The Answer to the $100K Question? The Run, Rabbit, Run 100 Mile!

Run Rabbit Run 100Steamboat Springs, Colorado’s Run, Rabbit, Run 50 Mile Run has added a 100-mile race to be held on Friday, September 14, 2012 (the day before the Run, Rabbit, Run 50 miler).  What will be unique about the Run, Rabbit, Run 100 is that it aims to provide prize money an order of magnitude above the largest current purse for a 100 miler.

Those who have run the Run, Rabbit, Run 50 or who have read the race reports about it, know that it is one the most beautiful, best run, and most fun ultramarathons in the country and it’s put on by and for runners.  The 50 is an old school ultra, where the goal is to put on a first-class, well-organized race and give money in excess of expenses to local charities.  The race’s popularity led to a long waitlist for the 50 miler this year.  Past winners of the RRR50 include Geoff Roes, Joelle Vaught, and Ryan Burch.  This year, Nick Clark finished second to Zeke Tiernan, who also won the race’s inaugural running in 2007.

The objective of the new Run, Rabbit, Run 100 is to attract the best field of ultrarunners in the world to Steamboat Springs.  How?  By offering real prize money.  The goal is to offer $100,000.  Run, Rabbit, Run has the ability to do that, and still put on a first class event, and still donate to charity, because of the incredible support of the Steamboat community, and because the organizers are willing to donate an awful lot of their time to give something back to the sport they love.

The idea is to have two classes of runners – Rabbits and Turtles.  Rabbits will run for 90% of the purse, with the Turtles, who are the rest of us, going for the remainder, through age group awards, fun lotteries for cash, or whatnot.  Rabbits will be running for money only and will be subject to strict rules – no pacers, no trekking poles, and strictly limited crew access.  They won’t receive buckles or win anything at the massive pre-race swag drawing.  This will direct more non-prize purse resources into making the Run, Rabbit, Run 100 a top-notch race for the vast majority of runners who opt out of running for the big prize money.  Says RD Fred Abramowitz, “We will do our darndest to make it the RRR100 a first class race for everyone, better than any other 100 at a comparable entry fee.  And just like anyone who has run the 50 knows, we put on a fun event.”

The prize money is contingent upon entrants and sponsors.  The website will feature a “Bunny Money Meter” showing where the prize money stands.  The race organizers are putting up $10,000 to start the meter running and are shooting for $100,000. [April ’12 Update: The prize purse now sits at $30,000.] The depth of the prize money will depend on the total size of the prize purse.

The Turtles will get a 4 or so hour head start and, with a few out-and-backs of the course, they will be in a unique position to see how the race unfolds among the Rabbits.  The Turtles will start around midday with the Rabbits starting in the afternoon.

The course has largely been determined, although some tweaking may happen.  The route has been designed to be at once challenging – with about 18,000’ of climbing, much of it at 10,000’ – and to be accessible to increase its attractiveness to spectators, the press, the running world at-large, and, as a result, to potential sponsors.

Steamboat Rabbit Ears

The race's namesake Rabbit Ears.

The ultrarunning world is constantly evolving.  (What isn’t?)  In the context of the sport’s current state and its recent growth trajectory, it appears to be akin to road racing three decades ago and triathlons a bit more recently.  Runners and races are going to make money.  There’s nothing wrong with that… so long as two things don’t significantly change.

First, for the spirit of the sport to continue without radical alteration, the sport’s top runners must continue to race for the love of running and competition with prize purses being a way to support their running lives.  If you’d seen the top dogs throw down at the TNF 50 last weekend, this very much remains the case.

Second, organizers must continue to put on races that cater to the main body of the sport while meeting or exceeding those runners’ expectations. That’s not all, those race organizations must continue to be based on passion for that is the source of the je ne sais quoi that you see at Hardrock and Wasatch and Massanutten and Stone Cat and Speedgoat and Chuckanut and all of the many other events that stir emotion in those who’ve experienced such a race, be it as racer, crew, volunteer, or spectator.  From all I’ve heard, the Run, Rabbit, Run folks put on exactly this type of race.

The website is now live. (Updated website status) Registration for the Run, Rabbit, Run 50 mile and 100 mile opens on December 15. The 100-mile entry fee will be $275.

Call for Comments

  • With significant prize money already available at for 50 mile and 100k events, are you excited to see what might happen at a 100 miler with a big purse?
  • Do you think a big prize money 100 miler will draw a competitive field akin to Western States and UTMB? Can it do so in its first year?
  • Top men and women who’re reading this… are you interested in racing the Run, Rabbit, Run 100 next year? Why or why not?
  • The elites will have to choose between the competitive fields and cash purses of the Run, Rabbit, Run 100 and the UROC 100k. Is this likely divide the field based on skill sets? UROC’s been working on next year’s field for a while with some great runners already lining up. Are elites more likely to flock toward the strong field already assembling for UROC (and guaranteed $20k purse) or set out for what could be a much larger payday?
  • How should the prize money be divvied up if the total purse is $20k? $50k? $100k?
  • If you wouldn’t be in the hunt for prize money, would you be excited to see elites battling while you were racing on the same course?

There are 232 comments

  1. Patrick Garcia

    Wow. The 50 is my all time favorite race, and I'm stoked that Steamboat will host a 100. I must say that the separate start time (especially that the fast runners will start later) could pose a major issue. While there are some areas where passing will be easy, there will be large areas where the passing will be difficult and obtrusive to both the slower and faster runner. I know it would get old to continually ask for space or give way for space to pass.

    1. Fred Abramowitz

      Patrick, thanks for the nice comments about our 50. But the 100 is not all on the same course and passing won't be a problem.

  2. Marilyn Oberhardt

    As a mid- to often way-back-of-the-pack ultra runner, LOVE the je ne sais quoi of ultras and the shout-out to the AWESOME Stone Cat ultra.

  3. Jacob Rydman

    Might entice Kilian to come and use PPM as a warm-up. Still so far out to commit to anything, but if it works out, I would like to be there for the 100. Sounds pretty legit and the terrain looks gorgeous.

    1. Fred Abramowitz

      Funny. I told Geoff Roes that if we get that kind of money he might have to run agains some Kenyans. His answer was "Bring em on!"

  4. Jeremy Bradford

    I've run the 50 for the last 3 years and I absolutely love it. It was my first ultra and it set the hook deep. Now I'll feel compelled to run the 100 (because more is always better), but I'll miss the predictable measure of my training that the 50 has been. I agree with Patrick that the later start time for the faster runners sounds problematic. Can't say I understand the reasoning behind it. I always enjoy seeing lead runners returning on out-and-backs, but I wouldn't enjoy being an obstacle between them and a big cash purse as they try to make their way out. Seems like it would hinder everyone from having their best race. Hope race management reconsiders the start times.

  5. Sherpa John

    Unfortunately you're all being fooled. Sure… a large cash prize is being offered at The RRR 100… but at the end of the day, this is all about the RD making money off of the talents of the fast guys. SO.. I WON'T be heading to Steamboat to run in the 100K 100.

    1. Bryon Powell

      SJ,
      What's your basis for this position? It's a pretty big assumption to make … especially given that the two primary organizers both have professions that likely provide them with adequate non-race income. It seems to me that it's quite possible to put on a race with a cash purse without trying to cash in.

    2. George Zack

      Yeah – I am also interested in why the take Sherpa John.

      I know this drum has been pounded before but if the racers are happy, the community is happy, the product is bought and all are satisfied – I am fine with an RD making money. Why is it a problem in a capitalistic society if they do?

      GZ

    3. Iain

      Yes you are absolutely correct! Of course as an RD you organise an event that takes up time and requires a lot of effort, that eats in to any other social life you might have, writing to other organisers, preparing all the logistics, securing permits and insurance (or organising others to), just to get rich…

    4. Blake Wood

      Knowing Fred A., I don't think he's in this for the money. I think he's interested in pulling ultrarunning into the big leagues. Whether this will be good for ultrarunning or not is an open question.

      1. Fred Abramowitz

        I don't know for sure if it's good for the sport or not, Blake, but I'm pretty sure it is. But I'm absolutely certain it's inevitable. And if it's inevitable, it seemed to us we should set the template – a race by and for runners, designed to maximize benefits to the community and to charity. It seemed to us this was the right time, in the right community, with the right people.

    5. Tim

      SJ – Fred is the nicest guy in the world he does not care about making money the money from the 50 goes back to the community because that is what he cares about the most. I was there for the 50 this year, and Fred talked to everyone including myself he is a great person and dedicated to the sport.

    6. Fred Abramowitz

      I'm surprised at you, John. Really. You and I have communicated about this before, and you know darn well (since you ran the RRR50 this past year) that we are a charity race.

        1. Sherpa John

          Original… I'm pretty open about admitting my pace. I have no issue with it. Never have.. never will. I enjoy the mid to back of the pack. :) Thanks though.. Didn't know this needed to turn into multiple people throwing insults.

      1. Sherpa John

        Fred,

        With all do respect…I'm going to quote you in the e-mail you wrote me:

        "but my personal view is these guys and gals train hard, make significant personal sacrifices to excel, improve our understanding of the limits of human performance, add a nice profile to the sport, are almost uniformly good self-effacing people, and are vehicles for quite a few folks to make money."

        I know as much as anyone that you're a great guy. But I think, personally, that the lines are blurred in regards to if you're in this for charity, or the money. I chop this statement you made to me back in October.. into two parts. 1.) Where the folks here are correct. You're a great guy and you want to see the sport excel. You want to give these top runners a place to play and run their asses off against each other. I say.. Kudos to you on this front. But then comes the second part. 2.) "..and are vehicles for quite a few folks to make money." This is where I take issue. When I read this the first time.. and numerous times since.. it sounds to me like you're looking to make a buck off of these guys.

