Monday, November 22, 2010

Planning for 2011

Although there are a number of (at least semi-) goal races between now and Summer 2011, if I wanted the least-hassle route of keeping the Western States 100 as an option for next year I needed to cash in on my top-10 status from this year by registering and plunking down my $370 before the end of this week.  So I did.  

There is a good chance I'll be back at Western States in 2011 (not the least of the motivating factors being the matter that my $370 is non-refundable) despite the fact that I will almost certainly be entering another conflicting (in my mind, at least) lottery sometime soon (cough-Hardrock!-cough).

Little Giant Saddle at the top of Dives Basin. The creek at the
bottom of the picture is alternately mile 9 or mile 91 of
the Hardrock 100.  This mountain is only one of a dozen similar
such absurdities that must be scaled during the race each July.
Both inspiring and horror-inducing. Photo: Klas Eklof

While the aesthetic and ethic of the Hardrock 100's course is much more my style (unending gigantic alpine passes), the chance to re-engage with the top long-course mountain racers in the world at Western States is pretty hard to pass up. For better or worse, it seems that WS and the Ultra Trail du Mt Blanc have become the two can't-miss stops on the international 100 mile circuit if you are truly interested in racing the best in the world.

I, for one, know that virtually every time I run up Green Mt., an image very much like the one below flashes through my mind at least once:

A crazed yeti chases a diminutive mountain-slayer through the snow at Robinson Flat,
WS100 2010. Rickey follows behind, documenting the moment on video, while I'm
sure Geoff is just out of the frame somewhere. Photo: Mike Redpath.

But Western States and the Hardrock 100 are only the beginning of the lotteries I plan to enter in the next couple months.  The Miwok 100K, Wasatch 100, and UTMB all hold their lotteries this time of year too and are all options I would very much like to have remain in play for next year's racing season.

Like Hardrock, even the best are relegated to a hike on the
climbs at UTMB.  Kilian grunting his way up to La Flegere,
the final crushing ascent of the UTMB route, in 2009.
The scenery can't be beat, though.

34 comments:

Tuck said...

Yeah, you'd love Chamonix. The Rockies look like hills by comparison.

(The valleys are lower in Chamonix.)

PEZ said...

Great to see you here in Europe.
I hope it will be only the beginning.

It's a pitty that I won't be able to go to UTMB until 2012...I would like to see you "live".
We will support you sure from here (Spain).

Andy said...

How many tickets do you have for the Hardrock lottery Anton?

mtnrunner2 said...

>A crazed yeti chases a diminutive mountain-slayer

A puckish post today. lol.

I hope I can gather enough vacation time to wrangle another visit to the Alps some day (I was a kid the last time). Absolutely spectacular.

Collin said...

I still find it crazy that guys as fast as you have to put up with this lottery nonsense. I often feel like this sport has no balls and RDs just don't want to offend slow people. In any case, you at least get an auto-acceptance to Miwok after winning it last year, right?

Brandon Thrower said...

Anton,

There are ideas floating around here in western North Carolina about starting a 100 mile race up here in the Appalachias of NC. We don't have a mountainous 100 here, so we think we need one. Funny thing is, the proposed route as of now has close to 32,00 ft of gain and ends on Mt. Mitchell (the highest peak east of the Mississippi). That would almost rival Hardrock except the altitude would be between 1700 ft and 6700 ft. If it ever gets started, you should definitely put it on your list!

brownie said...

I took you down at Leadville, would love to do it at Hardrock as well!

Tony would get one ticket, FYI.

FastED said...

Looks like I'll be following you around "literally" next summer. WS and UTMB for sure on my docket. HR is gonna take some serious thinking.

JohnnyMac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JohnnyMac said...

Anton,
What type of eating regime do you institute? Certain types of foods you heavily rely on? And you said your not that good of a runner because of your 5k. Come on!?!

Malcolm said...

Hi Anton, I am not that familiar with some of the terms in U.S. racing. When you say you 'cashed in' your top ten status what does that mean? Hope you come to Frnace and show em how it's done.

Jeremy said...

Having wondered round the shortened UTMB this year, I'm hoping to get in again in 2011. Really hope to see you, Killian and Geoff on the start line, alongside all the other front runners who make me wonder what I'm doing with myself as I dawdle along in the middle of the pack!

Fingers crossed for the lottery and in the meantime have fun training through the winter

Eric said...

Any 50 milers on the agenda?

Mike said...

Hey Anton,

I've been reading your blog for months, looking forward to it as a treat and spark of additional motivation to get in my long runs. Keep it up (both the running and the writing - your writing is some of the best I've found on blogs). My sense is that Rickey's video of the front of the race at Western could be really compelling to may viewers. Is there a plan to make that footage available to the rest of us?

Congratulations on all your running successes.

Mike

Anton said...

Eric--Oh, there are certainly sub-100 mile races on the agenda. I'm currently loosely bandying about the ideas of Bandera, Chuckanut, American River, Barr Trail Mountain Race, a return to White River, maybe the road 100K championshps, etc.

