Ok, so I didn't get into Hardrock yesterday. As it turned out, I had a 9.8% chance of being selected in the lottery, but as Lt. Frank Drebin would have said, there was really a 0% chance of that. With the surge of applicants this year, I knew my odds would be slim to grab one of the 140 entry slots, but I didn't realize that 39 of those spots would be guaranteed entry for 5-year veterans of the race. When I learned that fact prior to the lottery, it was easy to not even bother getting my hopes up for the drawing itself. Oh well. The bright side is now I can enjoy pacing many more miles at Badwater (which is held 2 days after Hardrock). I'll be a much more useful crew member for my buddy Chris without having to shuffle around on destroyed legs the whole time.
Even with the lottery loss, the weekend wasn't bad at all: I was able to enjoy another year of running my age on my birthday on Saturday. Well, "enjoy" might not be the best term for running 34 miles in rainy 37-degree weather, but I got it done, and that felt great. ...which isn't to say I didn't repeat the phrase "stupid tradition" a few dozen times when the rain and wind picked up. Also, I've decided I need to petition the government to have my birthday officially changed to June 5 from now on.
Another positive result from the HR100 lottery is I can now search all over for a new 100 miler to fill in my schedule between MMT in May and (hopefully) the Spartathlon in September. That's a pretty big gap with some great races to consider. One that caught my eye in particular is the Black Hills 100. They have a great website which tells you all you need to know about this first-year race, and I've always wanted to get up to that area of South Dakota to explore the Black Hills, Badlands, Deadwood, etc.. The problem I'm discovering, however, is that this appears to be one of those spots in the country that is pretty much impossible to travel to from DC. I'll have to work on exploring my options for this one to see if it can be done without having to take out a second mortgage. If anyone out there has any suggestions for another race in the June-July-August window, please let me know. I'm looking for something fun to cruise in between the hard work of MMT and Greece. Thanks!