If the miles behind me could be put into words before you, you would feel my efforts, my struggles, my desires. Most of all you would see my joy. Watch me from afar run the trails and hills and miles upon miles and you will see ...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

What is This Sport Coming To?!

As I am only a baby when it comes to time spent as an ultrarunner I am learning things at a quick rate. The latest being that some ultras are filling up and selling out faster than you can click "enter" on the computer. As good friend John Brooks wrote me today in consolation, "ultrarunning is what trathlon was like six years ago". And he's right. I used to MAIL in entry forms for my triathlons before internet sign-up became so popular (and profitable for some online companies) with the only worry of them getting lost in the mail. I would check online or phone the race director days later to make sure my entry was received. Internet sign-ups have definitely made life easier is some respects, but not all.
When I wrote the last blog entry stating that my race schedule was subject to change, I didn't think it would be changing this soon. I woke up today knowing I'd be signing up for the Mikwok 100km race in May and that it sold out in three days last year. "Sign up early", the website said. Well apparently the registration started a bit early this year and by the time I wandered to the computer at 8:30 (thirty minutes after the race went on sale), it was all over but the self-ass-kicking. How could I be so stupid? With Miwok being a tune-up for Western States and how popular that race is becoming, I should have known it was going to go fast. Even for the Chuckanut 50km in March sold out in two and a half days. I registered at 8:30 a.m. the day it opened up and was still the 92nd person to sign up. The thing I've loved about ultrarunner the past couple of years is the fact that they are smaller venues, people-wise, than triathlons. I guess with the numbers of longer-distance runners increasing, there is more demand for the races with only 250 - 350 or so spots. Not like Ironman who accommodate 2,500 or more with their cash-grabbing ways. Of course there can't be 2,000 or more runners tramping through certain parks or trails as there would be nothing left save for something resembling a battlefield from WWI.
Strangely it wasn't like the world was ending. I wasn't overly upset other than Mr. Brooks and I were going to run side by side as we haven't seen each other since Ultraman last summer. There are so many other races out there that another can easily take this one's place. I will mail off (that's right, mail) my entry for the Capitol Peak 50 mile race on April 26th, three weeks after Diez Vista and one month before the Blackfoot 100km. The extra week can only help me be more recovered for it. Miwok was only going to be a good training run for the 100 miler in June.
Anyways, as it was my fault for not dragging myself out of bed earlier (I'm on holidays for goodness sakes!!), I will use this as a learning experience for the next one. For all the people who didn't get into Western States on the 28th of June, the Bighorn may be a poplar alternative like it is for me. You can bet when the Big Horn 100 opens up on February 1st I'll be there early at the keyboard, visa card in hand.

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