        1. Sherpa John

          I'll also add that I ran the 50 back in September and had an awesome time. Fred was an incredibly hospitable person. He gave every single person a friendly hello who asked him for his time.. no matter how long or short.

          Fred also took some time to explain to me why he felt there was a need for this 100 mile race.. actually… I never ONCE stated, at any place and/or time that I felt a 100 in Steamboat was a bad idea. I think it's a great idea. But for some reason, Fred felt the need to send me a very long drawn out e-mail trying to convince me of the need for this race. I DO take issue with prize monies in our sport.. and I don't think there is a need to charge $300 or more for folks to enter one of these races.

          I'm entitled to my opinion as are the rest of you. One thing that is truly starting to surprise me about our sport is the number of folks willing to jump on the back and beat the crap out of a guy with an opinion different then there own.

          1. Jenn

            Yeah, and you know, if you'd just said you had problems with prize money in ultrarunning, I suspect no one would have grumped at you at all. I'm of two minds about it, myself. What you're getting jumped on about is your implication that this is some scam to make the Race Director money. Since the RD you're insulting is both liked and respected … yeah, you're getting shut down. Not to mention the fact that you were basically calling us dupes, which is fairly insulting to the rest of us. And frankly, not having the rest of the email for context, your excerpt doesn't mean a whole lot. There are at least 3 readings that I can make from that excerpt – one is the reading that you're giving it, another is that he's referring (somewhat awkwardly) to being able to reward the winning ultrarunners that he's praising so effusively in the clause before, a third is that, since these races are for charity, he's referring to the amount of funds that can go to those charities. From what I know of Fred, albeit secondhand, your reading is definitely the least likely.

  6. Ryan Kircher

    Anybody know if Hardrock or Western are willing to call this a qualifier in it's first year? I'm seriously doubting it. I'd love to run it, but will probably have to go elsewhere.

    1. Fred Abramowitz

      I will beg, borrow, grovel and do whatever is necessary to get Blake, Dale and the rest of our good friends over at Hardrock to make us a qualifier. As for Western, the Run, Rabbit, Run 50 miler is part of the Montrail Ultra Cup – top two finishers get automatic entry. Can't imagine they'll have a problem with the 100 serving as a qualifier.

      1. David T.

        Thanks Fred. I am way stoked for this. I think it is great and even though I have no chance of winning any $$ I will do my best to make it to the starting line. At the same time, it would mean a great deal to me to have it as a qualifier for Hardrock. If it is I will likely show up this year. If not I may need to wait for a later year.

  7. Vlad

    Ok, so after UROC, there will be another race which will try to draw a lot of fast guys and separate them from the rest of the field. How can you not call this a "radical alteration" of the sport ? Whether it is good or bad for ultra as a whole is a different story, but we should call it what it is. Elites are becoming more elite and less and less "guys just like us". You can't just go and shake hands will Paul Tergat or Haile Gebrselassie in the finish of a race, and in a couple of years it may be equally difficult to bump into and chit chat with next generation Geoffs, Dakotas, Nicks … anyway, I will keep running my Jemez, Zane Gray and Deadman and keep dreaming of Hardrock.

  8. Blake Wood

    This brings up the question of whether it's time to start drug-testing at money ultra events. This has never been an issue in ultrarunning before, because there was little more than bragging rights on the line, and thus there was little incentive to either cheat or for RDs to go to the expense and effort to have the testing done. I think that will change quickly, once there is substantial money on the line.

    However, ultrarunning lacks a strong national rule-making body like road racing and T&F has in the USATF. Sure, I realize that the USATF has an ultrarunning committee, but very few ultras seek USATF sanction, so they have little pull. The problem is that, even with big money on the line, there is little incentive for private companies (like TNF) or individual RDs to impose a drug-testing regime, because it could scare away top athletes who ARE doping (not to imply that any of today's top athletes are doping, but big money WILL attract doping athletes to the sport.)

    Without a bit of foresight, it is easy for me to imagine that ultrarunning could go the way professional bike racing initially did, where to be competitive you HAD to be doping. Ultrarunning would be poorer for this.

    1. Scott G

      The point about professional bike racing is an interesting one, but in my opinion it's not likely to happen. The popularity of bike racing in Europe is on par with the popularity of baseball, basketball and football in the US. Top cyclists can make millions of dollars. It's hard to imagine that top ultrarunners are ever going to be pulling down hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money, much less millions. And as another poster mentioned, there just aren't many guys who are going to risk their health for $20K. I think cases like Eddy Hellebuyck are few and far between.

      1. Sherpa John

        Scott… I understand your point of view and agree… The only thing that I'm really starting to wonder about is when folks say "it’s not likely to happen." Did anyone ever think Western States would have nearly 2000+ entrants into it's lottery? Or that Hardrock over 700 or Leadville would have 800 entries in a single year? I don't think so.. when I joined this sport, the guy who got me into it said, "So few people are doing this kind of thing." Not anymore. :)

  9. Nick P

    To echo some of the previous comments, Fred (and the others involved) put on a top notch event. It is well-run in a great area. Plus it ends with plenty of pizza and beer!

    Interesting that they are going with no pacers, limited crew, etc. Personally, I think this is great but I wonder if a lot of people will not like this?

    1. Fred Abramowitz

      The no pacers rule is only for the Rabbits, only for the guys going for the bulk of the purse! It's mano-a-mano and we want to avoid the temptation of rendering assistance! Everyone else can have pacers.

      1. David T.

        I think the rules for the Rabbits section are awesome. It sets up this interesting dichotomy of a very old school approach (no pacers, limited/no crew, no poles, etc.) with a very new world purse. I like it!

  10. lisa

    So Great! I was a volunteer for the inaugural RRR 50 and seeing it and the tight ultra community was one of my main motivators to join the ultra running world.

    Fred is an amazing ambassador for the sport and I'm super excited to see how a 100 pans out in my favorite running town. I will definitely take part! (Well, as a volunteer :)

  11. Darthrunner

    To kick a dead horse, it doesn't much matter if you agree with the direction that trail ultrarunning is going or not. There are obviously enough runners/fans interested in prize races that it really does seem inevitable at this point. UROC100k, TNF50m, RRR100m or WTFever, its just a matter of time before big money races are here to stay as long as the interest and $ is there to support them.

    I don't think that should frighten anyone into thinking the sport will change all that drastically. There just aren't many people out there willing to put in 20-40 hours a week into training, start doping to earn a few bucks ($90k divided by gender, podium, possible age category, etc. and the top guy gets what? maybe 20k tops? Ive never met another runner willing to wreck their health for a slim chance at what still amounts to poverty wage)or run 100 miles in general.

    Ultrarunning by its very nature will always be a fairly fringe sport, most people are just too lazy to care. Seriously, how many times have you heard "100 miles? I get tired just driving that far."

  12. grae

    Darthrunner. Exactly. You hit the nail on the head with that reply. Now maybe this tread will address the questions posed by Bryon, as they seem directed at the elites, or those that feel they are. As for the last question, which is aimed at the non-elite. Speaking for myself, I would care little about the elite race while I'm running my own race. I would have other things on my mind, I would imagine.Besides, it sounds like I could have aleady won something in the pre-race raffel, so I'm good to go.

  13. Michael Owen

    Wow, only two weeks before UROC who has a mission to bring in the top ultra runners on the same day. This could divide the talent from UROC to RRR100 – it might end up dividing competitors on a regional basis. Elite runners who train and live in the West might be more inclined to run RRR100, elite runners who train and love in the East might be more inclined to run UROC. Or some might do both.

    I think another question could be raised about the frequency of races offering a substantial prize purse and what it does to popular, historical, prestigious races like WS100, HR100, etc. that do not offer prize money. Does is pressure them to offer prize money? Do less runners want to participate in them if they do not offer prize money? Or does the prestige of them outweigh no prize money (I mean, nearly 2,000 people entered the WS lottery this year.)

    Someone should put together a list of the top races that offer prize money ( I predict many more in the near future) and the top races that do not.

    1. Ben Nephew

      I think there is room for both elite 50's and 100's, but the number competitive runners is certainly not huge right now. How many western guys were at UROC this year? I think UROC could still thrive even if the field only consisted non-western ultra runners.

      Looking at the elevation profile for the RRR 50 mile, unless you live at elevation, have a hypoxic tent, or head out to the race for 2-3 weeks to acclimate, you have little chance of earning any money.

      1. Sherpa John

        Ben.. BINGO!

        There is definitely still a rift between West and East in our sport. Remember when Leigh Schmitt was tearing up the record books back East.. and no one noticed or cared because he wasn't from, the west? It's the same way for Jack Pilla.. tearing up his age group and no one pays a notice because he's not part of the "main-stream" western ultra- culture.

        Having moved from the East to Colorado.. I see the difference now more then ever! It's a completely different culture.. and you're right. No east coaster will have a chance at that prize money unless they live at Elevation for 9-12 weeks prior to the race.

  14. Mike

    What drew me to the sport and continues to draw me and many others is the usually low key, challenging, and humility of these events. Even though people were running these "crazy" distances you wouldn't know it if you attended the event. What is wrong with having a day job and running? That in itself is appealing: Someone who can balance their lives but also maximize their running potential. Does it have to be their full time job? The low key lives of ultra runners where their passion and pride drive them will be put to the test. Will they forgo other events because of the lack of cash prizes after they've had a taste of this? How often do see Ryan Hall running marathons per year? I can count them on my one hand and I'm missing fingers. And why these large sums? Do runners really need grandiose sums of $100,000? Can runners just run for its own sake? In my opinion, the prestige and honor of running 100 miles in nature with others will be tarnished. If my points make no sense and this is the way ultra running is going then drug testing and its dark world will need to be examined.

