Trailer Trash


Well, I did it. This could be the stupidest thing I've ever done. (Read 417 times)


    I entered the Massanutten lottery.  My number is 073.  




    A lot of you have seen my progression throughout the last couple of years.  I ran my first 100k in Sept. (14:36) and am planning to run my second in January and a 50 miler in April.


    My long term goal was to do these two races, along with a couple more 50 milers in the fall, and then throw my name in the WS100 lottery in December (assuming I meet the 15 hour qualifying time in January's 100k), but also to go ahead and sign up (if I'm fast enough) for Umstead 100 to be my first.  This is my attempt to be patient.


    This is my attempt to forego patience and do something crazy.  The Massanutten 100 is in Virgina in May.  There is a lottery process just like WS100, although FAR less entrants.  I was contemplating putting my name in the lottery which opens this Saturday and if I got picked, then I would train and run but if not, no skin off my back and continue with the patient plan from above.  I also figured that with a Jan. 100k, and an April 50 miler, those would be good training runs leading up to the race.


    I was reading some RR's I found searching the 'net and stumbled upon one guy's (fellrnr from wikispaces if any of you know who I'm talking about) and in his summation of the race he stated, and I quote:  "Don't do MMT as a first 100 miler. Seriously."


    That being said, I sort of threw away the idea in my mind but it still lingers.  


    So my question to you all is, should I put my name in the lottery and be reckless with my plans and just go for it?  Or should I stick with plan A and be patient and use next year as more base building for a 2014 100 miler debut?

    Le professeur de trail

      First of all this is coming from a non 100 miler so for whatever it's worth:


      I heard that is a tough race.  My 2 cents is that if you think you would mentally be ok after if it didn't go well (i.e. DNF).  Do you think you would be able to climb back on the horse and do a different 100 later that year or 2014? Only you know that.  You don't plan to wreck at Massanutten but you got to think about the possibilities.  Would hate to see someone not have the mental ability to get back on it IF that happened.  Reading your progress, you seem like a strong runner. 


      Maybe you shouldn't rush it.  But I guess it comes down to what you really want your first 100 experience to be like. 

      The incarnation of peacefulness and patience



      Refurbished Hip

        Nathan, are you friends with SpreT (Rob) on Facebook?  I think he runs those trails all the time and has paced and runs an aid station at MMT, so he can probably give you lots of insider info.


        Katie and Thom also just ran Sawtooth Superior as their first 100 and it's supposed to be just as hard of a course.  Honestly, 100 miles is going to fucking difficult no matter how you spin it.  I think it's up to you what you want out of a first 100 in a way, you know?


          boyjame:  completely understand your aspect of it.  I think a DNF would drive me to want to get back on the horse as quickly as possible to slay the drag that just beat me.  However, the next attempt would definitely have to wait until 2014.  


          Mandy:  are you referring to Rob D?  if so, yes we are friends and I can shoot him some questions.


          As I stated in the first question, my first attempt had planned to be Umstead, mostly because A) it was 'local' (2 hr drive) and B) of course, good for a beginner 100.  But I didn't exactly start out with a beginner 50k (last year) and 100k (this year) - both at the UROC location in VA.  


          It was funny you mentioned Thom and Katie, Mandy.  I was running at lunch and thinking about all of this and they both came to my mind since they ran Sawtooth and I figured that the two courses are probably somewhat similar.  Both punishing to the core but if you finish, something you seriously have to be proud of being your first.


            I think you should put your name in the lottery for a number of reasons:


            1. Never let someone else's view of a race determine whether or not you do it. The reason I say that is because I broke that rule at Pinhoti. I let someone, who I didn't really know, convince me that if I didn't get to a certain point by a certain time, which was still two hours ahead of cutoff, that I would not make the finish. Now, I don't blame anyone or anything for DNF'ing that race, but I am only saying that I had that seed of doubt in the back of my mind that I allowed to be planted there, albeit by someone who was trying to help. I definitely felt like crap, but after looking at where I was and when, I think I could have possibly recovered and continued onward. It is all water under the bridge now, and it is no big deal. But I won't let that happen again. My inexperience showed itself that day, and I made a mental error.


            2. Look at MMT as an opportunity to get out there for a long training run. Don't even consider the time, the cutoffs, etc. Just run/walk/crawl until someone stops you or you finish. And take the swag and wear it as you wish. You earn the buckle, the tech shirt and other stuff are part of the entry fee...


            3. You have a good 100K under your belt; and you have another 100K and 50 miler coming up. These will be great training runs that may result in a better than expected day at MMT.


            4. People who are less fit than you will finish every 100 you enter. Each day is different for each person when you are running that far. For example, I finished Rocky Raccoon in 2012 and the course record holder from the previous year did not. I'll go out on a limb and say that I was not as fit as Ian Sharman back in February. I know we had very different goals, but I had a good day and he didn't.


            All these races are different. The loop at Umstead will offer you challenges that MMT does not, and MMT will offer challenges you won't find at Umstead. In my opinion, the only "advantage" in a loop course 100 miler is that it makes logistics a breeze. Point to points are more difficult in that regard because you either have to rely solely on aid stations (which vary greatly from race to race), or you have to make sure you have a good crew that understands the things you are going to need, mostly encouragement and a warm smile along the way.



              Doooo iiitttt.  <nods>

              Occasional Runner

                What would people have said if I told them that Leadville would be my first 100 miler? And where would I be if I declined it based on their opinions? 


