You know the feeling of being drafted for the NHL after a decade of rejections? If you’ve ever been picked for Hardrock or Western States 100, you just might. Qualifying for these iconic events is one accomplishment. But being chosen by the lottery gods to toe the line is an entirely different feat. December 1, 2018 marked the annual lottery draws for the Hardrock and Western States 2019 runs. With a 90 per cent rejection rate and over 8,000 entrants, the ultrarunning world waited impatiently for the results. Here are the Canadians that got lucky:
In Los Alamos, New Mexico, the Hardrock 100 board of directors sat around a kitchen table. The only guaranteed entrants are last year’s winners: Jeff Browning and Sabrina Stanley. Then, 143 names were drawn from three categories: Veterans (33 spots), Never Finished (45 spots), and Everyone Else (67 spots).
Christmas for Canadians
Lucky Canadians drawn from the giant mixing bowl include B.C.’s Randy Duncan and Alberta’s Leo Fung. New Brunswick’s Nathaniel Couture too. This will be Duncan’s third Hardrock, and Fung’s first.
More Canadians were drawn for the Hardrock waitlist, which is almost as rare. Lori Herron, Suzanne Johnson, Lisa Large, Tim McGargill, Dana Samis, and Alley Vause may not get to toe the line this year, but it’s better than nothing.
Meanwhile in Auburn, California, The Western States 100-mile Endurance Run lottery began. Although the lottery is set up differently, the chances are almost as slim: 5,862 applicants with a total of 20,119 tickets, crossing their fingers for 331 spots at the start line.
Christmas for Canadians
The lucky Canadians include B.C.’s Andre Erlank and Matthew Goulden. Alberta’s Alissa St. Laurent, Ted Croll, Rod Giacchetta, and Adrian Harvey. Ontario’s Carsten Meyer-Jacob. And Quebec’s Cedric Chavanne. Nathaniel Couture won the double jackpot, and also got into Hardrock 100. He should go buy a 649 lotto ticket as soon as possible to keep his lucky streak going. Additional Canadians could still toe the line on June 29 by winning a Golden Ticket.
Those not chosen this year can begin making their summer racing plans. If you’ve ever had the honour of racing, volunteering, pacing, or crewing Hardrock or Western States, you can understand why the stakes are so high. Waiting a decade is arguably worth it.