    1. Randy Matters

      Yep, it seems like a whole lot of publicity based on the pipe dream of 100 k of prize money (Rumplestiltskin 50 k offers*** 15 MILLION in prize money!!!!!!! ***if and when we get it).

      Let me know when they have the cash in escrow, then I'm going all Floyd Landis and a touch o' Lance and get me some.

    2. Shad M.

      I'm surprised it took over 40 comments for this to come up. Sure the sport is growing but ultrarunning is still a pretty fringe sport. For example, there is far more money in darts, backgammon, and race walking.

      I applaud the race directors for thinking big, putting up $10k, and seriously doubt they are trying to get rich like that one [commenter] suggested. However, I think this is a little bait and switch by promoting prize money that doesn't exist. If the money does come I think many elites will jump at the chance as most any of us would in their shoes. It is pretty easy to be idealistic about something you have no chance of attaining.

          1. Anonymous

            it is not about money nor negativism. it is just about being honest and calling spade a spade. Can't you just see how hypocritical part of the elite ultra-running community became ? On one hand they claim (or enjoyed being claimed) as the ambassadors of the sport, which is open to anybody and is based on equality, who don't care about the cash purse, who are down to earth guys, who toe the line with the others … yet half of the ultra-blogosphere talks nothing but money and cash prizes, new events with unprecedented rules are being setup – different for "rabbits" and "turtles", early start time for "elites", cash purse eligibility only for the "invited ones" – it is just popping around like mushrooms. I certainly can see the arguments for professionalization of the sport, maybe I am not a big fan of it, but OK, it's inevitable, it may be fun to watch from a sideline, it can bring more exposure, perhaps richer sponsors and the community as a whole can benefit from it. But this pretending to "not care about money" yet obviously being drawn to events with big cash purse is pretty ridiculous. I am not really a big fan of Karl M., but he at least has balls to say it out loud, that big dogs deserve big bugs and special treatment.

            1. Bryon Powell

              Anonymous, thanks for contributing to the conversation. Please know that using one's name is much preferred in such discussions. I aim to keep iRunFar open for discussion with input of all view points. However, discussions and communities function best when points of view are attributable to individuals. If the community on iRunFar cannot provide this attribution willingly, I'll have to consider either (1) providing attribution or (2) requiring it through an authentication system. I assure you that I'd prefer the voluntary route. Thanks.

              -Bryon

            2. Anonymous

              Bryon, I am not sure how to directly reply to your post … it seems the system does not allow to go 7 levels deep. I have deliberately chosen to remain anonymous. I have my reasons, which you may or may not accept nor understand. I think that possibility to stay anonymous is a great feature of the internet. it of course comes with risks, but in my opinion it brings great benefits as well since it allows many sincere people to be more open than they could afford – should they reveal their identity. Your system allows to remain anonymous, and I took advantage of it. If you don't like it, please change your site. I hope that the fact that my contributions (as harsh as they may sound) lack any profanities separates me from the group of "internet trolls" who use their anonymity only to abuse the others. In my opinion, every idea has its own intrinsic value regardless of who's its author. Anyway, i really wish you keep the possibility and respect the choice to remain anonymous. I think most of us are adults and can elevate ourselves above the trolling of the few. On the other hand, mitigating critical and often unpopular voices by requiring authentication will just make your (ever more influential) site intellectually poorer.

              regards A.

            3. Sherpa John

              What about the other folks above… like one's named "Scout"? That's not anonymous? Let's face it.. anonymity allows the trolls to speak their peace without a care in the world for feelings or relevance. :)

      1. Sherpa John

        Shad M.. thanks for ensuring that you included the insult in there in calling me a [derogatory name]. It is incredibly relevant to this conversation and I'm so glad to see that you're capable of accepting the opinions of others without the need for insults. :)

        1. Anonymous +2

          Sherpa.. thanks as always for your honest opinions. It is indeed sad that some of the sport is polarized to the point that insults need to accompany opinions. Whether Fred is a nice guy or not, looking to get rich or not.. your willingness and ability to share the "other opinion" on things is refreshing. Thank you

      2. Jenn

        As long as the promotional materials are up front about how the prizes work, it doesn't sound like a bait and switch to me. They just need to be honest, which I don't think is going to be a problem. And

    3. Sherpa John

      THIS… is why I won't be signing up for the race. THIS RIGHT HERE.. and thank you George for bringing it up. It is inevitable that SOME of the entry fees will go to pitch in for the prize money. Personally.. I'd rather my entry fee go to these charities the race supports rather then the fast guy. I all ready know who's faster then me.. why don't I just give them my $1 share instead?

      Fred will need to be careful that this $100K is actually available.. and presentable the day OF the race. He doesn't want to have the same tarnished reputation as Ultra-Centric who claims big prizes but never pays out.

  15. Mike Hinterberg

    Sounds like it's going to be a fun race. I don't understand the rationale behind separate start times, and am even more perplexed by the late start times (mid-day/mid-afternoon) — such a beautiful area, why not run in as much daylight as possible?

  16. Jim Blanchard

    It's only recently that Bike racers made large sums of money. Initially racers could make a modest "living" if succesful, yet cheating and drug use have been part of the sport since the beginnig. I'm afraid if/when it starts in our sport things will get ugly. Also nowadays athletes dope with doctors and believe they can do so without health issues.

  17. Jenn

    Huh, I evidently hit submit by accident – to finish my thought – I'm not sure that finding sponsors is going to be as difficult as you appear to think, given the number of folks (including non-runners) who've contacted me all excited about the promos for Unbreakable!

  18. Stéphane (pro

    Hi Blake, drugtesting is already done at UTMB (for past years at least, not sure for 2011) without money at finish line (hum ok, no direct cash sounds better because there's big sponsors gain for the top-finishers). But doping starts -for me- very low, ie Ibuprofene and all these 'comfort' medics which often drop to kidneys' failures. From this side, doping is already there and not only for top-level runners.

    1. Shenandoahgoat

      Great points, Blake. And I would bet the farm that there are top athletes doping today. It's as much about ego as it is about cash.

  19. Brett

    John, do you not think Fred was referring to all the sponsors of shoes, clothes, etc.? I mean, THINK before you post something so slanderous. Or maybe hit REPLY back to Fred and ask him first. This post of yours does not put you in a good light.

    Also, there is math. If 500 people register for the RRR100, thats total revenue of $137,500. Take away the prize money and you're at $37,500. Take away all the other costs to cover the race and you're not talking about a massive pile of money. And then of course to top it all off, there are CHARITIES that will be given money.

    For some reason, I think you completely misread what he meant in the email and its a shame you didn't check your assumptions with him before you posted here.

  20. Brett

    If you read the details, it pretty clearly says they will have a dial that increases over time. I am making assumptions here, but I assume that a portion of the registration fees will be going to the prize money pot. So as more people register, they get closer to their goal of being able to offer $100,000 in prize money. They also stated a goal of continuing to give money to charity.

    I am not sure why you are opposed to part of your race entry fee going towards prize money. Why wouldn't you be opposed to it going to charity? Why wouldn't you be opposed to it paying off duty police and rescue when they might could find more volunteers? What about the race shirts – they might have tried harder to get those donated or choose a cheaper fabric? Why not just make it a free fatass event?

    This kind of nitpicking is interesting to read. You know, when you do a local 10k that costs $30 and has $500 in prize money also takes some of your fees to pay them out and also gives to charity.

    I wonder if there is a tinge of jealousy out there in the interwebs or something.

    I commend Fred and crew for at least stirring the pot. :)

    1. Sherpa John

      No Jealousy here Brett. To comment.. I DO direct a series of Fat Ass events every winter. I don't run local 5 and 10K's because of the price. I'm not opposed to my money going to charity because I believe in charitable causes such as the ones RRR supports (I've raised over $40,000 myself through my efforts)… I'm not opposed to the money going to off duty police and rescue officials, they deserve it more then the front runners imo. I don't need a race shirt but typically those are donated by a sponsor.

      I've directed a race before. I stayed awake for 78+ hours in doing it. I charged a very low entry fee for 50/100/150 and 200 Miles. I personally made zero money. The goal of my race all along was to break even. We came in ahead about $1,000.. I donated that money to a local non-profit. Would I ever consider giving that money to a front runner? Honestly no.. and I would NEVER direct a race where part of the runners entry fees went to the front runners. These are all just my personal preferences. I choose to not run a race where a portion of my entry fee goes to who-ever wins it… I don't think that is what my entry fee is for. I am all for my money going towards: Police and Rescue, Insurance, Permits, Shirts, The standard finishers awards, aid stations, communications, etc.

      To take it a step further. My employer wants to put on an ultra here in Colorado. I've requested that I NOT be a part of the event, with risk to losing my job, because I'm not interested in helping direct his for profit event. It's just personal preference and morals.

  21. Brett

    I think someone called you a douche bag, because you read something in an email and rather than ask questions back to the writer instead went out and made slanderous accusations about it.

  22. Blake Wood

    On the other hand, there have already been three suspensions handed out in T&F since the USATF started testing in Masters competition last summer, and there is little or no money in that.

    Also, the choice of distance runners is generally something like EPO, which unlike anabolic steroids, does not appear to "wreck their health".

    I think there are plenty of people who would dope, even with the dangerous stuff, if it allowed them to train 200 mpw without injury and gave them an edge in races with even modest money at stake.

  23. Sara

    SJ and Anonymous,

    Do you donate all of your 'profit' (ie discretionary income) to charity? Before you buy something from, say, a bookstore, do you insist on them donating their profits to charity? If not, then why do you hold races to a different level of obligatory charity giving?

  24. Anonymous

    Sherpa John ripping on someone else for working hard, making a positive impact in our sport and maybe making a few bucks in the process? Not the first time we've heard that line. Yet, John puts himself out there as some sort of Dean K wannabe with paid speaking engagements and an upcoming book. Hmmm… Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black.

