This weekend the lottery to select runners for the 2012 Hardrock 100 will take place and can be followed live on twitter (@hardrock100)
The race is run over the weekend of July 13-15 2012 this race makes grown men quake in their boots. When I dropped my entry into the international post box at 1 Martin Place only a few short weeks ago my stomach dropped as I heard the letter hit the box below, wondering what I had just done. Gulp! From the race website:
Join us for the 19th running of the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run on July 13-15 in Silverton Colorado. In 2012 the course the course will be run in the clockwise direction – a big loop through the San Juan Mountains of beautiful southwest Colorado: 100-miles which includes 33,992 feet of climb and 33,992 feet of descent for a total elevation change of 67,984 feet with an average elevation of 11,186 feet – low point 7,680 feet (Ouray) and high point 14,048 feet (Handies Peak).
They make it sound so sweet and innocent, like apple pie and creaming soda, “come and join us”.
Aussie Ultra Legend Andrew “Whippet” Hewat has done just that a few times now, this is how he found it in 2008 after he “joined them”;
Nearly 24 hours into my Hardrock adventure I had to dig deep and call upon all the determination I could muster. Curled up in the fetal position on the end of a cot, I was lying in the first aid tent at Grouse Gulch, shivering uncontrollably. Was this how my race would end? Could I really do this? My heart was heavy. I never contemplated pulling out but feared I was defeated. In this condition I was in real danger of not making it. My mind swirled. Sleep. I really needed sleep but I was freezing cold and my heart was racing. Closing my eyes just sent me into a spinning vortex. My tongue was swollen in my mouth. I was worried, really worried about my physical state. Waves of nausea swept over me. I had been in a bad state before at ultras but never anything like this. The altitude was killing me. I was thoroughly depleted. I peeked out again from under my blanket. It was like a death zone. One guy was buried under a pile of blankets on another cot. Two others were huddled in chairs, faces expressionless. Steve McBee was sitting on the end of my cot staring at the propane heater in a trance. I’ve got to get out of here. If I stay here my race is over.
However being keen, or stupid, whichever way you look at it is only 10% of the battle to run this race. This is not only one of the toughest 100 mile races around but it is also one of the most difficult to gain entry into.
There are 658 people clambering for up to 140 spots. However this tells only half the lottery story. As it is weighted there are people in the lottery with as many as 6 tickets, many with 5, a stack with 4 and 3 and that’s before they hand out some more tickets to the helpful course marking and aid station volunteers from the previous year. Whippet has 5 lucky tickets while Spud, Gareth and Andrew have 2 each, they are not great odds any way you look at it but we dare to dream.
Best of luck to all and let’s hope our numbers come up, if not this year then one year down the track.