I would have tried to get in this year). Thanks for the heads up!

    Yeah they call it the half HR or something to that effect. Definitely one for the lifetime list.

  8. I'm two ahead of you already. Brighton Marathon and TW Half confirmed and waiting on the ballot for London (the week after Brighton).

  9. Brett, I think eventually they cut the wait list off though too. The wait list will have 30-50 names on it that first day of registration too even.

  10. Matt, don't forget the New Year 10k, or was that the end-of-year 10k?

    So B2B marathons if you get into London. Nice!

    What about the London to Brighton ultra: http://www.extremerunning.org/index.php?page=London%20to%20Brighton ? It's a qualifier for the Mont Blanc 100-miler. That one is on my lifetime list.

  11. I was thinking that if I got a London place, I might do Paris again to make it 3 marathons in April.

    Seems it's not too late to enter for the L2B ultra for this weekend. Sadly, I have other plans!

  12. Rego for San Juan actually opens on Jan 15. I've done it three times and, like Brett said, even though they sell out quickly they usually have spots open on race morning.

    Can't imagine you wanting to run Rocky. It's more of a track meet. But I know tons of people who volunteer down there, I can have 'em talking smack to you every lap!