    1. Anonymouse

      Here donate to my charity, so I can use your charity money to fund my races…oh…but I'm raising money for charity too so it's OK!

      It's a good scam. I see Sherpa John is also Sponsored. what a scam…whatever happened to grassroots running without sponsors…boy I hate capitalism!!!

  25. George Zack

    We, as racers, are shoppers of the race. We can choose where to spend our registration dollars.

    I choose to spend my dollars at races that are well organized, well marked, and treat the runners well. I will admit it is a subjective measure, based on the services I get – race experience, schwag bag, race couse, competition, aid stations, etc – against the amount I have to spend for a race. It has changed over time for me.

    Races can also have money going to charities, category winners and race staff. I will admit – these are not my primary considerations for me when I pick a race for me, but they are secondary.

    Maybe for some of you, these are the primary considerations. And so maybe you decide to take your race registration dollars elsewhere. I am totally cool that. Go ahead. There are folks that will race primarily on the charitable donations that a race makes. That is great. There are some folks that will race primarily based on the prize money. That is great too.

    In either case, if the RD does a good job at selling whatever that race is – and executing on it – I am completely cool with them getting some of the take. If they fail on that – the only way they are going to know is if their patrons take their business elsewhere.

    For what it is worth, most runners don't do that. They instead bitch about some race and still go to it. I hear people gripe about lottery systems to get in, and the cost of such and such race – but they DO THOSE RACES ANYWAY. Why would the RD or race committee change if they have hundreds or thousands of people lining up at the door with loads of money?

    It is like saying, "this restaurant sucks." But you wait in the foyer to pay for crappy food that is over priced, and you say "well, it is because of the experience." Okay … your choice, but don't expect that business owner to change.

    SherpaJohn – don't do the 100. Sounds good to me.

    I am considering doing it.

  26. Speedgoatkarl

    Think about this, as far as altitude is concerned. We live where we want to, that's our choice. If a guy that lives at 8000' goes to UROC or any other east coast event, does he have an advantage. Yah, cuz' he's dropping to sea level, there is simply more oxygen You don't need 9-12 weeks to acclimate, you need about 12 days,and , 7k is not that high, it's not like we're gonna run at 12k like Hardrock, that would be different. I"ve been on both sides of that spectrum.

    It's gonna be a kick arse race, and I'm gonna have a chance to pay my mortgage thru running, it's my profession and how I earn a living. Nothing wrong with that.

  27. Fred Abramowitz

    I'm not going to engage you further on this, John, but the sentence was referring to shoe companies and the like.

    If you don't want to run our race, don't. If you want to run it, we'd love to have you.

    1. Sherpa John

      Bryon, I'll openly admit to having an East Coast friend staying with me this week. It was his post and he wishes to remain anonymous. He posted because he sees my frustrations in not being able to articulate my points of view in a clear and respectful manner quite often.. something I'm working on. We're all human.

  28. Fred Abramowitz

    Wow! Go easy on us! First we're accused of being in it for the money, and now of running a little bait and switch! No, we're not sure we can provide a $100,000 purse, but that's the goal. We've thought this through and we think it's an attainable one, but it depends on the ultra community, both the runners, and the fans and the businesses who benefit from the sport. Bottom line is, we're just doing the best we can to promote the sport we care about in a community we love.

  29. Fred Abramowitz

    We are still working on the start times, and there's lots of ways to look at it and we're certainly interested in people's thoughts. But the idea was to have as many runners finish as possible before it gets too dark, and to have the them finish together, Rabbits and Turtles. I personally don't like finishing in the middle of the night, or first thing in the am, and neither does my crew. No matter how you cut it, most Turtles will be running through the night anyway. A 32 hour time limit means an 8 pm finish if we start at noon. But none of this is written in stone.

    1. Mike Hinterberg

      Thanks for the response, Fred, and your involvement on the board. I've heard great things about RRR from FoCo runners, just hadn't been able to make it out yet.

      My initial response is/was that the later start times were odd mostly because it felt like wasting some Perfectly Good Daylight: many of us are accustomed to early morning starts. Now that you mention it, I guess it would be kind of cool though to be a bit fresher and have a bunch of people out in the woods at night, rather than being all strung out.

      1. Fred Abramowitz

        A number of people we scoped this out with asked for the later start time for that very reason – to be fresher (and a bit less clumsy) at night. And the potential Rabbits we've talked to basically said they couldn't care less. Quite a few, in fact liked it.

  30. Buck N.

    Will they have a CEO challenge? I'm not elite but I would pay extra to have a separate sign in area, valet parking and maybe special access to the elites for a private pre-race dinner or maybe a warm-up run with Mackey or something.

    1. Fred Abramowitz

      Thanks, George. We knew there would be some blowback and controversy and questions, and trust me – we have them too. Anyone who has certainty about any of this is kidding themselves – there's lots of different points of view about all sorts of aspects of the race. But in the big picture, we think it's the right thing, at the right time, in the right place, with the right folks. And I think we've just got to be willing to say why. Not sure how long I can keep answering the questions on this site, but we'll do our best on our website.

  31. olga

    The horse that got beat to death so many times, and still alive…My take,since it's Friday and I don't want to work yet. I think it's a beautiful area I'd like to visit, so a 100 is a good thing to have there (or a 50, as well). I think if Fred and others find money to donate to top runners, it's their choice, or if they choose to profit personally, or give to charity (what if I don't like a charity some race donates to, do I fret over it?). I think I'd be concerned as an RD of new 100 along with RD of UROC that races are so close – if they (RD's) are trying to cater to top runners in the sport and bring more names together and a spotlight into the sport, it'd be nice to spread things around (and in my humble opinion, Steamboat weather would dictate the outcome more than VA). I think I'd love to start together with those top runners so we can feel as part of one. Besides, what if all top runners drop out and I get to be in the pool? (it's a joke, chill out). I think in general, if the price for entry is fair and the service offered is good (no specific requirements, just in line with majority of other races around country), then to me it doesn't matter where the money goes to. I choose, as each of us, if that price and that race fit my own definition of what I am looking for. I think I would be concerned about doping in general, money or title, as the time moves on – ego is a huge thing as someone mentioned, and ultrarunning is not a small community sport anymore. I think I may not like the direction of bringing big purses into this community ("big" is a key word), but since it's inevitable, it needs to be discussed (as here and everywhere else lately) and named properly and honestly. I think we all have opinions, but as with lotteries and entry fees, I don't like it – I don't enter. I think being ex-Soviet, there are things I still, after 18 years, disagree on, but I appreciate the variety and ability of making choices (and speaking of those, if, again, I choose so). I think (again, personally), saying "when I came to this" and setting it as a golden standard is not very right (even though "when I came to it", it was different, to an extent, but then again, some day I did come to it, and there it was, this sport before me, different yet again…). Neither one of us owns ultrarunning or knows how it has to be done. We make choices to participate for personal reasons (or not), and those reasons, by the way, may change as well with time.

    Peace out.

    1. Sara

      I agree, one big field makes more sense. There will be a lot of blowing up over 100M with that purse, and anything could happen.

      Am I the only one who thinks 'Turtles' is a bit offensive (and to my point above, arbitrary – where is the line?)? (Then again I think 'chicked' is totally offensive too, and nobody else ever seems to.)

      1. Shenandoahgoat

        "Chicked" is just dumb guy humor. We only use it to get your goats. No audience, no show…

        On a separate note: It would be hilarious to see a turtle win the overall race.

      2. Fred Abramowitz

        Maybe we should call it, Hares and Tortoises? And the line is whereever you want it to be – you can enter as either. Your choice.

        The separate start is intended to help the slower runners watch the race develop, and to have the bulk of runners finish closer together. We have a great party at the finish, and its nice to have everyone mingle, slower and faster runners.

            1. Steve Pero

              It's called Karma ;-)

              But in reality, I've only gotten in one other time directly and I gave that spot up to Deb at the last minute, all others have been off the wait list. One year I was "last" on the wait list and got in, but that was a long time ago! Can't wait until July!

      3. Mike Hinterberg

        Sara, I've always agreed on 'chicked' — well, honestly, I might have thought something like that in 2nd grade.

        Also I'm not a fan of 'Turtles' or the split start, either — at least as a group, as I don't see a benefit — but I'd be happy to start earlier in the day. This looks like a great race!

  32. Cade Pearson

    As a RRR50 finisher last year, that race is great and well supported. The weather turned dangerous and all runners made it home safe and sound. I assume the 100 will be equally well ran. My opinion, let the entries (and the ultrarunning community) speak for themselves. The race will either be successful or not.

    Fred, good job running the 50 last year look forward to seeing you for the 50 again this year. Wish I could work the 100 into my racing schedule.

  33. Coach Cash

    I just signed up 3 Kenyans … elementary students, well, middle school actually (the high schoolers won't race for anything under 250 K – dollars not kilometers). I think that sows up the top three spots … you Americans better plan on that UROC things to get some sock money.

  34. Brett

    "I’m pretty open about admitting my pace. I have no issue with it. Never have.. never will."

    Didn't you just write a blog entry complaining about how you didn't get into the Hardrock lottery and you saw several people slower than you that did?

  35. Mike McM

    I think the staggered start could be pretty sweet, as long as (like some have mentioned) it doesn't get in the way of and become a burden to those competing at the front. I went to UROC in September and did the 50K sister race, which started an hour after the 100K. I didn't know this was going to happen, but on an out-and-back section somewhere around mile 13 or 15 my friend and I got to see a couple big names coming the opposite direction in the 100K. The elite men's race had already passed this part by the time we got there, but we did cross paths with a couple elite women, and David Goggins, which was awesome. It was singletrack where these encounters took place, where the trail dropped off or sloped upward to either side, and my friend and I had zero qualms stepping to the side to let them pass.