                If you do it, please go into it with a plan to run well and finish because you may be taking a spot from somebody that has been training to run this race for years. 


                And don't bother with Umstead. If you're going to run a 100 miler, make it epic. You'll be much happier for running a more respectable 100 miler. 




                  I ran Massanutten as my first 100 mile race... and my second. It's sort of the terrain I like. I'm pretty sure Fellrnr is faster than me at most distances but MMT wasn't one of them. Don't be discouraged at all about one person's opinion or experience. If given a choice of a free entry between Umstead and Massanutten I'd choose Massanutten everytime. More variety, more scenery, and a different sort of challenge. Your chances of getting in there are also pretty good. Hopefully I will be there volunteering again this year at Gap Creek. I can probably dig up an old race report if you like, but it's on their site anyway.

                  In dog beers, I've only had one.

                    I only have one 100-mile race under my belt (or on my belt, I guess, since it is a buckle after all), so I cannot speak with authority on the subject.  I am, however, inclined to think that there is no such thing as an "easy 100." 


                    Rocky terrain races, like Massanutten, are going to present a huge mental and physical challenge with the risk of ankle rolls and the need for attention.  Flat, non-technical races may cause physical stress due to the propensity of a runner to maintain the same sort of stride throughout the event.   Point-to-point races out in the woods will demand fortitude, but loop races will demand similar fortitude, since you may be seeing your vehicle several times and will be tempted to get into the vehicle and drive home.  As the old 1970s Snickers bar commercial used to say, "No matter how you slice it, it comes up peanuts."


                    I do, however, like the idea of completing one's first 100-mile race on a course that has a general reputation for being rugged and treacherous.  In my opinion, a 100-mile race should feel like an adventure.  Braving rocky climbs, creek crossings, and dark trails to get the ring to Mordor or to find the Lost Ark.  That sort of thing.  I like the idea of having an adventure on a quest for the belt buckle.   Massanutten 100 seems like such an adventure.  If you go for that and finish the race, you will know that anything is possible. 


                      LB2:  I like your thinking and I was sort of thinking the same thing.  That person could have (and I think did since he DNF'd I believe) had a bad race and put that out there.  Thanks for the insight.  I agree with everything you wrote.


                      lace_up:  If I do get in and have the opportunity to run it, I will definitely make the most of it.  It's not something you just decide to go do one weekend.  I'll give it everything I've got.  And I agree with your comment about making it epic.  If I'm going to have a first 100, might as well 'go for it' and make it something I'll never forget.


                      XT:  the scenery and course layout is definitely more enticing than Umstead.  Can you send me a link to your race report so i don't have to fish through the site to find it, although I'm sure I will eventually as I'll probably read a lot of them.


                      RJR:  true, there are no 'easy 100' races.  One must respect the distance, and I learned that in my first 100k.  It's a long race.  it's going to hurt.  At times it will suck big time.  But you know this going in and choose to do it.  I agree with the mindset that choosing a difficult race as your first would make the reward of finishing that much sweeter.  You only live once right and you only get one 'first 100'.  


                      Mandy:  I did talk to Rob on FB.  He said that what I read about not doing this as a first is full of crap.  He did Grindstone as his first and knows a lot of people who did MMT as their first.  Both of these are considered two of the toughest 100's east of the Rockies according to the interwebs.  He said that yeah, it's a brutal course, but they give you a lot of time to do it (36 hour cutoff).  With the training I did for UROC, that would be what I'd need to do for this.  Given that I have local mountains (term being relative for your Westerners) to train on, I would have good terrain to prepare me for MMT.   He also mentioned that even if I didn't get in, a ton of people get in off the waiting list for various reasons.  He was pretty positive about me getting in if I chose to enter.


                      That being said, sometime tomorrow I'm jumping in the deep end and putting my name in the lottery.  I'll find out the following Monday if I get in.  Holy crap.  This is a big deal.


                      Thanks everyone!

                      Refurbished Hip

                        Nathan, Rob PMed me this morning and said, "Why did you tell him to talk me?  You know I would talk him into it."  Hehe.  Big grin


                        And to echo some wise words in the rest of this thread...


                        LB2 is spot on.


                        Jason's adventure idea rings true.


                        And finally...doooooo iiiittttt!




                          XT:  the scenery and course layout is definitely more enticing than Umstead.  Can you send me a link to your race report so i don't have to fish through the site to find it, although I'm sure I will eventually as I'll probably read a lot of them.




                          Here are a couple of links (another forum):


                          2009 report:


                          2010 report:


                          The 2010 report is the current course. They changed the start/finish location that year. Don't be discouraged if you don't get in via the lottery. They have a wait list and runners can drop fee free until April I think, and often if you stay on the wait list you will get in. You have to be patient though and know it may not pan out.

                          In dog beers, I've only had one.


                            Ditto what Lace_Up, Boyjamie and LB2 said.


                            Your first 100 should be orgasmic, and MMT will definitely deliver that – even if you crash and burn.  You'll have plenty of time to run loops, but there are only so many opportunities to beat yourself up against rocky granite, right?


                            It looks like you're well on the way to being trained up to approach it with the seriousness that it deserves but with the right attitude toward the rather high level of abuse that MMT dishes out.


                            Good luck with the lottery.  I just wish I could join you!

                            Refurbished Hip

                              Fuck yeah!!!  Approve


                                I would paste a picture in here but I'm an idiot as mentioned above and can't figure that out no matter which link I use.