Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Prologue - 2014 Pine to Palm 100 race report

Before I go into my, quite late, race report for Pine to Palm 100 I need to take a few steps back and fill in a few gaps since my last report.

I was registered to run the North Face Endurance Challenge - Atlanta in September of 2013.  I was excited about this race as it was a large event outside of the Northwest and a 50 miler, a distance I have discovered I particularly enjoy.  However, it was the 2nd race ever I was registered for but did not start, ironically both for the same reason.

By January of 2014 I found myself in the middle of graduate school and moving to Spokane Washington after getting divorced in late 2013.  Finding myself single and looking forward to filling my time with running in a new state, I started looking at the race calendar for the area.  Still being interested in entering the Western States 100 lottery (something I did in 2013) and knowing that all 50 milers had been removed from the qualifying list, I looked for a 100k race that would serve as my qualifier and not require large amounts of travel.

After looking at the qualifier list I saw Waldo 100k in central Oregon.  I was somewhat familiar with this race and knew that for several years it was on the Montrail Ultra Cup, meaning the top 2 overall winners earn an automatic entry to Western States and therefore bypassing the lottery.  However, this also meant that the race filled up in just 45 minutes in 2013.  However, in 2014 Waldo was no longer on the Montrail Ultra Cup list, so I was hopeful registration would be easy and figured there would be a good chance I would get in.

I woke up early the day of registration and eagerly awaited the hour of opening. At 7 AM I grabbed my computer and attempted to login to where registration was taking place.  I learned an important lesson here, when attempting to register for an event that may fill up quickly, make sure you know your login username and password.  After nearly 45 frustrating minutes of resetting my login and hitting refresh since the site was jammed, I was finally able to register.  My elation quickly changed to confusion as I witnessed my registration literally disappear from Ultrasignup.  I then checked my credit card and saw the pending charge, so I hoped for the best.  30 minutes later the news came via email from one of the race directors that my registration had been reversed.  I had actually been registered for the event, but my registration was in process when the race limit was reached so it had to by reversed.  Myself and about 50 others.  I was assured that due to the error I would be given a guaranteed entry into the 2015 race.

Following what became known as the 2014 Waldo Registration SNAFU, I considered whether or not to attempt running a 100 miler.  I had heard about Pine to Palm 100 from a friend of mine, and even done some minor research on the event. But I didn't feel I was ready to run a 100 mile race, hence the reason I was pursuing a 100k.  Once I put some though into my race plans for a few weeks I decided to move ahead and register for Pine to Palm 100!