Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Race Is Better Than Your Race

The big news today to rattle the ultra running community was the call made public by the Hardrock 100 race committee to exclude certain races from their qualification standards.  The two races that were dropped which are causing the most stir are the Western States 100 and the Leadville Trail 100.

This was taken from the HR 100 website:

A note about the 2013 Leadville 100: The Leadville 100 includes many of the features that are important for a HR qualifier: high altitude, long climbs, potential for mountain weather, and more. However, the 2013 Leadville 100 ignored other traits of importance to the HR: environmental responsibility, support of the hosting community, and having a positive impact on the health of our sport. Because of timing, the 2013 LT100 will still be accepted as a qualifier for the 2014 HR. LT100 finishes will not be accepted as qualifiers for the 2015 HRH and beyond.

All I can say is "WOW!" And that is not wow as in I am impressed, more like the wow you get when your wife/girlfriend/partner respsonds to something you say or do in total disbelief that you are actually that big of an idiot. 

It just seems awfully judgmental for one race to make a comment like that in regards to another.  And even if that were true, what is the purpose of this decision past punishing Leadville runners?  Their participation is not the cause for what missteps might or might not have happened in the 2013 LT100 run and how it was managed.  They were running!

And lastly... enough of the comparison between the two races.  Both are 100 mile races but both require certain skill sets that the other does not.  Let me throw these numbers out there... going by the ratios on comparing the two races and finishing times for both, which are 0.67 plus or minus 0.2, based over many years, clearly indicates that anyone who finishes Hardrock in the 44 - 48 hour window would possibly have a very slim chance of finishing Leadville within the 30 hour cuttoff.  That's just math folks. Math that indicates that nearly 1/3rd of the HR100 field could not even do Leadville, so which race is harder now?

Like I said, different skill sets. Get over it.

Yes this decision personally impacts me.  I had planned on using my 2013 LT100 finish for qualifying for the 2014 and 2015 HR100 lotteries.  I really don't have the desire to do any other 100 milers at this point as none really excite me.  It would have been nice to have a shot (or two) at doing Hardrock these next couple of years instead of just the one.  That being said, if I don't get in, well, that's probably the end of my 100 mile running career right there.  At Least For A While.  Never say never.

Anyway...  Throwing my name in the LT100 MTB this weekend after registration for that lottery opens but of course that drawing won't be until February.   A sick and twisted part of me contemplates registering for Leadman again if for no other reason than it would guarantee me a slot in the bike, well after doing the 50 of course.  Fortunately I am not that desperate.

Two good days of running this week so far.  I've enlisted Lucho's help to get me out of weeds and keep me on track the next three weeks before JFK.   The workouts the past couple of days seem familiar and comfortable yet stressing but reassuring at the same time.  Maybe I'm not as jacked up as I thought.  My confidence is starting to come back thankfully. 


  1. Man, you expressed exactly what I was feeling. And much better than I would have. Well done.

  2. I think the high road would have been to just remove some of those extra large races to reduce the potential quantity of qualified applicants and move on. But its their race, so they chose to make the 'political statement'.

    I respectfully disagree with your perception though. In fact, they seem to go out of their way to say that Leadville is a tough and comparable race. What they are criticizing is the circus the race has become. And by honoring all the current finishers, they are not punishing anybody. Anybody who chooses to continue to support that circus in 2014 and beyond can't use the finish as a qualifier.

  3. Personally, I think they did the right thing. Race management at Leadville has let the Leadville 100 grow into a monster and the Hardrock board is saying that's not OK. They made it clear that it wasn't about whether a finisher of Leadville could finish Hardrock, but about the poor stewardship of the race management of Leadville.

    You can still use Leadville as your 2014 qualifier and if you don't get in, there are other races you can qualify with next year for 2015 and 16.

  4. I have nothing personally invested in LT100, nor HR....yet it bothered me the way HR decided that Leadville wasn't playing nicely therefore they couldn't participate in the game. Seems rather juvenile (I teach high school, I know juvenile). I know several people - yourself included - who had a positive experience at Leadville and those that didn't just felt to me they needed to find some other source than themselves as an excuse for their poor performance.

    I've never wanted to do a 100 (but never say never :))....but I almost want to run LT100 now, out of spite.

    Great post, thanks! And glad your confidence is bulging again!

  5. #1 on the list of rules for Hardrock runners - no whining. The fact is, Andy, Chris, and Jill, you don't have what it takes to be a Hardrocker. Go find a race you can actually complete.