Friday, December 14, 2012

Hardrock 100 Odds, Donut Day 25k, Western States Lottery Results, and Gear Reviews, Oh My!

We're going to Tarantino this one--start at the end, jump back to the beginning, and then float around aimlessly and call it "art."

First, the selfishly important: HARDROCK 100 Odds for the lottery on Sunday, December 16, 2012!

First, a gripe. The Hardrock Board feels that the "deal mix of runners" for the run is 25% Newbs, 25% Vets (finishes>=5), and 50% returning runners, which would be fine... if they allowed 400 runners. However, their field limit is 140, and with over 850 applicants, things are getting tight.

In previous years, a certain number of finishes got you automatic entry, and the rest of runners were thrown into a giant pool with tickets based on past DNFs ("did not finish"s, which were eventually gone away with) and DNSs ("did not start"s). With the number of automatic entrants going up, it was getting difficult for first-timers to get into the race. This year, the new "ideal mix" lottery was implemented to combat that "problem" for first-timers.

The 2012 Registrants: 44 Vets for 35 spots, 191 <Vets (start>=1, finishes<5) for 70 spots, and 619 Newbs for a mere 35 spots.

The Vets odds (44 applicants, 35 spots):

In previous years, all 44 of them would be in. This year, the 5-time finishers only have a 42% chance of being selected. Though overall, nearly 80% of these folk are getting in (and actually, with the waitlist, everyone in the category that wants to run should be able to).

The <Vets (start>=1, finishes<5) odds (191 applicants, 70 spots):

Here, the <Vets (start>=1, finishes<5) get tickets for DNSs and maybe past finishes (I think?). In any case, the worst <Vets odds are nearly 11% while the folks with 6 tickets are over 50%.

Then, there's the NEWBS, who again get the shaft (619 applicants, a lonely 35 spots):

New this year, Newbs get 2^n tickets, where "n" is previous DNSs. The good news: if you somehow go 5 years without being selected, your odds of getting in are nearly 60%. The bad news: first-time applicants have a 1.9% chance of getting in, and first-time losers have a paltry 3.9% chance.

Anyway, specifically, the Minnesotan applicants odds look like:

Name Odds
Matthew Aro 3.90%
Aaron Buffington 1.94%
Bob Gerenz 1.94%
Allan Holtz 20.88%
John Horns 3.90%
Dale Humphrey 1.94%
Jason Husveth 3.90%
Valeria La Rosa 3.90%
Scott Mark 3.90%
Kim Martin 1.94%
Michael Nicholls 1.94%
Daryl Saari 1.94%
Edward Sandor 3.90%
Adam Schwartz-Lowe 3.90%
John Taylor 20.88%
Brian Woods 1.94%

The overwhelming lesson in all of this is register early, and register often. Based on this year's model, after 6 DNSs, you're odds of getting in are 91%. If you somehow make it 7 DNSs without a start, the odds increase to 99%. Then again, who knows, my math could be wrong.

Time to Tarantino it back to last weekend. Lots of things going on lately. December 8th, 2012 marked the second annual Donut Day Fun Runs put on Jordan Hanlon, a.k.a. #jordanrocksthehelloutofacardigan, including the Donut Day 25k, 10m, and 5m courses AND the 2013 Western States Lottery!  

Donut Day 25k Course

As usual, I didn't take enough (or any) pictures during the #DonutRun2012, but I got to see a bunch of good friends and meet a few new fantastic folk, including through-hiker extraordinaire Jake Hoffman, a.k.a. Samwise the Vagabond, and US 24-hour badass Lana Haugberg! Though most of my day was spent trying to keep up with Joseph "I'll be the guy who looks like me" Altendahl.

And folks, we have a Western States Lottery winner. Jason "Bourne Identity" LaPlant was selected as an entrant to the 2014 Western States Endurance Run. I hate him, but I love him. I'm hoping he lets me tag along and pace/crew at Western. It means no Gnarly Bandit again for 2013, but meh, going to Western States, even if I'm not running, means a lot more than avenging my 2012 Black Hills run at the moment. I was even able to snag Jason a legit Western States coach in 7-time top-ten finisher at Western States, Andy Jones Wilkins!

Two other Minnesotans made it in as well: Eric Nordgren and Mark Becker (though Mark is no longer on the entrants list).

No matter which way the Hardrock Lottery falls, the ensuing months are going to be exciting. I'm trying to imagine a scenario in which I don't run Zumbro this year, but I can't think of any. In any case, Jason has to run sub-30 on a fast course at Western States, so we have some work to do, and it's going to be fun!

Gear Reviews! I think I'm going to start providing reviews of gear that I've liked/hated. I've tinkered with just about everything on the damn market that comes in my size. May as well write about it.

My newest toy is one of the new Scott Jurek Ultimate Direction Signature Series Vests. More to come on that soon.

Oh, and the narcissist in me thinks Steve Quick says that I haven't "raced," which is a true story.

Happy hunting, all!


  1. I wasn't thinking of you in particular when I wrote that, but yeah, when you don't train and lope through Sawtooth grinning from ear to ear and finish in 29 hours, I have to think you could break 24 with a little effort. I realize people do these things for different reasons and enjoying a race just might be better than my deliriously running Sonju 5 times by mistake, but I race to RACE - you could have a fun run on the SHT any day.

  2. I'm a hedonist at heart, Steve. I really only train just enough to enjoy the training and reduce the pain I have to go through during these events. February marks year 3 of this whole running thing for me. I'm still getting there, working on this whole work/life balance. If I could run every day and still concentrate on my job, I would--but I haven't been able to yet.

  3. I'd love to see your methodology to get the probabilities. I've been playing around with the numbers for a couple days now and can't seem to figure it out.

  4. Alex, I didn't use anything fancy. Brian Peterson described how he calculated odds for Western States last year on his blog (linked below). At minimum, it doesn't account for the proper amount of tickets coming out as people are selected, but overall, it get's us in the ballpark.