Tuesday, February 16, 2010

(Not) Applying for Badwater

Three nights ago I woke up late in the call room after a late partial overnight shift with a nagging feeling:
  • I really should apply to Badwater this year.
The race had been on my list of things to do before I die for a few years. Hearing 4-time finisher Jonathan Gunderson tell me about it at last August's Headlands Hundred sort of got me thinking about doing it sooner. But as I started filling my race schedule for this year, I deleted the reminders for "Badwater race application opens" and "Badwater race application ends" on my personal calendar. I had enough other challenging courses to run, and Badwater didn't easily fit into my other vacation and running plans. If nothing else, I continually felt some misgivings about paying $895 to enter a race providing no aid to the competitor.

But then I thought, maybe you pay for the event. The officialness. And all the hype that comes with a high profile event that many people not into ultrarunning know about. Even if you can easily argue that this is NOT, as Adventure Corps touts, "the world's toughest foot race." And I figured if I were going to get a crew together, do all the special heat training, shlep my crew down and do it, I might as well do it "for real," out on the course with 80-90 other competitors, and get the official time and place,and "official" bragging rights. Might as well do it now, rather than when I'm 60. I assume this sort of things gets more difficult with age.

The other issue is feeling of urgency-- even with the price tag, it will probably only get harder to get selected. Also, I figured I should do it while we still have our membership at the gym, with a sauna and steam room, as it doesn't get that hot that often here in the East Bay.

So, for those not familiar, they application is now put up on line for two weeks, this year was available on-line from the 1st through the 15th of this month. A lengthy application requiring a fair amount of thought and reflection, and probably some endurance.

Applying to Compete in the 2010 Badwater Ultramarathon -- the general entry info page only, as the appliaction itself was available on-line only for 2 weeks, ending a few hours ago.

The two questions where I could really support my application (and therefore could and should spend a lot of time on, and which I kept mulling over in my head 3 mornings ago, when I should have been sleeping) were:
  • Is there anything you'd like to mention here that wasn't described within the Qualifying Standards section above? (PLEASE DO NOT TYPE IN ALL CAPS!)
  • Why do you want to compete in the Badwater Ultramarathon? (PLEASE DO NOT TYPE IN ALL CAPS!)
What it boiled down to though, was that, on a triple holiday (Valentine's Day, Chinese New Year, Presidents Day) weekend during which my kids' preschool was off both Friday and Monday, when I was working overnight shifts, the time to sit and answer those questions well-- well, didn't even get close to happening. At least not without sacrifice. Aside from the birthday party on Saturday, I just HAD to run home through the Southeast Bay hills from work Sunday afternoon because I was having exercise withdrawal. Monday (yesterday) I spent all my waking hours with my kids, at the zoo (a lot of animals that are always hiding were out!) and then a local playground.

If I wasn't feeling I could handle filling out an on-line application, the logistics of doing the race itself seemed too much to contemplate. Not knowing if this was the year to pull this off was a further disincentive to start typing. (Maybe I'm talking out of my ass, but honestly I am more intimidated by the hassle factor of logistically finding and preparing a crew for this race, than my actual running it.)

Maybe next year...


goldentrails said...

you will probably enjoy my latest blog entry.... you and I have differing opinions on entering this race though.

Gundy said...

Hey, there's always next year. I'm sure one way or another (event or solo) you'll get down to doing it. Let me know if you ever need help with the logistics; I have an organizational gold mine with the logistical/pacing spreadsheets I've put together and refined over the past few years.