This is probably the right move. WG is in for sure for 2015, with 16 tickets.
But, even with the new tougher qualifying requirements, single-ticket holders will now stand pretty much zero chance. This is really in contradiction to their stated goals when they made that change -- they wanted to eventually get the single-ticket odds back up to around 20-25%.
It is likely that there would be lottery for qualifying races soon.
Lets say a runner had apply for three years and still waiting. Comes 4th year. if there are 3 races within 100 miles of runner's home. He might not get into any of these 3 races. Then it would be hard to find the motivation to go further to ran a qualify race.
I agree hectortrojan, the list of qualifying races seems somewhat arbitrary and does not include some really legitimate 100's. I understand why they eliminated 50-milers and most 100k's but, suddenly, some legitimate 100 milers are not qualifiers just because they don't have 100 starters. So a Black Hills 100 finisher isn't qualified to run WS100? Really? And they could have grandfathered races for those of us who had already registered for and run races that were 2014 qualifiers, like Hardrock did. But, hey, "we're Western States, we can do whatever we want, because we're Western States. Did I mention that we're Western States?"
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√ Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 20/21 July 2013
Boston Marathon 21 April 2014
Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 19/20 July 2014