Monday, April 27, 2009

Follow up on 100 Mile prerequisite

I want to thank everyone for all of their comments on my 100 mile prerequisite post. I was happy to see such a range of opinion. Clearly, there is a good deal of interest in the topic and the breadth of responses gave me quite a bit of data. Of course, it is highly unlikely that the Western States Board will change their entry requirements and I certainly respect their rationale for having the requirements that they do. In the end, it's just fun bouncing the ideas around.

So, in that context, here is the idea I almost wrote about "How to Make Western States a better race."

Get rid of the automatic entry for the previous year's top-10 men and women and instead create a formula based on percentages. Here's my idea:

Automatic entries for the following year will be provided to all runners who finish within 15% of the winner's time in both the men's and women's races. Here's an example taken from the 2007 men's race:

Winning time in the men's race was 16:12 (972 minutes approx). In this formula every man with a finishing time below 18:45 (1118 minutes approx) would qualify for the race the next year.

What this would do is provide incentive for runners to push hard regardless of place knowing that their next year's entry would be contingent upon how far behind the winner they were. It would also create a bit of race day intrigue as qualifying would be a moving target from year to year.

Of course, I chose not to do this in my original post because I am less convinced it would make it a better race but I thought I'd throw it out there since I am pretty much thinking of nothing else but Western States these days.


jhalekas said...

So if someone (like, say, Kyle at HR or Tony at Leadville) blows out the field, no one qualifies for next year's race? I dunno, I don't see how that's good.

AJW said...


Very good point. However, my thinking is that this standard could raise the bar for everyone and prevent a runaway winner. And, I have to say, the likelihood of someone winning Western States by six hours is slim.


jhalekas said...

True that. At least, until Gebrselassie starts running ultras. Though, I gotta say, if a guy like Max King ran a perfect race, he might be able to put a few hours on the field.

More likely, though, the way things are going this year, you might just have 20 people go sub-18 instead!


AJW said...

20 people below 18??? I'll believe it when I see it!

Say your prayers to the Heat Gods.


Grae Van Hooser said...


1. Past M/F winners are auto entries for life. Someone like Jureck not being able to enter any time or year he pleases reflects badly on the event, not him. Does anyone think he has not earned it and then some!

2. M/F overall and age group winners from any grand slam races and other "select" 100's from the previous year get entry.

3. Prize money! For overall M/F and age group winners. Even the smallest endurance mountain bike 100's have 3 deep prize money to overall winners and age group winners. Add a few bucks to the entry cost. It's so expensive to the runner now, would anybody even notice? The excuses for trail ultra's not awarding $ is about done. It's time to come out of the dark ages. There is no excuse.

SD100 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SD100 said...

I'd be willing to bet $10,000 that this year's WS100 winner will be Anton Krupicka, Max King, Michael Wardian, or Todd Braje. Why do all of you "old school" guys continue to insist that the winner will be one of the perennial favorites? I think your lists are hopelessly out of date and frankly I think we're all a little sick of hearing about it on every trail run we go on. I know this has nothing to do with your current post but since you are the poster child old school guy, I posted it here.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Lotta anger there, SD100.

What's up with that?

jhalekas said...

I don't know why I'm even responding to such an obvious troll. But I can't resist...

I definitely wouldn't count out one of those four guys winning it all. They've all got the talent.

But, I'd also be willing to bet that one out of those four won't even make it to the starting line (no idea which one, just by the odds), and two of the remaining three won't finish in the top five in the end.

Shit happens in 100's. Those four guys are very very talented ultrarunners. But exactly zero of them are both non-injury-prone and proven mountain 100-milers. And even if they were, shit happens in 100-mile races.


P.S. This post should not be taken as any implication that *I* expect to do well in this year's WS, especially compared to those dudes. I'll be psyched if they're still in the state when I finish.

AJW said...


Additional ideas. Thanks.


Indeed, as you well know, stuff does happen in 100's

And SD 100,

I certainly think the four guys on your list will be in the front pack at WS come June and I understand that you may be tired of hearing about the same old guys on your runs. However, I must admit, it is hard to bet against the likes of Jurek, Mackey, Koerner and Skaden. Then again, that's just me.

And, I have never been called a "poster boy"! I especially like the "boy" part since these days I'm feeling alot more like an old man!


SD100 said...

I thought you would like that oxymoron, headmaster!

Rogue Valley Runners said...

You got $10,000 in escrow SD100?

Please, if your talking on your next trail run you aren't working hard enough!

Grae Van Hooser said...

SD, Relax a little man! Have a beer. Talk about something other then running while your running. I'm sure you have more important things in your life then who is going to win such and such race. Maybe you could use that 10 large to put up some prize money at States? As far as your picks, I wouldn't be at all surprised if one of those you named won, a bit surprised and a little awed by one of them, and shocked if two of them won. You do the math.
Remember, all this smack is just that. Enjoy your running!

SD100 said...

I can put more than $10k in escrow towards this wager but I figured on a list of ultrarunners I'd be lucky to find someone who would be willing to put more than $10 on the line. No offense but we're not exactly running with the well heeled crowd here.

Thanks to everyone who advised me to relax a little more. I'll take it in to very serious consideration.

PS I thought about it more and I really don't think Braje or King really have a chance to win. Neither seem to be able to slow down enough to run a good 100 miler.

Krupicka is my pick. I think Krupicka, Wardian, Jurek, Thornley, and Skaden/Cooper will be the Top 5.

SD100 said...

Did I say Thornley? AJW has me brainwashed reading this blog so much that his name just jumped out of my keyboard. I meant Mackey. My apologies to all of the serious people who will jump all over my post and tell me to relax. Mackey is my other pick for a Top 5 finish.

Rogue Valley Runners said...

While your at it, pick a few more. You're doing a good job of narrowing it down.

AJW said...

Oh man, I can't believe this! Didn't everybody learn the hard way back in 2007? Now Hal's got more stuff for his bulletin board:)


Grae Van Hooser said...

Wow! LB for a top five pick with no mention of Hal. This can't be good for the state of Oregon. But LB is probably to busy performing homoerotic acts in MB to read this anyway!

SD100 said...

I wasn't even born yet in 2007, AJW. I'm just a child compared to you old school guys.

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