When my name failed to emerge from the magical Hardrock selection hat in December, I was admitedly disappointed for a day or two, but I quickly made contingency plans. Why I’ll simply toss my name in for Wasatch — that oughta be gimme entry. Friends of mine offered reassurance. “I’ve never met anyone who signed up for Wasatch and didn’t get in.”
Yet suddenly things don’t appear so… given. Apparently the list of Wasatch applicants has already surpassed 500 this year, meaning my odds of selection have dropped below 50%. Yeah, I know, I should relax and wait for the February 7th lottery to gripe about it, but I do seem to have notoriously bad luck with this sorts of thing. I can’t help but wonder if, come February 7, my name again eludes selection, what’s my Plan C? The new Run Rabbit Run 100. But that appears to be drawing a lot of attention; what if it fills? I guess there’s always Plan D: the Bear…
It’s exciting to watch our fringe sport gain momentum, but I wonder what changes to the entry process this trend of increasing popularity among ultramarathons will bring? Will we see more lotteries? Heightened qualifying standards? Will race directors and committees rethink the process altogether? Or will the demand be filled by an expanding number of new ultramarathon events?
I guess I don’t really have a preference for an outcome — so long as we can avoid the astronomical entry fees that have come to characterize some of the big road marathons. Sure, $250 to run Leadville is a lot of money — but a three-hour foot tour of NYC for $255?! Now that’s crazy.
Hopefully two weeks from now I’ll be able to finalize my 2012 schedule, forget my worries and move on with life.