|So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. — Matthew 20:16|
I've been a bit coy recently about my upcoming race plans, but might as well admit it now: I made it through the entry process into the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 miler this year. The random number assignment back in December 2009 put my ultrarunning friend Kate Abbott and me only a short distance apart, and my analysis (cf. Lottery Correlation Calculation) said that there was a 95% chance that we'd either both be selected, or neither would be. Alas, when the stock market closed on 8 December the DJIA fell into that unlucky 1 in 20 zone. Kate was among the 180 runners selected. I was number 87 on the waiting list. I started to taunt her in earnest about Running Alone through the Woods at Night. We even developed an acronym for that: RAWN.
But many of those ahead of me decided not to enter, and by January 2010 I was #47. Then the trickle of dropouts slowed. Early February saw me at #44, early March #37, early April #28. As the deadline to withdraw and get money back loomed, however, those who were injured or otherwise couldn't train enough started to leave. By 25 April I had bubbled up to #1 on the waiting list, and the next day my luck ran out: I was in.
So on 15-16 May comrade Kate and I plan to attempt MMT together and see how far we get. Alphabetically she's first and has been assigned bib #1. I'm DFL among all entrants, bib #180. Appropriate, eh?! My right knee still hurts intermittently, as it has since January. I've never run more than (a little over) 50 miles before, never run through the night, never done more than a few dozen miles on the über-rocky Massanutten Trail. But I think there's a finite nonzero chance that Kate and I can finish within the 36 hour cutoff. We'll see ...
^z - 2010-05-07