Everyone knows how I make race decisions, right? It tends to take a while. If I had a dollar for every time I talked myself in or out of doing Wild Duluth 100K, I could buy some new trail shoes. Seriously folks, it was so ridiculous I was laughing at myself. For new races, I like to know everything I can about a race, before I commit. I like to read race reports and check out weather. What's the terrain? How much is single track? Who do I know who's done it before? Etc, etc.
So, recently I've been looking at my plans for next year. Sawtooth is there in September but I wanted something else longer before that. I decided I don't want to have another go at 100 miles until Sawtooth - Wild Duluth gave me the confidence I had been looking for when I planned Kettle last year, so that meant looking for a 100K, if possible. The thing is, 100Ks aren't super easy to find. I'd been thinking about Black Hills for a few years but hadn't realized until recently that they had a 100K option, so this looked like a good opportunity to finally head to that race. And then Black Hills announced that they were dropping their 100K distance. Argh. Apparently, I had decided more firmly on this option than I thought, as the announcement made me pretty peeved for a while and back to the drawing board I went. I found a couple races I was interested in and was looking to round up some friends to join in when a friend facebooked me on a Tuesday night and said "Hey, here's a 100K I'll be at. There's a lottery that closes at midnight tonight, you should sign up!" I was not-shockingly a bit uncertain. I thought it sounded like a good idea but . . . Things to know, first! Things to look up! I can't make a snap adventure race decision! She finally told me, "Stop being so analytical and sign up!" I did end up waiting until the next day since it turned out the lottery didn't close until Wednesday but had push come to shove, I would have signed up Tuesday.
So! My first big race of the year - Miwok 100K on May 3. No looking up of every detail! No gathering a posse of friends to join in! I guess that fits the spirit of an adventure race better, huh? Lottery names were drawn on that Friday and not only did I get in but so did my friend and her husband and another friend of theirs. So at least I'll have a couple people I know out there with me. There were about 900 people in the lottery and just shy of 500 allowed in, if I remember right, so chances weren't too bad at all. My first solo 100k (I ran Wild Duluth without a pacer but I had crew). It's looking absolutely beautiful from everything I've seen. A bit exposed so it might be my first chance of the year to test my inhaler one more time but I've also heard that running the course backwards from last year will get us through the super exposed sections first and into the redwoods when it's getting hotter. It's a 15:30 cutoff, which is a bit scary but I feel better about it when I think about Wild Duluth from this year.
Part of the lottery registration process for Miwok was to give a number of how many ultras you've raced. And not a general number 1-5, 5-10 etc, they wanted exact! Though, I imagine approximations are just fine but I realized I had no idea how many I'd done, which meant I had to go count them out. So - if you count Sawtooth, T-bunk, and Kettle (which I do since they were all around 50 miles) I'm at 17! Holy cow. And I've only been running ultras since Wild Duluth 2010. I keep recounting because that number can't be right, but it is. So here's to many more happy miles in 2015!