    It was also really cool, then, after the race, to be able to hang around, eat some food and relax with other 50K runners and all those elite folks at the same time.

    So I definitely like what the RD is going for. If it would work logistically and entrants decide for themselves which start time they take, I think it'd enhance the experience for everyone.

  36. derrick

    I don't really have anything to add that hasn't already been said. I'm just posting to receive future comments by email :)

    But now that I'm here I applaud the RD for trying to help take ultra running to the next level. There is a need and obviously a demand. Nothing wrong with that. I have a hard time stomaching the comments made about what is moral and what isn't. RDing is a lot of very, very hard work and I don't think that one approach should be shat on over another.

    Ok, continue on.

  37. Ben Nephew

    The point is that the race is at altitude, and this should affect the decision to attend for some runners. Comparing runners that train at altitude with those that do not in a race at sea level is entirely different. Sure, there is a good reason why runners altitude train, but I could spend all day listing race results where both groups perform similarly at sea level. 12 days may work for some in terms of doing well, but I am talking about the lead runners. a 1-2% difference in blood O2 is not a big deal in most situations, but it is probably be the difference between being near the lead and being in the middle of the pack at this 100.

    Although the start is at 7k, isn't most of the 50 mile course above 8 or 9k?

    Although I have no regrets, I ran the IAU Trail Championship 50 mile in 2009 in Serre Chevalier and finished 90 minutes behind a guy by the name of Dachiri Sherpa. That race was between 6500 and 9500 ft, and I felt like I had a good race. I was clearly slightly delusional thinking that the elevation would not be a significant issue. I ran 50 miles in 5:47 the fall after that race.

    This summer I beat Mr. Sherpa by 10 minutes at the IAU trail race in Connemara, and there are several other similar comparisons I could make with other runners. I can now say I beat a guy with the last name of Sherpa. This particular Sherpa has done well at a few other European ultras, and has quads the size of my torso. I ran 5:56 this fall for 50 miles.

    The objective of my post was to prevent runners from making the wrong choice between UROC or some other race and the RRR100. If you are not acclimated, you have a better chance of winning the NYC marathon than the RRR100. Two weeks at altitude is unlikely to get anyone close to the same physiological level as the many Western runners who live at altitude. Neal Gorman acclimated for 4 weeks for Leadville this year.

    I hate to see runners that live low train hard for months and months for a race at altitude where they will not be acclimated. It's like training for a marathon in race shoes, and then racing in combat boots. You are training for a goal race where you will have a signficant disadvantage.

    1. Fred Abramowitz

      To answer your question, without having calculated it, I would guess the "average" elevation of the course is close to 8500. It will run through town a number of times (elevation about 6700) and will hit 10,500 3 times (top of Mt Werner, top of Buff Pass). The 25 mile single track through Emerald is stunning, but never goes much above 8,000 feet. Elevation wise- maybe like Wasatch?

  38. Coach $$$$ Cash

    … Karl, what you don't understand is these boys have to run 43 miles one way to get to track practice (and then another 43 to get home) … 100 miles in a day without pushing my fat ass up the mountain in the jeep (great training technique and I spend way less on gas)will be a picnic.

    1. Coach $$$$ Cash

      On RRR100 raceday, they'll be wondering why they didn't have to do 20 x 1000 meter repeats at mile 43, then run home 43 miles afterwards (then do chores).

      1. Coach $$$$ Cash

        AJW could assemble a fine team of Tarahumara with his beer stories and a few bushels of pinole. Either way w/ Kenyans or Tarahumara in the mix, Americans go home penniless.

        1. Speedgoatkarl

          I do believe, the Tarahumara aren't any faster at Copper Canyon. :-)

          Coach cash, reveal your name man, c'mon, you might as well be the anonymous naysayer. It'll be a great race with or without them.

  39. Bryon Powell

    Anonymous, thanks for your well-considered reply as well as the civil tone of your original comment. You were not trolling and I appreciate that. At the moment, I'm having a significant problem with that… as you might have guessed.

    More generally, in recent months I've repeated tried to dissuade folks from posting anonymously. I allow it as I appreciate simplicity and very much dislike having to sign in other websites with a name, password, and, possibly, Captcha. I have continued to allow such commenting for that ease of use rather than to promote an absolutely free, unattributed commenting. That's a side effect that creates numerous problems. There have been folks in the the "civil" ultra community (BTW, that "civil" was not meant to imply you weren't. That's not the case, but others haven't been here and elsewhere.)

    So long as I allow anonymous commenting, anyone is free to do so. If someone flagrantly abused that opportunity by routinely trolling or insulting or the like, I would bar them. You're the furthest thing from that list. :-)

    On thing I'd suggest might promote discourse on difficult topics for those who feel the need to remain anonymous would by to use a consistent pseudonym. At the very least, it avoids the whole Anonymous, Anonymous 1, Anonymous 2, etc situation.

    Thanks again.

  40. Bryon Powell

    FYI for other folks, Sherpa John and I talked offsite and cleared this up a bit. In my mind, it would have been ideal had SJ's friend posted under something like "SJ's friend" rather than Anonymous, but that's ok.

    I shouldn't have let my comment come across as being so insinuating. I recognized internally and presented externally that someone in SJ's proximity could be posting, but could have done that in better ways in these comments or done so entirely offsite.

    There were some personal insults directed at SJ earlier. I regret that've I've had no more than a few minutes at my computer (other than to edit and post this article, AJW's taproom, and Dakota's race report) in the past few days as I'm attending a convention. I've cleared up those incidents.

  41. Bryon Powell

    SJ,
    Actually, Scout provided an email address and used a pseudonym. Their real name might not be public, but can be engaged in discussion through a pseudonym and is accountable to me by leaving their email address. There are plenty of regulars on iRunFar who don't use their real or full name and that's 100% fine. Actually, it's the rare minority that use their full name. You're using a pseudonym. Long ago, I went by Trail Goat on iRunFar and other blogs.

  42. Riga

    All interesting including SJ and his colorful respondents, but really, "Show me the money." A pic with a pile o' cash will quiet the doubters. How bout a pic of th3 promoter's 10 grand to start?

  43. Fred Abramowitz

    Ok. You've all convinced me. It's Tortoises and Hares. And we'll rethink the start times. But I like the split start, and I think so will you.

  44. GoneDaddyGone

    I wonder how Montrail feels about this. Won't this take away from the Ultra Cup?

    Why 2 fields? To make the elite's race that much easier to have roadkills deeper into thier race? I can see using a race of lesser distance in this manner but using 100mile runners as bait is poor taste in my opinion. Also, these "rabbits" although may not be running to place but I'm sure many of these people have goals and would like to see how they stack against an entire field. Ultra with corrals… hum…

    As for the purse and where the sport is going… If people love to run ultras than the sport will grow and change. Just be happy that you are experiencing it for what it is now.

    Just would like to state that I appreciate the work involved in putting on any race. At the end of the day only the runner will decide where he wants to pound ground.

    1. Fred Abramowitz

      No matter what, we are grateful to Montrail for all they've done to support the RRR50. And we don't think it will detract from the MUC. Western States is at the other end of the ultra season. We hope they see that anything that promotes our sport is good for them.

      As for the 2 fields, I've tried to answer this elsewhere. We are trying to focus this as much as we can on the Tortoises. A lot of folks -not all, but a lot of folks – really enjoy watching an ultra race develop, whether while participating, or not. I know I do. Giving the Tortoises (and you've all convinced me it should be Tortoises and Hares) a head start of a few hours, plus the out and backs we've put it in will allow most runners watch the race unfold practically to the end. A mass start and the faster runners are gone. Plus, I like the idea of finishing at a similar time, and enjoying the post race party together.

      That said, we're not wedded to anything. The race is 9 months away. We welcome comments and suggestions. Just check out our website.

      If we can ever find the time to get it up and running …lol

  45. Lance

    Anyone who does not think this will bring out the Kenyans is foolish. Running for them is a way to provide for their families. The only problem is that there are so few opportunities to win major money these days. To win a major marathon you have to be a 2:05-2:06 caliber marathon runner, but if you talk to those guys you hear them explain how they are very fortunate to be able to come to America/Europe to race because there are so many 2:08 guys.

    If those guys got the chance to run in a race like this for say, a 40K purse, I doubt they would pass up that chance. Similar prize money at Western States and they would be running under 14 hours.

    That said I think it would be great to have their competition. Better competition brings out the best in all of us, and ultimately isn't that what we are looking for on race day?

    1. Spike

      I would not be surprised at all if some kenyans would show up and but there is no guarantee that they are going to win and be running WS in under 14 hours. I remember reading about a 50k that Tony Krupicka ran and a kenyan that had enough talent to win some pretty big st. louis marathon finished 20 minutes behind him, kyle skaggs, and another guy despite there being $1000 on the line. $1000 would go a very long way in kenya.

      1. Lance

        I'm not trying to belittle your point Spike, but $1000 when you consider travel costs and such is not very much. I am not talking about the type of talent to win a St. Louis marathon, I'm talking about the kinds of guys who are on the fringe of just not being good enough to travel to a world marathon majors race (hence 2:08).

        1. Spike

          That is a good point. Just thinking through this, do you have any ideas why none of these 2:08 guys tried out the Xterra trail world championships for a shot at 10 grand?

      2. Mike Place

        I suspect that there's a really simple reason why you'll never see elite marathoners in ultras: it's too disruptive on their training and racing schedule.

        Racing a 100 miler and then getting up and training again on Monday might be possible for Karl and a few other supermen and superwomen, but why on earth would an elite marathoner take the time to train/taper/recover for a race like this? It would pretty much have to be their goal race for the year to be worth it and if that's the case, what are they doing as an elite road marathoner to begin with?

