Good luck to the WS100 lottery entrants, especially the local never-run-before's, with the lottery coming up this weekend.
Specifically rooting for Alex, who first heard about this nonsense regarding a teacher of his that ran the race while he lived in California, and has entered enough times without luck. He did a fine job pacing me last year, so he knows the course!
Also rooting for Cat, who ran solid at Vermont, is always steady, and deserves a shot at WS, where she'll run well.
And Katie, who grew up near the race, volunteered at it, and was in the movie pontificating about Killian's chances -- and runs a strong downhill.
How cool would it be if they all got in?
I really enjoyed the experience last year, and would love see how well I could run it with a good run, but am not in the lottery -- only so much time and money to spend on these things while balancing other parts of life.
The lottery I'm excited about is that July race right here in Colorado.
It's not an uncommon story, but being out in the mountains during the race got into my soul. Pacing was awesome (being out there and observing NMP and others handling the course), and so is the race atmosphere, so I'll be out there that weekend in some capacity. I love power-hiking if the course dictates it, so I love training for that sort of thing. Others deserve to get in much more, so I'm rooting for them, too. I'll keep entering that lottery until I get a chance.
Ironically, a longer and 'worse' finish at Steamboat (than Leadville or WS) made me feel more hopeful about being prepared for Hardrock (can't be completely prepared of course), as I spent more time on my feet and finished in broad daylight, dealt with a lot of uncertainty, ran stronger the last quarter of the race, and in general just let go and had fun.
If that doesn't work out, I'd love to head to the Black Hills and race out there. Racing in South Dakota before, twice, I know that the scenery is great, the scene is great, and the directors put on a top-notch event. I'd love to test out the rolling, hilly singletrack of the Centennial Trail in South Dakota, and I also like to envision the training that would go well with that course: trail runs done right here in town (local trails being similar terrain at a higher elevation), and some quality speed (heresy!) on the roads during the week. A bit different than Hardrock training, but I enjoy the structure that I'd build into something like that.
HR is the priority because of the lottery, but that doesn't make Black Hills a backup: I'll be excited for either one.
If the WS lotteries don't work out for local folks, I'm going to make a stronger push for them to join me, and urge other folks to take a look at another great race within driving distance.
I'm only going to sign up for one big race, because I never know how much I'll want to keep doing it.
I hope to be in Leadville in August to pace.
There are good options in September: The Bear, and the new UROC race. But the whole family had a lot of fun in Steamboat. The 50 looks great...or maybe I just pace and ride bikes with my brother-in-law on the trails (which looked great for biking).
Closest to home, Quad Rock is a great event and fun time. I'll either run or help out. (Leaning towards running, but ironically feel like I'm missing out by not being out at an aid station).
Either way, it's a great course, great scene, great RD's and runners, prizes, food, beer, music, and impeccable course markings.
Go sign up if you haven't already!