Saturday, December 5, 2009

Moving Right Along

Well Western States didn't happen for me - the lottery that is - so it's on to Plan B. Problem being I don't really know what Plan B is right now other than throwing my name into the Hardrock lottery. Registration goes in tomorrow for that.

States being the storied and competitive race that it is, however, has a way of drawing you in. I've got it in the back of my mind now that I should take a few flights and see if I can't earn a spot at one of the qualifiers. The two 100k races - Banderra (TX) & Miwok (CA) - would probably be my best shots at running top two. But it all seems like a lot of time, money and effort when I sit down and think about having to fly out to Texas in early January to race 66 miles the weekend before another long trip out to another long race at the Ghost Town 38.5-miler in NM.

Miwok in May seems like a race I would enjoy more and the timing is certainly better, but that one involves yet another lottery and commitment half a year before the race. I'm beginning to think States can wait another year. I dunno, maybe I'll get lucky in the Hardrock draw.

On a side note - congrats to local trail runners Pete Stevenson and Eric Lee, both of whom hit the lucky ticket this morning.


  1. Hardrock or bust!

    But you'd love Bandera. I used to live in Austin and have run out there quite a bit. I consider the 100K there my first real ultra. I can get you a good crew if you end up down there.

  2. Plan D is this round trip race on some hill in August?

    Bummer WS did not play out. When do you get notice on HR? If you get in that, do you not do Miwok?

    Isn't the AR50 also a qual race?

  3. Brownie - thanks for the potential hook-up in TX, however, I'm thinking TX is unlikely right now - just too much of a headache. If I weren't signed up for Ghost Town I'd probably give it a shot, but I'm just not geeked enough about WS to do the back-to-back and risk divorce proceedings in the process. I'm with you on Hardrock and I'm feeling like the Lottery Gods are looking out for us both.

    GZ - yeah, maybe I just make Pikes the big goal race and run a smaller 100 for fun. If I do Pikes, then Leadville is out for sure and vice versa. To be honest, Pikes has way more appeal for me than Leadville.

    I think the HR lottery is in Feb some time. Miwok would need a commitment by next weekend, so I would have to commit to that and maybe get in through the lottery, and then run Hardrock as well if I got in through the lottery. That wouldn't be a bad option as Miwok would be a great training race - lots of hills, six weeks out... I dunno, too many lotteries for me. I should just focus on races that are looking for runners I guess.

    AR50 would not be a good race for me - way too much fast and furious stuff through the first half of the race. I need hills and singletrack (technical preferably) to be competitive against the big boys.

  4. There are certainly plenty of other 100's worth doing (and don't cost $295). If you don't get into HR you could go for Wasatch which would probably be good for you and you could probably still do Pikes.

    I think Miwok is less then ideal for getting into states would have to run fast there to finish top 2 which would probably jeopardize training for WS.

    Good luck in the next lottery!

  5. Nick - sorry you missed out too but as you say plenty of other (cheaper) fish in the sea.

    Wasatch is definitely an option - yet another lottery, but love that $175 price tag.

    On a side note, spoke to Steve Folkerts at the Turkey Trot last week and it sounds like he's out for NM next month, so the competition is down to you, me, AJW and Pete. Wish there was some dirt to train on!

  6. No states here either, good luck with the HR draw, besides, HR gives you more man points...

  7. ... and at the end of the day it all boils down to man points - or the female equivalent ...

    You, me and most people Patrick. Qualification requirements need to be tightened significantly if you ask me. At least a previous 100 miler on the resume. I think Hardrock has it about right, although they need to get a permit for a larger field.

  8. Bummer about WS, and good luck on alternatives.
    Agreed that a 100 miler should be a prereq, which shouldn't be too objectionable of a change. It would be a prereq that I wouldn't yet meet, personally; I'd like to run WS someday, but out of respect for the race, I wouldn't feel right if it were my first at that distance.

    Well, it'll be there next year when you're even faster, and as you mentioned, good to have some local representation out there!

  9. Agreed (man points and otherwise). I can hardly consider myself a runner, rather an athlete who started running. 11 hours for 50 miles seems soft, and a prereq 100 miler would upset few. I would have been hard pressed to be ready, but perhaps unlike yourself, It'd be hard for me to think of grabbing an auto-in without chuckling. So that and I figure the odds will only get worse unless something changes, might as well start now...

    But back to man points, I think of HR as another level, it's hard for me to fathom both the distance and the climbing... Sort of like major street cred for ultrarunners...

  10. I don't see why a 100 mile prereq is necessary for WS. The way I see it, the point of a prereq is to make sure all participants can finish the race within the cutoff. WS isn't that hard so I think the 50 mile requirement is adequate. HR requires you actually do a mountain 100 to make sure that you can handle the course. They also make an exception if you have "sufficient" mountaineering experience - whatever that is. By setting these requirements they are able to ensure the majority should be able to finish in a safe manner which makes things easier for the organizers.

    RE man points - if you really want them you would do Barkley or Rockhard Hardrock

  11. I think it depends on what a race wants to be. A race can be open (no standards for entry other than you writing a check), have some standards (which is the middle ground and means you are open to those who have trained for the event, have talent enough for the event and are not significantly aged - but you still get a good income from participants) (Boston is like this, and perhaps Pikes), or is a championship event (which means some degree of exclusivity, you turn away some potential participants and hence dollars - that you hope to make otherwise) (easiest to consider here is USATF marathon trials).

    The question is less to me about what WS has for standards for entry ... it is more about the race they want to be. If they want to be the championship ultra for 100s - then they ought to have championship standards. If they are not, and okay with whoever participates - given the nature of the event, a safety standard is fine.

  12. Patrick - I'd describe myself the same way, an athlete who started running, or more accurately, a former athlete who started running.

    Nick - Rockhard Hardrock? Is that two laps in opposite directions? Double double man points for that. On States, the only reason I think it needs a 100 prerequisite is to make the odds in the lottery not quite so ridiculous. Still keeps the race open to all. I dunno, maybe I just think that for selfish reasons.

    And, George, I think that's the problem with WS to a certain degree, it tries to be a little bit of everything for everyone. Or, maybe that's it's strength. It's a tough balance when you only have 400 available spots.

    I guess if they wanted to be a championship event they would approach the USATF - although I'm sure that would require some unwanted compromise on the race's part. Turns out the USATF 100-miler for 2010 is Burning River in Ohio. Seems like a weird choice, but at least it's not in the Pacific Northwest like most of the other national trail champ races.