Sometime before the end of the weekend my family and I will finally be able to make our plans for the summer. That is, unless I end up somewhere "on the bubble" in the Hardrock Lottery.
You see, the best summer of our lives was the Summer of 2009 when we drove from our home in Idaho to Squaw Valley/Auburn and then off (the long way) to Silverton for Hardrock. It was a glorious three-week stretch of camping, fishing, running, and reveling in the mountains. We are desperately hoping to repeat the journey this summer. Of course, that all depends on the Hardrock Lottery Gods smiling on me. From what I can tell the lottery will take place sometime this weekend and I have two tickets in the mix (one for my one finish in 2009 and the other for my wait listed status last year). I had two tickets in the 2010 lottery as well as a result of my top-5 finish in 2009 but I am pretty sure that is only a one-year deal. So, given that there are about forty automatics, it looks like I'll have about a 1 in 4 chance of making the trip to Silverton in 2011.
Interestingly enough, there is a bit more intrigue going into this year's lottery as the results of the drawing will not only effect the field of who toes the line at Silverton but could also impact the starting list at Western States. While some runners have kept their cards close to the vest up until now several others have suggested that if they get into Hardrock they will skip Western States. I am not one of those as I really look forward to doing the Double again but I wonder if the Western States organizers are aware that as a result of a truly egalitarian lottery taking place in Silverton this weekend they could end up with a less competitive field than they might expect. Food for thought as I count at least six top runners who are in Western States and are also on the Hardrock lottery chopping block.
Nonetheless, I'll know a bit more about my summer plans in 72 hours.
Have a good weeekend of training everyone!