Well, there is a lot of talk out there about the lottery and how many people aren’t getting in, record numbers entering. I thought a quick Bronco Billy two cents was in order.
The big one for me personally is not allowing fast guys in based on previous years performance. The fast folks that make the competition at the front tougher and in turn those performances inspire us all. This doesn’t mean I only think fast folks are important. I just think it makes for an exciting race.
Karl, Anton, Rod—all denied. I’m sure there were other fast folks too…those are just off the top of my head. See Anton’s blog for an interesting discussion on the subject. I have to say I agree with his take on the whole situation.
We’re in uncharted territory in the ultrarunning community, with record numbers entering races. Being a former mid-pack runner and now pushing to be up front (then and now), I want to see and have always been inspired by gutsy performances by the front runners. A few individuals duking it out and pushing each other to historic efforts.
I think Karl and Scott’s ’07 Hardrock battle was incredible. To be in that race and get reports throughout the day, even though my race was mediocre, I was inspired to keep on keepin’ on, putting one foot in front of the other, albeit rather slowly. Also, Jurek’s WS record setting run against Mackey is another. Without Dave in the race that day, would Scott have got the record…maybe, but probably not. It takes good competition, deep competition to create these type of races. I want more of it. It’s inspiring.
Should we make the competition as stiff as possible—absolutely. Should we neglect back of the packers—never. But, allowing a few more fast folks in based on previous years performance, well, should be a given. If you win a 100 miler the previous year, you should get in—period. Give the folks who are at the top of their game a chance to get after it. Lord knows we only have a few years at this level, then it’s gone. It’s inevitable. We ALL will get slower, not faster. The clock is ticking, let us push the second hand while we still can.