        This whole discussion has already taken place years ago when people worried that putting money into mountain biking was going to draw elite riders away from road racing. Did it? Not really. A few road riders showed up at an event or two, got their asses promptly handed to them by guys who rode in the mountains all day, every day and that was pretty much that.

        1. Doug (aka Snurfer)

          I agree about the disruption to their training. I also think many of them wouldn't risk getting injured in a trail 100. Running in mountains all-day and night is way different than running through downtown streets for two hours…

  46. Runforthelove

    Coach Cash- Obviously your the reason why Ultra RD's are so hesistant to give cash prizes. Don't give our sport a bad name. We run ultras because we love it and it makes us better people, the cash prize helps us do what we love. Seriously Coach, get your priorities straight.

  47. Tony

    I wonder how many of the Ultra running "elites" who continually criticize the likes of Dean Karnazes for capitalizing on his Ultra running accomplishments, will enter to try and make money, off the sport.

      1. Speedgoatkarl

        well said Kieth, Dean is a cool dude, has done a ton for the sport of ultrarunning. I applaud that in a big way. I know just about all the elite runners in the US, some in Europe as well, and not once has DK's name come up in a bad light. He is a star in my opinion, and I hope he continues to be one.

        I also think and know that DK knows he is not the fastest or "greatest ultrarunner". If he was he would hold a record. He would be the first person to say so.

        Also, from a competitive standpoint, he has no chance to win money in Steamboat, just reality. I don't consider myself a real contender to win money in Steamboat either, even being the all-time 100 mile winner. It'll be fast and furious, with lots of carnage to prove it. Gonna be a blast.

          1. Z

            That was a long time ago. Besides, that was Scott's opinion, and Dean never claimed to be the fastest (like Karl says). If you read Dean's books you'd see that he was just lucky (and grateful) to make a living running. It just so happens he didn't make a living running by winning races, but rather by telling stories and trying to get folks off the couch. Scott is undoubtedly one of the greatest ever, but he is well past his prime now (by his own admission and by his results). Besides, I think Dean is nearly 50. He won't be winning any major ultras anytime soon and he wouldn't even try to win at this point.

  48. Randy

    Not sure if i subscribe to the theory of the Kenyans trying ultras and being as dominate as road marathons.Alot more factors come into play in ultras,and the competition nowadays is so much more advanced than just a few years ago(with a few exceptions,Trason,Kouros,etc),road speed is great to run a strong overall pace,but pushing yourself on really tough courses,changing weather,nutrition,dark,long miles and time,all come into play,and top guys and gals now are making ultras a specific skill that pure road runners will be hard pressed to just "run away" from them.

  49. Al Glenn

    The speed (Kenyans or other 26.2 road specialists) will come eventually, after this event or others establish themselves for several years as a true payday. It stands to reason that there are enough 2:08- 2:15 marathoners out there that with some specific focus and training that in several years, times we now know will continue to be bettered. Good for the sport? I think so. Any time you can expand the talent pool inevitably competition will push new boundries. I really don't think this will hurt the back of the pack participation as only the true big money events would attract any kind of named field (as it is now). Fred, great idea and hope you can bring it to fruition.

  50. Mackey

    The whole prize money debate and its supposed effect on ultra runners' experiences befuddles me somewhat. We're all grinding it out day after day on the trails or roads, with dreams of that day sometime in the next few months when we can all race a ridiculous distance over mountains. Prize money? That can't affect the motivation, soul and character to complete these races. At the end of the race everyone, citizen and elite, will still be cracking sodas and sharing war stories, and the experience of pushing oneself and competing in such a difficult sport will never be blemished by modest prize money.

    As far as fast road guys (no matter where they're from) they've had their chance over the years at races such as the North Face 50, which pays well. Did they come out in droves? No, a few very fast 14 minute 5K guys did, and they didn't finish particularly well. The closest to fast international marathoners were Uli Steidl, Mike Wardian, and Matt Flaherty. And Uli is the only one who has been on the podium, and that was after years of dabbling in ultras. It will take quantum sea change to truly affect ultra running, and we're light years away from that day.

    Man, what a great dialogue though. Thanks for hosting it, irunfar!

    1. Ben Nephew

      I think you are right about the effect of money on the vast majority of ultrarunners and races, but it could have a night and day effect on individual races. It is surprising that the NF50 hasn't attracted more road guys given the money, but maybe it is not enough, or not well enough known outside the ultra community?

      The point about the relative success of fast road guys makes it clear that it will take a large influx of faster runners to make a large impact, although I think some of the faster performances have gotten many racers thinking more about speed training. Maybe that would have happened without road runners.

      For a night and day effect on a single race, look at the Obudu mountain race.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obudu_Ranch_Internat

      Top European runners rarely even bother trying to win money at that race these days. Look at the women's times, Anna Pichrtova is a former WMRA champ. The top place individuals and teams at the WMRA Championships saw a somewhat similar rapid change with a few African teams, and it would probably have been night and day if the purse at the WMRA race was similar to the Obudu race.

      30k for first at the RRR100 could at the very least bring over a pile of fast European 100 mile runners, who have had a good amount of recent success over here.

      The possibility of many races offered substantial money seems low, though. Another mechanism for a faster rate of change to competitive ultrarunning would be several companies offering major sponsorships. Probably as unlikely as several big money races, though.

      1. Shastafarian Runner

        I wonder how the RRR100 can possibly get close to 100 k of prize money. The previous discussion about WS100 indicated that the grandaddy of 100s breaks about even (albeit while paying the RD a modest salary) and I assume they have a about the best sponsorship money on the American ultra scene. Could even WS100 raise another 100 k on top of what they already generate?(I realize they can't offer prize money … but if they could where would it come from?)

        If RRR100 can pay the bills AND raise another 100 K, well, they will have done something no other American ultra has done.

        I personally would not want to see the majority of the field basically paying for the prize money (and can't see how that would be possible anyway and still put on a quality race for everyone).

        I also wonder what happens when the prize money goes away … yep, thse sponsors are fickle … North Face used to be a title sponsor of Leadville until they decided to put on their own races.

        1. Anonymous

          I think there can be a huge difference in cost of "logistics". Certainly a multiple-loop race is way cheaper than a point-to-point race. I did not study in detail what WS100 pays for, but helping with organizing one event myself I can see some "potential" for big bucks only if everything works in your favor and you hit a jackpot with some sponsors. Our event is 50M and some shorter distances. The 50M is the most "expensive" – 75$. In total we get about 35k$ from signup fee, another 2k$ cash from sponsors plus about 5k$ from sponsors in terms of goods – drinks, gels, bagels, etc. Our RD does everything for free and we have in total about 150 volunteers – each of them getting nothing but a T-shirt. There is no cash purse, and last time I talked to our RD, there are no plans to have any in the future. Last year we donated more than 10k$ to local nonprofits. Our course is a single loop and we were sold-out. Overall, I can hardly see getting more cash from "regular" sponsors (perhaps 5k$ cash, and maybe some more swag, but certainly nothing in order of tens of thousand of dollars), but in terms of pure economics, I think our gross margin is still pretty good.

          1. Ben Nephew

            From what I have read, even with the limited field at WS, adding up the RD salary and the money spent on research gets you 75-80k in cash.

    2. Fred Abramowitz

      I'm enjoying this dialogue too. All I can say is support our race by entering it and encouraging others to do so, encouraging sponsors to support it, help us get volunteers because we are a volunteer driven race (and be kind to us if we screw up a bit) and we may actually get an answer to some of these questions..

  51. slimside

    Being new to ultra's (running my first 50M in July) I find this discussion fascinating. I like the idea of the split start if it can be coordinated to keep the first and last finishers closer together. As for the money…..I believe that ultras are, for the most part, free of the doping issues we see in other sports. But once you have big prize money on the line do not be surprised when one of the beloved stars of our sport falls from grace. Although, it would take multiple races every year with enough total prize money to make the tempation worth the risk.

    No matter what happens with the money or the start times I love trail running and the people I have met during my first year of ultras. And as long as that part doesn't change, not sure how important the other stuff really is.

  52. Mackey

    I really don't have anything important to add..just trying to get irunfar to that coveted 200 comments mark on this post (and of course avoiding other responsibilities by reading blogs of course)

    If there were no prize money at ultras.. good question. I would still race if only to seek out competition and check out new courses and distances, or run courses perennially to try for PRs. Don't need no money to pull me out into the woods. As for others, the Greenwoods, Sharmans, Kimballs, Clarks of the world would still be busting out too I am guessing. Did it take money at RR 100 for Ian to run sub 13 hrs? What about Kyle's HR or Matt's Leadville? Were they trying to please sponsors? Nope, it was all heart and guts that made the best efforts happen in this sport, and that won't change.

    1. Fred Abramowitz

      I agree completely, and very classy indeed. And that may well be why the top road racers, Kenyan or otherwise, won't be as competitive as some folks think. They just may not have the passion for running in the mountains and woods – their passion may be running the roads, the challenge of the clock.

  53. Randy

    Well said Mackey and Fred,the path to doing your best in ultras is a long,committed journey,which makes that passion you speak of Fred such an essential ingredient to the mix.No doubt the young guns of today will still be battling each other and the courses 30 years from now,though it's kinda hard to imagine an over 50 Dakota and Killian pushing each other to yet another FKT in the Big Ditch,and Dakota still will probably be asked for his I.D. at the bar afterwards!

  54. Anonymous

    OK, I'm going to offer my 2 cents and not pull any punches. I think it's offensive to classify non-elites as "turtles." And, for that matter, why are non-elites called turtles and not tortoises? In the story of the tortoise and hare, didn't the tortoise win? All of that's to say it will be HILARIOUS when/if a "turtle" wins this race. I could totally see it happen and it would be awesome.

