As an ultra runner I feel like I work very hard to accomplish a subset of races every season with a future goal always at hand. Ultra running has grown 345% over the past 10 years. With that growth has come the need for several lotteries.
Are lotteries new to running due to the growth? Nope. Not at all, as I remember entering my first running lotto at the ripe old age of 10 or so for the Mt Washington Road Race, and I fortunately always got in. (I think being friends with the RD helped and being a pretty solid runner who could finish in the top 25% of the field at that age made me appealing.)
Fast forward to 2014, and I find myself currently in two lotteries that are coming up in December: Western States and Hardrock. Then depending on how the results unfold in those, I will almost certainly find myself in 1 to 2 more lotteries. Crazy, right?
With all of that said, I find lotto season to be very exciting as it helps shape my running season for the following year. I also iron out my new goals, which is guaranteed to get me fired up and start training with a new found spring. For me, December 6th is almost more exciting than Christmas, as I will find out if I get to toe the line at Squaw and run in my back yard or if I get to go play in the San Juans in July or just maybe I will be throwing my hat in a few other lottos.
Meanwhile, here are some Nor Cal lottery races where we Donner Party Mountain Runners can still throw our names in the hat:
Way Too Cool 50k
March 9, 2015 (Lottery Dec 7-17, Drawing Dec 19)
WTC 50k is a great beginner 50k and is one of the best run races on the circuit. NorCal Ultras puts on a great race and a great post party. Highly recommended.
Lake Sonoma 50m
April 11, 2015 (Lottery Dec 7-17, Drawing Dec 21)
This is more of a party then a race. Awesome course in the heart of wine country with a very elite field. Again highly recommended!!!
May 2, 2015 (Lottery Dec 6-10, Drawing Dec 12)
Miwok is a Nor Cal classic. I have not run this but it runs through the Marin Headlands and offers spectacular scenery.
Tahoe Rim Trail 100m
July 18, 2015 (Lottery Dec 7-21, Drawing Jan 1)
A local classic that also offers a 55k, 50 miler and a huge local presence. This was my first hundred and has some of my favorite trails around. Its all about the views and not many places beat them.
July ~23, 2015 (Lottery/app Jan 19-Feb 2, Selection Feb 12)
Not my cup of tea but in California. Stay on the white line and your shoes might not melt. I am happy to root on anyone who attempts this beast.
September 11, 2015 (Lottery January 1-14, Drawing Jan 15)
DPMR has an aid station at this race that became an instant classic. Come join us or sign up but not for the afraid. Or be afraid like myself and join our awesome aid station for tons of fun!
A few races outside of our area that some locals may consider doing:
September 11, 2015 (Lottery Dec 1-Jan 4 , Drawing Feb 7)
Several locals have run this and our own Betsy Nye in particular has dominated the woman’s race. This is near the top of my bucket list and I may consider putting my name in the hat if others don’t pan out. Widely considered to be one of the hardest 100s in the country, this is certainly guaranteed to test any runner.
August 22, 2015 (Lottery Dec 1-31 with $15 lottery fee, Drawing ~Jan 15)
Leadville is another classic and while the race tried to avoid a lottery, it was inevitable. While this run is at high altitude it is a very fast mountain 100 in the grand scheme of things. It also has a big field. I am not sure of the numbers this year but I would anticipate around 800 runners.
San Diego 100
June 6, 2015 (Lottery Jan 1-4, Only a lotto if more then 250 register Lotto Date TBD)
A great early season 100 with a solid course. I have never run this one personally so I don’t know a lot about it. I do know it was a lottery last year.
Cascade Crest 100, August 29, 2015 (Lottery Jan 1 – Feb 15, Drawing Feb 14th)
Another West Coast classic by all accounts. A hard course that is a qualifier for both Hardrock and Western States. The race also has a 2.3 mile section through a train tunnel.
I hope I didn’t miss any lotteries and I wish the best of luck to all DPMR members at their lottos. If you attend the Western States lottery, look for me, as I will be driving down and attending. I hope to see you there. Happy Trails 🙂