Re: [ws100] Special cutoffs for 60+ at WS
- I should point out that I'm 53 and have never done WS, though I have
seen it from various perspectives; aid station volunteer, pacer and
safety patrol. It is a great race and certainly the "Superbowl" of 100
milers! However, as with all things, constructive criticism can be a
good thing, so here's my 2 cents.
I'm opposed to the 32 hour cutoff but do think there are other ways
to increase the finishing rate for older (and all) runners. First, I'd like
to see pacers for the whole race for those over 60 (maybe 65)
reinstated. While it doesn't physically help an older runner, I believe it
does help mentally by addressing safety concerns older runners may
have (thus reducing fatigue from the stress of worrying), particularly in
a snow year where falling is a real probability.
Secondly, and most importantly, I think the qualifying standards need
to be looked at. I personally know people who have entered on the
basis of only ever having done one 50M "trail" race with minimal
altitude change (2500') and no knowledge of the nature of WS. It is
unrealistic to expect these people, or those who enter on the basis of
a single, relatively slow road 50M, to finish within 30 hours. While I
don't begrudge them the right to enter a 100M, the fact is WS is so
popular it has to resort to a lottery. As long as a lottery is necessary, I
feel all would be better served if the qualifying standards were
tightened to better reflect a realistic barometer of finishing. I think the
50M standards should be changed to a minimum of 3 50 milers in the
past year or a sub 10 hour in the past year with at least 2 other 50+
milers run in the past 3 years, all on trail with at least 6000' of climb.
This might be a more accurate gage of potential success and could
also significantly reduce the number of entrants, which would have a
direct, positive impact on the lottery. I personally would not enter with
any realistic expectations of finishing without a recent sub 10 hour on
a difficult course. I know there are some people who run 10-12 hours
and can still finish WS but they are generally all seasoned ultra runners
who through years of experience have learned what it takes to keep
going for up to 30 hours.
Finally, moving the lottery date back closer to the race should be
considered. If entry requirements were tightened and entrants
significantly reduced, many concerns about this are eliminated. For
example, the average entrant would be more experienced and
probably not need 8 months to train specifically for WS. As one gets
older, injuries become more frequent and the current 8 months
between entry and race is a long time for many to stay injury free. If
the lottery was moved closer to the race, it's likely more entrants
would be healthy on race day. As has been pointed out, WS is an
expensive proposition for many and I think many people start, even
though they know they're injured/undertrained, because they have
invested so much time/money. This is the main reason I haven't
entered the lottery. With my history of injuries and knowing that I
would obsess/overtrain with 8 months lag time, I'd probably not make
the starting line. But as the saying goes - I ain't getting any younger!
Good luck to everyone in this year's lottery and I'll be there again next
year in one capacity or another.
- Jim Winne
On 23 Aug 00, at 22:38, greg m soderlund wrote:
> Taking Carl Pegel's cue, I would like to address his request for
> consideration of a special 32 hour cutoff for the 60+ age group at WS.