[Editor’s Note: We don’t currently see a qualification-via-essay route on Hardrock 100’s qualifying standard page, but have heard of such allowances in the past. As you can see from the lottery list (pdf), Anna’s essay got her onto it. Inclusion in the lottery list, of course, does not guarantee entry. The Hardrock 100 lottery takes place on Sunday, December 16.]
I have to admit the first time I spoke about HR100 from the shores of La Palma – Canary Islands I questioned “why?”
As I approached the San Juan’s this July with TonyK he said to me, “do you still want to know why?”
I knew. I could see it. I could feel it. There was no explaining it.
On the dusty road of Silverton we stopped at the Mobius Café, along with all the other HR100 enthusiasts. There was an edgy buzz. Hal had a determined glitter in his eyes. Joe was bouncing off the walls. Dakota was snoozing with his book on the big sofa in the corner. Bryon Powell was on his 16th coffee and tinkering away on iRunFar.
The banter continued into the dark starry night at the roadside camping near the final aid station. Wolfepaw, DBo and The Foote joined in. The air was filled with freedom and the power of the huge mountains. And soon these energies would be joined as the 140 lucky people took to their personal challenge.
Running past the little metal markers sparkling in the hot summer sun set me off giggling, laughing and breathing in amazement that this was really the race route.
I quickly realised that keeping this run to a limit of 140 was a gift. If you got in, you were a lucky one.
What I saw that weekend while crewing for Joe captivated me. I have never done a 100-mile run. I know, as TonyK has told me, I can’t comprehend the pain until amongst a 100-miler. But I have run through days and nights in adventure racing, I have felt the pain of 50+ miles, I have run when already aching from days on my feet in stage races. I am intrigued to go further. I want to feel the HR100. I want the huge beauty of the course and the people that are lured in by its presence to inspire me. To push me during the mental and physical barriers.
If I receive a gift of being pulled out of the lottery, I will live and breathe the HR100. It will be my light, my energy and my heartbeat and on run day I hope the mountains will share their power with me.
As a professional runner for Team Salomon, I will come prepared with a family of support crew to guide me through the tough times and friends from the running community to laugh and probably cry with the beauty of the summits and the determination from the valleys.
Please consider this as a heart felt application essay.
[Extensive exemplary accomplishment list omitted.]
[Additional Editor’s Note: Since Anna mentioned Mobius in her essay, I had to note that the cafe is a Hardrock 100 sponsor as well as owned and operated by trail runner extraordinaire, Megan Kimmel.]