For the second year in a row I watched via Twitter as the names were drawn for the Hardrock 100. For the second year in a row, my name wasn't pulled for the starters list, nor was it pulled for the 100 name Wait List. I'm completely shut out of the Hardrock 100. This years lottery saw 703 entrants from all over United States and 15 foreign countries. Of the 721 entrants, 36 received automatic entries and the rest shared 1,325 lottery chances. Myself? I had 2 tickets in this years lottery. Some folks had as many as 7 tickets.
Words really can't describe how disappointed I am in not getting into The Hardrock 100. This is by far my epic dream race. I feel guilt because I have myself to blame. Or do I? I kind of consider myself one of the "considerate ones." Allow me to explain. I've finished a qualifying race, every year, since I started running 100 mile races.
2007: Grand Teton 100
2008: Massanutten 100
2009: Massanutten 100
2010: Western States 100
2011: Leadville Trail 100
Even though I've qualified all of these years.. I never threw my name into that hat until last year (2010 Lottery for 2011 Race). Why? Because I knew I wasn't ready to take on Hardrock despite having finished any of these other races. I call myself one of the "considerate" ones because I refuse to put my name into a lottery unless I truly believe that I have a 90% or higher chance of finishing the race I've applied for. Call me bitter, and maybe I am.. but I saw a few names of folks who were picked in the lottery that I'd bet my life savings on them not even making it to the 100K mark.
And so I blame myself. If I had applied to Hardrock in all previous years, I would have had 5 tickets in this years lottery and one hell of a chance of actually getting in. Instead, I spent a good portion of my Sunday coming up with an entirely new plan for the 2012 Ultra-Running season. Hardrock was going to be my only 100 miler this year. Now, I'm going to run the Bighorn 100 and have entered my name into the Wasatch 100 Lottery. I figure if I DNF at Bighorn, I'll have a second chance at finishing a qualifier at Wasatch. Either way.. I'll be in next years lottery with 3 tickets.
I'm not going to sit here and complain about the lottery process. I think Hardrocks is one of the most fair and they maintain a reasonable entry fee with a grass roots feel. I completely admire the event and I'm determined to run it. So, I'll keep running and qualifying and hoping that those who truly don't belong will get the hell out of my way. : )
Bitter... yeah... a little.