As you may know, I have been trying to get into the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run for the past 4 years and I had qualified to enter the lottery process again this year. So at the beginning of November I got my application in and waited patiently for December 5th to come around to watch the lottery on line.
The lottery was revamped a few years ago to make it more heavily weighted for those that had been trying to get in longer, so I was holding some hope that this might be my year.
This is the way it works as per the WS100 web page:
Each runner who enters the lottery and fails to gain entry into the Run (and otherwise doesn’t gain an entry via other means such as an aid station, sponsor, or Golden Ticket spot) will have additional tickets in the hat when entering the lottery the following year, thus improving the probability of being selected. Every lottery applicant will receive 2^(n-1) tickets in the hat for each consecutive failure to gain entry where n is the number of years applied. As an example: If a runner applies and fails to gain entry two consecutive times, they will have four tickets in the hat when entered in the lottery the third consecutive year (2^2), eight in fourth consecutive year (2^3), 16 in fifth (2^4), 32 in sixth (2^5), etc. Conversely, if a runner enters the lottery one year, is not chosen and does not enter the following year, they will not have extra tickets in the hat when applying the year after that.
So each year the amount of tickets you get doubles. This year for 5 years of applying I had 16 and that worked out to a 45% chance of getting in. Here are what the computer simulations were predicting.
For the draw we were headed to Quebec to visit our friends Gary and Kate just south of Mt. Tremblant. I had crewed and paced Gary twice at WS100 and he was keen to return the favour. He was also in the lottery too, but with only 1 ticket his chances were slim.
After getting to their place fairly late we decided a nice easy morning would be good and we could go for a run after the draw. The draw takes place in Auburn, California where the race ends and was scheduled to start at 11:30 am our time.
While we waited Joan got started on her work out, 10 times up and down Gary’s stairs (Cottage to the cars, about 60 feet in height) with about 60 lbs of weight too!
We settled and got ready and soon found out that the live broadcast had no sound!!! After doing some checking we found that it was a problem on their end as lots of folks were “complaining”. We had two iPads set up, one with the muted video coverage and the other with the results as they were published. As the draw progressed, I was beginning to think my odds were still too great. 45% is not even a 1 in 2 chance! But then there it was selection # 177, Keith Lascelles. My name was drawn. The celebrations could begin and I could start planning. What a relief.
Lodging, flights, car rental, training… a lot to digest and get my head around. We quickly decided that the training run in May would be a good thing to attend. Joan wouldn’t go to that one, but I believe Kate and Gary are going. Now I could also finalize my race schedule for the year.
So Gary and I went for a run while the ladies went into to town for some shopping. Our run was in the hills of the Laurentions, where there are not a lot of flat spots. You are either going up or down it seems, and a lot of climbing. We went a lot farther than I was expecting and I was quite tired when we got back. It was also getting dark.
That evening I looked and found the right place in Squaw to stay and booked it. In a couple of days I had the car rentals booked for both this race and the Bear in September as well as hotels in Utah for the Bear. Booked myself in for the training run too.
Also got word that Trish was interested in coming along. Which would be great to have my own physio at the race.
So now the training begins. Since Javelina I renewed my emphasis on training properly instead of the hap hazard training I was doing this past summer. No more slacking off, lame excuses to not run, take it easy, avoid the tough hills etc. I’ve started this process and have been seeing results already. This includes starting at Orange Theory fitness. I’ve gone to 2 sessions so far and it will be a big part of my training. I plan on twice a week for the foreseeable future and go from there.
Right now the schedule for next year is:
April 9th – Marden half Marathon near Guelph, Ontario
April 30th – O24 24 hour endurance run. Kirtland, Ohio
May 28th Weekend – Western States training run, California
June 25th – Western States 100. Squaw Valley, California
September 24th – The Bear 100. Logan, Utah
The plan is to add a few local races in amongst the schedule too. Will figure that out after, but I’m looking at Dirty Girls and Creemore and maybe a return visit to Javelina to get that one completed. Joan wants to do the 100k too.
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