    Second, the late start for "elites" so that the "turtles" can watch the race develop is kind of insulting to the non-elites. When I'm in a 100, the last thing I'm really thinking about is what the elites in front of me are doing. I'm focused on my own race and objectives. I'll bet it's that way for most ultrarunners. I couldn't care less about what's happening up front while I'm in the race.

    Third, I'm all for big cash purses. The best in the sport should have an opportunity to get some pay for their effort. I applaud the vision for a $100,000 purse, but from what I heard only about 10% of that has been secured. What is going to compel sponsors to shell out $90K more? It's easy to say at this point that your "goal" is to have a $100,000 purse, but making that happen is another issue altogether. It'll be interesting to see if the $100K happens.

    Last, if big purses become a part of ultrarunning, East African elites, who will be ultra-trained, may start showing up. It would be interesting to see what would then transpire. My guess is that course records would go down left and right. Just a hunch, but I think ultra-trained East Africans would destroy many existing course records.

    1. Fred Abramowitz

      I already surrendered on a previous post. It's Tortoises and Hares. And yup, in the fable, the Tortoise did win. And no question the way it may play out is that the winning time by the Tortoise may be faster than the winning time by the Hare. And I'll be howling with you.

      I'm sorry you feel it insulting that there may be separate start times. I understand you have no interest in watching the race by the faster runners develop. My experience is an awful lot of runners do, and it isn't inconsistent with focussing on their own race, and I don't think it will detract from it.

      What is important to me about the purse, and I do think it's inevitable and I think lots of sponsors know it, is also something more fundamental – many of us do these ultras to test our personal limits of endurance, and grit, even though we have no chance of winning. That's why I do them. But a real purse – which will attract the very best, whether they be East African or whatever, will really allow us to see what the limits of human endurance and grit are. And that alone is reason to do it.

      1. Mike Hinterberg

        Great dialog above.

        I was initially against the split start times, but Fred's discussion brought me around a bit on that.

        Labels:

        Tortoise is better than Turtle. I was thinking "Wave 1" and "Wave 2" might be less offensive, but "Tortoise and Hare" handicapped races are a historic part of running, and the Rabbit (Ears) is part of Steamboat. I don't like "elite" and neither do some admittedly "elite" runners, so with that agreement, maybe that word won't appear anywhere on the website? ;)

        Staggered Start:

        I'm starting to come around more about the *advantages* of Fred's setup as well. Typically, wave starts put the fast people in the front, so minutes later, they're in the clear and gone for good. With the reverse setup here, tortoises get to start earlier, which I would prefer and would consider an advantage.

        Also, a lot of classy top runners hang out and cheer on later finishers, but they can't do that all day/night, so I can truly see how it might be more conducive toward everyone hanging out and sharing a beer together. Personally, I would only be slightly curious about how the top runners are doing while focused on my own race — but, I can see the advantage and motivation of trying to stay ahead of those guys, and also having some of them come up with a fresh, fast pace late in the race. I think that might share some energy all around.

        Purse:

        I don't care if some of my own entry would go to the purse, as long as the event is well-executed (as I expect it to be), and I'd be one of those guys looking for a sweet buckle instead. But since the price is still right, I don't feel like too much money is being taken away.

        I would love to see international runners be motivated to compete, and I think some of them might crush it, while others might blow up. I am intrigued to see what the best can do.

        *

        So thanks, Fred, looking forward to this being a new Colorado tradition!

  55. Patrick

    Just a random thought about entry fees and prize money. Any thought to having two entry fees? Rabbits could pay more and help build up the prize money themselves (risk/reward). Doing this also pacifies those who don't want their entry fee going towards the elites (perception for some).

    1. Fred Abramowitz

      Patrick: It's sort of a chicken and egg problem. Most sponsors understand the inevitability of prize money in ultras – the sport is just growing so fast and garnering so much mainstream interest. While most of them have a genuine commitment to our sport they are also a business – and what determines whether or not they advance money is whether they think it makes financial sense to do so, and THAT depends on whether they think the event will generate enough interest in the tv press and newspapers and magazines and the general public. And THAT depends largely on whether we have a real top notch field (one reason I like all the talk about the East Africans). I could see a situation where the "elites" (and I hate that word) are more than paying their way. Those who think their entry fee is in part going to the "elites" should want to encourage top runners to enter, not discourage them by making them pay higher fees. Bottom line, folks should enter our race because we will put on a first class, fun event.

      1. Patrick

        Fred – I was picturing the increase (mind you a small increase) as a sort-of side bet between the elites/rabbits as it would generate additional prize money. But I see what you're saying and I would not want runners to be discouraged by having to pay higher fees. I just imagined a bit of trash talk after someone walks away with the win AND their competitors cash!

        Anyway, I wish you and the event a lot of luck. I think the elites (I don't hate the word) are long over-due for being paid.

  56. Gary Gellin

    How would you determine who is qualified to be seeded in a separate elite field? Elite status in this sport is still a somewhat nebulous term.

    I do support the concept of this event. The hype around races like TNFEC hasn't really alienated all of the purists and traditionalists, some of whom I know personally.

    1. Bryon Powell

      Gary, I'll chime in with what I think is the correct answer. Folks will decide which field they want to run in. If you want to run with the Rabbits, you sign up as such with no buckle and no swag, a later start time, and a chance for big money. If you want a pacer, the chance for a buckle and swag, and an earlier start time, you sign up as a tortoise…. but you don't have a chance to win the big money even if you run faster than the big boys and girls.

  57. Mike McM

    I, too, would be stoked to have some hares come cruising by me on the trails. I'd be curious to see a quick snapshot of how the race was going up front, and I think it'd motivate me quite a bit.

    This isn't really any different than having early starters like at JFK50, is it? JFK has a 5:00am start for people who WANT and think they need an extra 2 hours to make the cut-off time. The rest of the field starts at 7:00am and many of the 7:00am starters, including all of the front runners, pass the 5:00am starters on the rocky singletrack Appalachian Trail. Perhaps it is out there somewhere, but I've never heard any gripe about the early start at JFK. And in my experience, the early starters don't mind getting out of the way for passing runners.

    Also, I kinda liked Rabbits and Turtles, but I guess that's just me. (Coming from a would-be Turtle..)

  58. jeffrey

    Hmmm..a faster group of runners merging with a slower group of runners with little or no room to pass, hope it doesn't turn out like the recent Vegas marathon

  59. Randy

    You seem to have good connections Fred,how about a raffle,maybe $20 for a chance at Bryon's book signed by past(Trason,Skaggs,etc),and present stars of our sport,just an idea for adding to the Bunny purse.

    1. Fred Abramowitz

      We are looking at all possible options for how to distribute the "Tortoise Money." But, what do you say, Bryon?

      Website will be on line tomorrow and hopefully will answer a lot of questions.

  60. Ben Nephew

    While you are right that fast marathons don't predict fast ultras, and may be right about the passion about mountains and woods, there are certainly other reasons that most Americans runners can't relate to. Passion for any aspect of running is not needed if you running to support your family.

    I ran a 50k in the Netherlands this year and met two Africans that came to the race thinking they were going to have a chance to win some prize money. There was significant money at the similar race in Ireland in 2010. One of them won, and was quite upset when he realized he wasn't going to have anything to bring home.

    When people ask why Africans don't show up to a race with money, it is probably because they don't know about the race. XTERRA is not all that well known, and the Africans at the European 50k's I have run were invited.

  61. fredp

    Good comments. I don't understand the people that are against prize money. I mean, this is America and people can do whatever they want. Beyond silly are these purists who think it will ruin the sport, and feel it is up to them to decide if prize money is appropriate. That being said, I will not enter because I don't want my money to go to the elites (a small few of whom are rather sanctimonious about their entitlement to earn money running). I think it is up to commercial companies that are trying to make money to pony up the sponsorship. Simple business, if the elites are moving product, real sponsors will step up. As to PED's, yes money will increase their use, but anyone who has been among the rabid 'sub-elite,' of many other sports knows that a big (fragile) ego is all the motivation needed for using PEDs.

    1. Speedgoatkarl

      where would you rather see the money go Fred? to the race organization, perhaps like a few other races in CO? Do the math, Leadville gets 800 runners X 300. That's 240k. Lifetime Fitness makes a killing and offers no prize money. Hmmmm.

      At least at Steamboat, it's on paper where the money is going. And he more coorporate sponsors that kick down, the more money will go to charity.

      BAsically, you dont' support ultrarunning and competition, which is fine I guess.

      Working with Mackey to get those 200 comments….:-)

    2. Fred Abramowitz

      It is true that some of the entry fee might go to the "elites" (instead of to the race organization), assuming those sponsors don't pony up money. It's also true that, should they pony up money (and I think they will, if not this year, then down the road) that they will do so only because a race with prize money will attract those same "elites" and the marketing opportunities that go with having a highly competitive field. And if that's the case, the average runner will benefit, thanks to those very "elites" and the money from sponsors that they draw. And while there's a limit to how much volunteer time we (me) can put into putting on a race like this, I'm a lucky fellow and not looking to make money off of the race – and I have no problem with the vast majority of races where the race organization does makes money. It's hard work. But I think people need to think long term, and in the long term, attracting an "elite" field helps the average runner. And that's why we're hoping people like you will support our race.

      I'm working with Karl and Mackey too… 200 comments

  62. George Zack

    Comment number 185 …

    I can't understand why it is an expectation that a dime goes to charity.

    When I buy a meal at a restaurant, do I assume or require the owner must donate some amount of their profit to a charity?

    Certainly if they do, that might inspire me to attend that restaurant more often. But frankly if the food is crap, the prices are too high, or the service sucks, I ain't going REGARDLESS if they donate to charity or not.

