FastDude: I wasn’t selected in your lottery and I am calling to ask you to let me in your race.
RD: Sorry, FastDude, but we only have a limited number of available spots as permitted by the land managers. Many runners want those limited entry spots and we have determined the most fair way to allocate those is via a lottery. Our selection process is clearly spelled out on our web site. One way to experience the race is to volunteer at an aid station or to be a sweep, etc. Would you like to volunteer?
FastDude: I realize a lot of people want those spots, but I’ve been running over 100 miles a week for many months. I’m a legitimate runner and can greatly add to the competitiveness of your race. I think I can win it.
RD: I’m sorry, FastDude, but there are many people who are in your same position. I’ve been getting calls and emails from people who all think they are deserving of a spot. I wish I could accept everybody that wants in the race but that is just not possible. The sport of ultrarunning is booming and we’ve experienced, on average, about a 25% increase in the number of applicants per year while the number of spots allowed by the land manager has not increased. Would you like to volunteer on the safety patrol? That is a great way to see some of the beauty of the course yet give back to the race.
FastDude: I am a RACER. I think I can break the course record. Obviously, I will add to the competitiveness of your race. Don’t you want that?
RD: FastDude, I’m sorry, but we only have a limited number of spots. After years of tweaking, we have developed a selection process that we think is fair. Unfortunately for you, it doesn’t give any weighting to how fast one thinks they will run. There are a couple of ways to increase your chances of getting in the race in the future. For instance, if you are on the board of directors you can run anytime you want. Have you studied our selection process on our website? We pride ourselves on the egalitarian nature of our lottery. We want to provide an opportunity for anybody to run our race, whether they have run our race before or if they’ve just quit smoking, lost 150 pounds, and are attempting their first long ultra. Inevitably, we will have disappointed people. We cannot please everyone.
FastDude: I ran 161 miles last week, including 143,000 feet of climbing and a lifetime PR on the Deer Mtn climb: 56:34. How many of those others that want in your race ran that many miles? Think any of them have run faster on the Deer? Based on that alone I should be allowed in your race. And, don’t give me this egalitarian BS, I watched your entrants list last year and many people appeared on the list after the lottery. And, most weren’t legitimate runners. Give me a break. Why did you let them in?
RD: That is impressive weekly mileage and elevation. But, I get lots of emails and calls. I even got an email from a runner who has volunteered at the race for 10 years and I couldn’t let him in. He is going to work as a ham radio operator at the finish this year. Do you have your ham radio license? If so, you could help with communication at the race.
FastDude: Are you not listening to me? I am a sponsored athlete. I am very fit and very fast. I, along with my other fast buddies, would like to race each other at your event. We will bring exposure and attention to your race. That attention and exposure will make your race more valuable to sponsors. You do want maximum exposure for your sponsors, don’t you? That increased exposure will increase the revenue of your event. Don’t the proceeds of your event go to help Toys for Tots? You’d be able to give them a bigger donation. Lots of kids would get toys this Christmas and you can all feel better about yourselves by making it happen. Your race is out of touch with reality and missing out on the revenue that my fast buddies and I are bringing to this sport.
RD: Actually, our proceeds go to support the trail we run on and we’re very proud of the contributions we’ve made to the trails community. We also have a scholarship fund which helps young people attend college. And, our sponsors are very happy with the exposure they get, thank you very much. I wish you whiny elites would give it a rest. What have you done for the sport of ultrarunning? You all think you are entitled to spots just because you are fast. I’ve been in the sport for 20 years and I have never seen any of you fast guys working at any of the races I’ve been involved with. You are all a bunch of takers. You expect us to give you spots in our races just because you are fast. Well, let me tell you, FastDude, I respect the guy who finishes in 30 hours just as much or more than the guy who runs 13 hours.
FastDude: You don’t get it.
RD: No, you don’t get it.