Friday, February 4, 2011

Hardrock Dreams!

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!


nwgdc said...

As much fun as it was to follow along with WS last year, I'm honestly hoping the vast majority of the runners you're referring to get in to Hardrock. Even with those runners missing, it's my opinion that the Montrail Cup will bring a strong field to WS, while the stellar HR starting lineup could help develop a better 'system' for the ultrarunning calendar.
I'd love to see a 'Rotating Championship' between several big events, so that the majority of the 'elite' runners could know which event to focus on.
In addition, a rotational schedule would allow each big event within the rotation to continue with their traditional entry processes in off years.
No matter what, it's always fun to follow your schedule, and you've prove it doesn't matter the event, you're gonna show up, compete, and make 'em earn it!

HillBilly said...

So here's another viewpoint. The decision to run the Hardrock course is solely up to you. Once you have committed, to not run must be considered a DNF. Just because you are not on the holy anointed list of the "chosen 140", you are not excused from honoring your commitment. The select few can start running on July 8th. The 450+ others, minus those who choose to DNF, can arrange their own run. It would mean providing your own support crew. It might mean 30+ miles between aid. It would require being responsible for your own safety and well-being. Not everyone can make that commitment. So either way, to complete or DNF Hardrock is your choice. Don't blame the race committee.

Geoff said...

are you just trying to pin a DNF on AJW? :)

AJW, certainly it's going to be interesting to see what comes of the lottery this weekend. as you said, it could have a huge effect on WS. but who knows. i too am at least a little bit tempted to do both (if given the option), but that would almost certainly require a compromised effort at HR in which case I might prefer to just do it another year when it can be a 100% focus race. tough call.