The above picture is just a briefcase. Nothing special, pretty standard, but a briefcase whose contents made around 300 peoples long term dream come true last December.
This briefcase belongs to Craig Thornley, the Race Director of Western States, and last year it contained somewhere between 2000 and 2500 names for people who had qualified, sometimes for multiple years, to run Western States.
This year, we will find out next week what the odds are of gaining entry. Last year with 1 ticket it was around 6-7%. This year the qualifying criteria have been toughened up, so maybe it will be better.
My most important weekend of the year is the last weekend in June when Western States is held. But a close second is lottery day.
I will once again be locked away somewhere quiet and alone on 6th December to watch the lottery live online from Auburn, California and see if my name is read out.
Last year it wasn’t, but a good friends was so even if I don’t get in again, I will keep adding my tickets for other years. Would I go and crew for a third time? Perhaps, but I really want to see this race from the other side of the fence and it would be nice to get in and deal with this rather ridiculous obsession!
Good luck to everyone who is entering, but obviously not too much luck.