Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Race Popularity

I've been doing triathlons since making a New Year's Resolution in 2001 to do one.. yknow, just to see if I could do it. I also registered for my first Ironman that year even before doing my first sprint tri. In the years to follow, of the four other IMNA Ironman triathlons I completed, I had to be at my computer the day after the race, poised and ready to be one of 2,000 to make it into the race for the next year. This year, the registration process of Ironman Lake Placid practically changed on the spot to keep up with (stay ahead of?) the popularity of the race.

So on December 4th, I was lucky enough to be one of 160 to register for the 14th running of Masssanutten Mountain Trails 100. In the past, I have heard that this race never closed in less than a week or two, but that was because you registered online then mailed in your entry form and check. So it was a bit of a surprise when the upcoming race sold out in 2 hours. Granted, we're not talking about the same participation level as an Ironman, but how many people do you know were sitting at their computer on a Tuesday morning anticipating the opening of a race with a 36 hour time limit?

I do feel fortunate enough to have made it in, and now it's time to start training again. I've taken plenty of time off *looking at my belly* and have done a little stuff here and there, but I have a 40 miler in a month and a half to prepare for to start off the 2008 ultra season. There's a growing waiting list for MMT.. yes, people wait in a virtual queue to do this race.. and I hope to keep my spot. Sure, I hope everyone on the wait list gets in, but that would mean someone currently registered had to bail due to injury or some other reason. I hope I am not one of those people, so I'm going to alter my training a bit this year to stay as healthy as possible. As popular as MMT is and as long and strenuous as the training is, I plan to be smart about it this year to improve on my 35:45 finish this year. If that doesn't happen, I guess I'll have to do it again next year.

That's what it does.. it sucks you back in. Now I know why those people are on the wait list.


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