Mike--I'm not sure if Rickey is planning on compiling his footage into anything more than what's already been posted on the Salomon Running Facebook page (look back through their 60+ videos for a ~5min clip that they put together from WS. You can see some of Rickey's surprisingly unshakey head-cam Cal St footage there). He's currently hanging out in Antarctica, so I can't imagine he'll be getting to it anytime soon. However, JB Benna also did extensive amounts of filming before, after and at WS (for instance, when Kilian, Geoff and I were dropping into Deadwood Canyon at ~45mi and then Kilian took off, JB was running right behind us filming the whole thing and when Geoff and I were less than a minute apart with 6mi to go, JB was right there, too) and I know for sure that he is planning on releasing a formal DVD telling the 2010 WS story sometime in the next six months. Probably just in time to provoke the excitement for WS 2011 to a fever pitch.

Tony

Anton said...

Mike,

Here's the WS video on FB: WS100 Video

Dominic said...

That little giant saddle picture got my attention the first time too.. What a race, what an unreal experience, and what what a way to put every other race's mile 93 climb in perspective.

Don't forget abou Angeles Crest in July this year! We have an old course record and a pretty wide open entry process.. For some reason lately, there aren't thousands of Southern California/Oregon runners clammoring to run AC ;)

cricri252002 said...

Anton, do you strech ? Before ? After ? Thanks!

JohnnyMac said...

Thanks Anton for ignoring me =/

Anton said...

JohnnyMac--I eat food, with an unconscious emphasis on carbs, veggies and fruit. That may sound glib, but it's the truth.

I don't do anything even remotely resembling a structured stretching routine.

If you all can't tell already, probably to my detriment, I don't spend a lot of time or effort on anything but actually running. I just don't even really think about it and I prefer it that way.

JohnnyMac said...

Thanks for the quick response. Your my hero.

the horse's tooth said...

If UTMB and Hardrock had an illegitimate lovechild it'd be the chubby cheeks 50k.

I'd be focusing on that if I were you.

Jacob Rydman said...

Any interest in running Way Too Cool 50k this March?

arareko said...

Hardrock, Wasatch and returning to the UTMB are on my list for next year. Hope to see you there. It was great to see you racing the Leadville last year. Cheers :)

owlrunner said...

Several people have asked about you coming to Western North Carolina (Asheville) to run, any plans? Great technical, steep trails, maybe Mt. Mitchell Challenge - 100 mile race is in the works.

cricri252002 said...

Thanks Anton, you are my hero too.
So running is just an indulgence.
Tell me if you want to run in Paris while you are in France.

colorado said...

hey anton....when you say Western State and UTMB are both considered as the best challenge in the ultratrail's world you're talking about the point of view of americain's runners or you've some "cotation" from anywhere?
because in europe...when somebody win UTMB he has to prove his domination on a island...at "la diagonale des fous" of reunion's island....kilian ran and won it on october,162K and 9900md+,marco olmo ran and dropped it at 2007 just after his last victory at utmb, jaqcuerod and delebarre, both winners of utmb, won it due at 2006, dawa sherpa, several and first winner of utmb ran 4 times during his greatest years and finished 5th this year only at his last but not least "tentative".....chaigneau,guillon and the casual top 5 or top 10 on utmb ran it each year and are always dreaming about win it...but by your country only meltzer are interested to participate soon, it's weird that you,with your profil, you've never said anything about this famous course who is exactly your cop of tea? you see, if you're "truly interested to run the best in the world" as you said don't forget this ultra who is known by every european's ultrarunner.
ask to them about that...i don't speak by the wind;-)

Chris said...

Would love to see you and Roes duel it out at Bandera. I have run Bandera a few times and it is a challenging, technical but very runnable course. Climbs aren't very long but they are steep with lots of rock. It also has some smooth singletrack as well. Very scenic.

Runner, Writer, Reader said...

the most encouraging thing for me out of this post is the picture of killian walking. nice to know guys at your level of fitness walk. even if it's only ten steps. i always imagine you plowing through mountains--gaining 1000' per mile at an 8:00 minute/mile pace.

uhlir said...

Anton,

Any thought to running any new 100 mile races for 2011? Or maybe you are? The SD Black Hills 100 miler in June by the Lean Horse race producers looks to be a nice course with over 30,000 ft. in elevation changes. The competition and draw of the bigger name ultra runners may be a downside though with it being a new event.

Mike said...

Tony,

Thanks for the info on the videos. I loved the one on Salomon's page and look forward to seeing what JB Benna produces. Good luck on Saturday.

Mike

Speedgoat Karl said...

I'd put my money on you getting in Hardrock, even with one ticket. The race suits you man, go take Kyle's record down. There are only a few guys in the world that can break 24 there (on a good day) You are one of them. I also threw down my 370 non-refundable bucks for WS. I am looking more at the Grand Slam, but if I get shut down again, which I imagine I will, I'll be at Good ole' Hardrock again. It's addicting to run there, you'll find that once you run it. But you probably already know that! :-)

"Run what you want to run, not what others expect you to run"

That's all I got to say...:-)

Anton said...

Karl--Yeah, Kyle instilled the Hardrock bug in me three years ago and I still think about it all the time. Of course, I'm finding that WS has that same addictive aspect to it--especially when you come as close as I did to winning it...but not quite!

HR is the best 100 mile course in the world if you prefer a true alpine experience and it'd be nice if we could secure a WS or UTMB-type field there: Kilian, Geoff, myself, Nick C (who is also interested), yourself...it sounds absurd, but I think we could get 3-4 dudes under 24hr at HR in one race if the conditions lined up, much like there were 4 guys at 16-flat or better at WS this year.

Of course, HR is really just a fun-run, though...right?

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