    An RD is effectively a business owner.

    1. StephenJ

      In some cases I would rather any extra money goes into to the pocket of the RD or for cool swag for the aid station volunteers. Sometimes I kind of feel guilty at the aid stations. I'm out having a wonderful time running to my hearts content, and they are at an aid station cheering people on, and actually grabbing my sweaty, stinky pack and refilling in with water. I would hope that their bag 'o goodies is better than mine since I'm the one having the most fun.

      There was a certain 100 mile race that I was on the fence about. Then I saw that the charity the race was supporting was some 4×4 off road group that supports more motorized trails and the lack of wilderness.

  63. Tim

    I think I have read all 185 comments. There are a lot of different opinions on all topics from what to call the groups, start times, money, swag, CEO challenge (I laughed at this), where the money should go, how to raise more money, you get my point.

    Anyway, I defended Fred A. along time ago comment, when Sherpa John was chimming in.

    The point I wanted to make was this, regardless where you stand on the issue of prize money being offered or not if this was just another 100, I doubt it would have generated 185 comments. Because there is money being attached it has clearily sparked interest. The one commonality that I think we all share, is that we love running, pushing ourselves, seeing what we can accomplish. We all at one point tried doing an ultra and it manifested from there. What I am trying to say, is if we didn't try something, where would we all be? Let's just try to see what happens with RRR100 and where it goes. Fred A. is a smart intelligent guy, takes feedback, listens, makes necessary changes and ultimately tries to make the experience for ALL involved better. Its a great concept for all the pros and cons that have been raised but at the end of the day you have to give it a go.

  64. Beat Jegerlehner

    Ok we gotta get this up to 200 comments!

    I can't believe people are discussing if it's ok for entry fees to go to the elite purse. Seriously? Even though I never bought a ticket to a football game or such, come on … it's not like those guys are overpaid. If you don't like it, pick one of the other 150+ races out there (not only US anymore either …). I am not even against the organizers making money because in the end, they provide us with the opportunity to have some fun (as questionable as it may be). Now financial transparency is always welcome – and it seems we get that here. What's not to like?

    People also shouldn't take themselves too seriously when it comes to being called a turtle (or chicked for that matter). Most of us are slow. On the flipside though, turtles are a lot tougher than rabbits. They rarely quit, for example. Or get eaten. That works for me. At least Fred isn't calling us "People who don't train enough or lack talent or both", which would be more accurate. Face it.

    Re commercialization … if you look at cycling for example, which has a well established elite system and is highly commercialized, you can still have all the fun in the world at your local bike race (and even find some where you have a shot at winning), or crazy-ass insane bike adventure that's so tough no elite dares touching it. I don't think this would change anything, really. Other than open up more possibilities. If anything, maybe people won't equate ultrarunners to crack addicts anymore …

    Seems like a total no-brainer. Btw, for all the people who bitch and whine about races and their oh-so-unfair rules/lotteries/flaws/…, seriously: Shut up and put in the immense effort to organize one yourself. Then maybe you'll realize how inappropriate it is. I'm just glad to have one more race to choose from.

  65. Lives Under A Bridge

    If the RRR100 website is any indication of how things are going to go … well … my advice … skim some of that prize money and get a professional to do the site.

    (This ought to be good for at least a 'troll' comment beat down and the love meter closer to 2-0-0).

    1. Bryon Powell

      The website seems to work fine to me. You are, however, correct that this is in the realm of trolling. Next time, please consider making specific constructive suggestions. The website just went live and I'm sure the race organization would welcome constructive criticism. There are plenty of high budget, firmly established races with websites that are less use friendly that this one.

    2. Tim

      @ Lives Under a Bridge, I did a race this spring, no website, you email someone and showed up on that date. What's the big deal with the RRR100 site? I looked at it today, has course descriptions, basic information, rules etc etc. What do you want it to do? Why does it matter what the website looks like, if you do the race in September 2012 does the website has any baring on how you run or your experience?

    3. Fred Abramowitz

      I'm all ears (pardon the pun). Tell me what you don't like about it? And, yes, we'd rather spend our money on things other than the website. Like putting on a great race.

      We hit 200 and I will say my farewell. Contact me through our website…

    4. StephenJ

      If your comment is any indication as to how would do in the race, you better stay home and type stupid comments instead. Seriously, if you can't figure out that website, there is no way you could follow a marked course during the day, let alone the night.

      The website is fine. The highlighting of the mouse-over highlighting of the menu items on the left-hand side could be better, since some very computer challenged people might not be able to figure out that "Course Description" is also a menu item.

      You want a bad website, try http://squawpeak50.com The website is horrible, but race is awesome.

    5. Speedgoatkarl

      Ill be the first to admit the Speedgoat 50k site is fair at best, but it's not about that, it's about a great course, a well run race, well marked, and fun at the finish. If you have these things, which Seamboat will have, you'll forget about the marketing aspect of the website. It's created by runners, not web geniuses.

      Is that 200?

      1. StephenJ

        Karl, here are the only problems with your Speedgoat 50K website:

        1. Colors. Dark blue on black is hard to read.

        2. At the bottom of the page, it should be "copyright" not "copywrite" and "2007-2011"

        3. There is no link to the Speedgoat 100. ;-)

  66. StephenJ

    Here's an idea to make the race more exciting for the tortoises. Let each tortoise pick a rabbit that they want their time added to, and use that final time for splitting up the tortoise prize money. It would add the excitement that gambling adds to watching any sport.

  67. Jon Allen

    I want to hear people's thoughts on the timing of UROC vs RRR100. Any opinions? Also, will the RRR money be just 3 deep (i.e. 50k, 30k, 20k), or will it get deeper the more the prize money increases?

    I'll admit that my fall schedule is very much under development, and RRR definitely interests me, as does a return to UROC. Plus, I just wanted to add another comment to this growing post (is this a record yet?)

    1. Bryon Powell

      Jon,
      (1) Hopefully Fred retracts his statement that he's done with commenting after the 200th comment, but in case he sticks to it, I'm pretty sure the cash will get deeper as the "Bunny Money Meter" (i.e., the total cash purse) grows.

      (2) This article has most definitely received the most comments… for an article that had no giveaway associated with it. One of those went over 900 comments. So keep commenting! ;-)

    2. Fred Abramowitz

      Ok, Bryon, I'm retracting. We're starting 3 deep and then, we'll go deeper. As for do we go deeper or more top heavy first, we'll play it by ear, depending on how many Hares enter. I'd like to see it go deep to encourage having a world class, quality field.

      As for UROC, well, for reasons too complex to get into, we really had no choice with the date. And you're always competing against something. We actually started planning this before the first UROC but I applaud them for doing it, and I personally feel the more prize money available for more of these guys, the better. There's plenty of top notch runners to go around, east coast, west coast, and in between.

      And since I've decided not to shut up, maybe we'll just do paramutuel wagering and take a rake. Doesn't Karl do that? Roes, Mackey, Callahan, Meltzer and Clark have already said they're entering. Anyone venture a morning line on those guys? Looks wide open on the distaff side.

      1. Gunter

        Since these guys have all basically said they do it for the love of the sport, and the race is for charity, wouldn't it be great if in turn the winners donated their prize money to the war heros coming home without legs.

  68. Don

    You say more than 200 comments, but it seems to me in reality it was more. Why? Because I sent you a comment, which I note wasn't shown, and I seem to have subsequently been taken off your newsletter emailing list as well. How many other comments did you not accept? What's all that about? At least I didn't write my name as "anonymous".

    1. Fred Abramowitz

      I'm going to do that. And you're giving your age away knowing about Harvey. I get nothing but blank stares when I make the Harvey jokes at our pre race meeting.

      1. Moogy

        When I ran Massanutten, I was hallucinating that I was seeing 'Frank' on the side of the trail, waving and smiling at me every so often. That was whack. I think his name was Frank.

        1. Randy

          My 3rd loop around Barkley years ago,was sure those capstone rocks around the course were actually bunkers you see in the war movies,was pretty nervous around them,no more Platoon or Full Metal Jacket movies for me!

          Another way to add to the Bunny Fund Fred,at the pre-race site,have the top gals(all),and guys(guess a few),wear skimpy clothes,(just come as you are Anton),and wash cars for us turtles.And don't DNF cleaning my RAV-4s front bumper Karl,get it right the first time,and having us turtles start 5 hours before hoppers,pfft,guess i'll be watching the leaders from the finish line.

  69. Dima

    Turtles are tough on the outside, soft on the inside. While rabbits are simply hairy. Those analogies are way too rich for me.

    Either way, staggered start sounds like fun.

  70. Ryan Kircher

    The Western State website has always amused me in its 1990's look. Let's hope the website isn't any indication on how that race will be ran.

    1. Fred Abramowitz

      Not to worry. There are entrants. But in deference to a few folks who offered entry as a Christmas gift to their spouses (what are they thinking?) I made the list not available to public view, until after the holidays.

  71. james varner

    sorry for the lame question…

    how much prize money is there? i followed this thread back in the old days but then hopped on the spreading of competition and salomom shoes threads and lost track of this one. are we still talking about $10,000 or has more dough trickled in?

    as a race director considering putting up money at some or all of my races i'm curious to see how high the purse gets

    1. Bryon Powell

      James, I'll take a guess and say that it'll take some time before the bunny money meter moves (i.e., the prize purse goes up). Whether that increase is based on sponsorship or entries, it'll take time.

  72. Oh My!

    Anyone watching Boston today would have heard this little tidbit:

    93 Kenyans have achieved the the OG "A" standard (2:15) and another 6,569 have the" B" standard (2:18).

    I'm gonna bet that some of those 6,000+ would be willing to train for and compete for this money if they had the chance.

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