Registration Process Begins this Month!
Mark your calendars. Registration for the lottery opens up Sunday May 12 and lasts for one week. Anyone who plans on or desires to be in the race must register for the lottery. Those applicants that the lottery selects get notified and then must go through an additional full race registration process. See a description of the full registration process at the Wind Drinkers website.
When is a Lottery not a Lottery?
Some folks have pointed out and complained that the registration process is not a true lottery and we should not call it a lottery. Yes, that is true. Not all those that are selected are by a pure random lottery process. So a better term instead of Lottery would be Selection Process.
To clarify the process, there are three categories of selection.
- The first category is those who get in automatically by their prior accomplishments such as previous winners or people that have finished more than 10 official Ridge Runs.
- The second category includes those subjectively selected by merit, from their stories, reasons, previous attempts to get in and their service.
- The third category is a true lottery and includes those selected purely on a random drawing basis.
New Registration People
For the last dozen years, the same person has been working the Ridge Run Registration task. This year, will be their last and they will be training some new volunteers. The new people will take over next year after apprenticing this year under the tutelage of the current registration master. It looks like there is at least one volunteer that has expressed serious interest in taking on the role. If there are any readers of this Blog that would be interested, just post a comment here and we will get back to you.
If interested, it is helpful if you have some skills with data tools such as Excel and direct email tools such as Mail Chimp.
Training Season Begins
With the race about three months away, it is time to start some specific Ridge Run training. There are plenty of previous posts on this Blog site detailing training recommendations. See the Best Of link above.
At this time of the year, you should already have a pretty good foundation or base level of fitness. Now as the snow clears in the Mountains, it is time to hone your uphill and downhill skills and toughness.
Use the Baldy Blitz as a Fitness Test
In mid May there is a low key race up and down Mount Baldy from the M trail head. Other than the May 18 date, I have not found much information about it. So you may have to do some asking around for more details.
Remember, a quick way to estimate your Ridge Run time is to double your Mount Baldy round trip time.
There are plenty of other local races that offer opportunities of quality training, fitness tests and tune ups. There is just something about an official race that peaks your willingness to go fast and push yourself beyond what you would normally do in training. Take advantage of all what a race offers such as fundraising for a good cause, enjoyable social event and a chance to really push your abilities.
My Personal Ridge Run Plans
I have lost count of how many official Ridge Runs I have finished over the last few decades. Perhaps 15 or 16 I think? So at this point in my life (I’m closer to 60 years old than 50) doing something like the Ridge Run is certainly not getting any easier!
Last year, I was nearly 10 pounds heavier than I usually am in the middle of the summer. That winter bulge around the waist tends to linger longer and longer the older I get. Carrying an extra 10 pounds makes climbing up those steep grades to Sacajawea, Bridger and Saddle Peak an exhausting endeavor. It was with a certain sad realization in the weeks leading up to last year’s race, that I admitted to my wife that the days of breaking 4 hours are probably behind me. Oh well. I still plan on doing it this year regardless of my speed, weight or fitness.
Ironically, I have way more trouble wrapping my mind around the concept of NOT participating than I do around training for and committing to another Ridge Run.
After some serious health challenges last year (vertigo from inner ear problems being the most debilitating) I got fired up to participate in even more events and races. You never know when you may no longer be able to do certain things.
Embrace this moment’s opportunity and keep participating.
The day after last year’s Ridge Run, I made a resolution to do some other events and adventures that I have always wanted to do. One was doing a trail race down in the southern Utah desert. So last fall, I did the Moab Trail Marathon.
It is always an adventure to run through the red rock country of the Utah desert. The Moab Trail Marathon incorporated some challenging slick rock sections and twisty turny single track surrounded by stunning vistas.
Danelle Ballengee is the race director. She routed a section of the course through the slick rock canyon where back in December of 2006 she fell and broke her pelvis nearly perishing. For you not familiar with Danelle’s story, it is an inspiring one of survival and of her dog Taz’s love and devotion. Taz helped lead rescuers to the accident site just in time to save her. Here are a couple fascinating interviews of Danelle.
I had a great experience doing the Moab Trail Marathon. I am glad I did it and have some fond memories. For me, doing it once is enough though. There are a couple things I did not like about the course that will discourage me from doing it again. A painfully congested start and some contrived and congested narrow out and back sections detract from an otherwise classic route through the Moab backcountry.
Over the years, I certainly have gotten a lot of mileage out of that Jim Bridger Trail Run shirt. I actually bought a new race shirt last year to replace the one in the picture. But the new shirt chaffed my nipples. So I had to go back to my old blood stained and frayed JBTR shirt.
Next goal is to do a trail race in the Wasatch Range in northern Utah. Does anyone have any suggestions?