Monday, February 07, 2011

Mostly great news

Starting with the not so great news: I was rejected during this weekend's Hardrock 100 lottery.  I didn’t even make it on to the wait list.  Certainly Hardrock, of all the top lottery entry races out there, likely even more than Western States, is a tough, tough race to gain entry.  Hopefully I’ll get a shot to toe the line in Silverton some other year.  Strangely, rather than feeling dejected I am somewhat relieved.  Relieved not to have to shuffle other ideas around because of this one race.  Relieved not to worry about how-am-I-gonna-acclimate to make it through this thing.  Plus, in the end, race lottery entry wise, I am two for three in 2011 since I was recently awarded entry into the Bull Run 50 in April, awarded entry some time ago into the Massanutten Mountain Trail 100 and, with a heavy heart, yanked my name from the Wasatch registration prior to this past weekend’s lottery picking.  Two for three is very good in my book so I definitely do not have much to complain about.  In fact, I am excited for those runners who gained Hardrock entry.  I look forward to sitting in my comfortable chair Friday, July 8th, sipping coffee in the morning, and logging on to Hardrock's website to see what bold and brash runners dare to rush the pace early on.

Since Hardrock is off the table I decided to part with the $295 and sign up for August's famed Leadville Trail 100.  It is official, as of 9:19 EST this evening, I am in Leadville.  (Um, registration for Leadville was $250 in 2010, by the way, for those who keep track of such things).  After Massanutten in May, comes the Old (School) Dominion 100 in June, then Leadville late August, followed by the GEER 100k in late September and, ultimately, the Grindstone 100 in October.  Come Fall these legs will be nice a tired.  No matter, they remember how to recover from last summer and, together, we’re up for another adventurous year of racing.

Another slice of overwhelming news is the good people at VHTRC during yesterday’s annual awards ceremony rendered on to me 2010’s prestigious Male Ultra Runner of the Year and Male Performance of the Year awards.  It feels tremendous to be honored by such great people; people I look up to in so many ways.  VHTRC is in a class by itself, with a long history of producing high caliber, high performing runners, and to have my name etched on computer screens for years to come as 2010’s winner is amazing.  I know now that these awards will carry even more meaning for me in the future which is somewhat strange to think about since it already feels so great.  Thank you very much VHTRC!  By the way, for the statisticians in the lot check out recent year winners hereRecognize any names?  Um, I think so.  These runners are legit.  Goodness gracious, how about Amy Sproston… With this year’s hardware that makes for three consecutive years as Female Runner of the Year.  Way to go, Amy!


  1. Wow, congratulations, Neal! What an honor! That is awesome.

  2. Neal,

    Get out there nice and early for Leadville. I'd love to see a flatlander from VA win it. Also, congrats on your awards. There were many impressive runners and performances, but the slam record is truly in a league of its own. Here's to a solid 2011.

    -mike bailey

  3. Neal-
    I just moved to SC from Utah, and was looking to get a bit of experience on the Massanuttens since I might run Old Dominion and/or Grindstone this year. We've never met before, but I recognized your name from your exploits last year. I saw that you were registered for MMT 100, and wondered if you would be interested in me pacing you from aid 10 to the finish? If not, do you know any other very fast runners (i.e. 20-ish hrs) who would be interested in a pacer? Drop me a note at jkallen13 at gmail or at if you or any other fast runners you know would be interested. Thanks and I hope to meet some of you VA runners.