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Extreme Races

2603 Views 65 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  CT Marathoner
It seems that every time you turn around these days you find out about another extreme race that is more extreme than the last. The Europeans seem to have it all over US for organizing insane events- case in point:<br><br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br>
Has anyone here actually participated in the Marathon des Sables?<br><br>
That's insane. After doing the Grand Canyon double crossing a couple of years ago I decided that marathons were enough. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="">
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Sadly, almost all of my mileage is pavement's really more an issue of making time to hit the trails before I run another trail ultra <img alt="smile.gif" src=""> I have no time goal for NYC - I'd rather run that one as an easy run. So I just have to decide on a marathon beforehand to use as a time goal - then I can run all I want after that, just for my own fun and enjoyment.
> This year it will INCLUDE BOTH 100M and 100K runners.<br><br>
Yes and according to the web page there are only three for the 100k so far.<br><br><br>
> The FVR is just ONE of them and I assure you, the installation of the<br>
> FVR's effect on race attendance is minimal. The VT100 isn't the first or >ONLY race in the US that requires Volunteer Service and the many that do have no problem filling up.<br><br>
And Ill strongly but nicely disagree. This race wants you VOLUNTEER 8 hours at ultra race 50k or longer but do take exceptions. This is not as other races have done which is for you do some numbers of accrued trail work and in you back yard.<br><br>
First and foremost, it is forcing someone to volunteer, a slight oxymoron and in a big chunk.<br><br>
The are many people that live too far away from a ultra, have tight finances or can't get the time off work. When this first came to light some years ago, many people wanted to do VT but lived a full days drive or flight away. If you don't have the spare time and cash vt100 minus one.<br><br>
In case you think it just coincidence, before the FVR they filled every year. After the FVR they have yet to fill. I'll place a bet that if they don't fill this year with the audition of the 100k the FVR will either go away or change to something reasonable.<br><br>
> Putting on a race is hard work for anybody. The FVR is a GREAT way to<br>
> get runners to give back and in my humble opinion, NOT something to<br>
> complain about.<br><br>
It gives and it taketh away. I agree completely that runners should give back and races are hard work. But you know what, the FVR has not solved anything. All we know is whoever signs up has met it. Did they get more people volunteering at the 100 or 50?<br><br>
How about those that do volunteer. Ask some of the smaller ultra race directors about how their break even race is now finishing in the red because people that used to run the race now volunteer ever though they don't need any more bodies. I just finished a race that needed three people at best ( a 5k loop that needed people put a x on sheet for each lap) had 7. They stood around like a bump on log doing close to nothing but they got their time in.<br><br><br><br>
> I think more runners should take the time themselves, REGARDLESS of an > FVR to volunteer anyway, yet.. so few actually do.<br><br>
I'll agree that more should and can but there are many that can't and won't! Not everyone that runs ultra races has the time and money. Sometimes family, kids and finances get in the way.<br><br>
Understand, I should have put this at the beginning, I an an avid fan of the VT races. I've done the 100 6 times and the 50/50k 13 contiguous times. This asinine requirements is screwing the VASS which is what these races are about and why I continue to support these races. For those that don't know the VASS supports handicapped athletes.<br><br>
I know the VT100 is a longer race but also note thAT 50K/50 mile race is growing beautifly. They rightfully froze the number of bikes but the addition of the 50k and overall love of the terrain(Green Mountain in Vermont) AND no FVR and it continues to grow. They think adding the 100k will do the same but as I said in my post that started this, I have my doubts.<br><br>
In essence I'm bitching because the FVT is slighting the VASS and not doing much to help with volunteering in general.<br><br>
Also understand that races have momentum. Look at the HAT or Bull Run they are both sold out and the BR had a lottery. The VT100 has negative momentum.<br><br>
I asked the 50 RD, tongue in cheek, why he didn't have the FVR. I won't tell tales out of school but let's just say he was not fan.<br><br><br><br>
> The problems plaguing the VT100 are:<br>
> An RD with poor communication skills<br><br>
I have know Jim for years and thinks is does very well. Maybe you know something I don't. Jim and I disagree on the FVR but other than that I think he does a great job<br><br>
> The yearly altering of the course<br><br>
Do yo really think they have control over that? Other than the public roads section of the course they traverse private property. If a land owner begs off, you can not just put up cones to go around, you have to alter a entire section. If you think the 100 moves a lot, you ain't seen nuttin with the 50. That course has not been the same for my 13 years. The 50 is all single track and very inch is private lands with owners coming and going.<br><br>
If you want the same course every year neither of these races is for your. For humorous anecdote, how about the Barkley, as soon as someone finished the race , they changed to make it even harder.<br><br><br>
> The Uncertainty of the course's length<br><br>
I take it you never do any or Horton's races? It's not easy when land owner beg off. They try as best they can but you expect them to remeasure each year. Frankly I don't care if it's 98 or 102. If it gets too long then that may be a problem. Other than those races that run in stare measured parks do you really think that every 100 is 100 and every 50 is a 50? I'm sure you don't believe that.<br><br>
> The July Heat and Humidity many can't (or don't want to) Handle.<br><br>
What can I say, they picked the heat, it is the race. Ever notice that the 50k/50 milers are in the fall and the 100's are in the warmer weather? Why is Badwater in the heat? Why is the Barkley in cold spring. Ultra running is about stretching ones limits and it's not just miles.<br><br><br>
> he Races somewhat remote location and lack of adequate, CHEAP,<br>
> places to stay<br><br>
The remoteness, or the beauty of the Green Mountains is the draw for this race. Finding places to stay and reasonable places is just like running in heat or elevation, it is what it is. It's kind of interesting that you concerned with price. How about those people to meet the FVR that have to drive/fly and maybe stay at hotel/motel just to get to do it again and this time run. Talk about a poor bang for the buck.<br><br>
So to reiterate, I don't mind encouraging volunteerism be it trail maintenance or bodies at a race but don't tell me I have to do an 8 hour block at an ultra race. Let me do either in my back yard as long as I get the required number of hours. We'll agree to disagree! <img alt="notworthy.gif" src="">
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Holy S dude... thats some reply.<img alt="read2.gif" src=""><br><br>
I understand what you are saying about time, money, family etc and I don't disagree with you at ALL. I'm just trying to view it from the OTHER perspective.<br><br>
Doug, I'm directing a 200 and 100 miler in November in VERMONT. Why don't you consider coming? There is NO volunteer requirement and because of other races FVR, I'm sure I'll have no problem finding volunteers to help us out. All ready, where we needed help with volunteers for our March Snowshoe Race and June 55 Miler.. we've had some great volunteers coming forward to fulfill their FVR requirements for other races. (Mainly the VT100). The FVR for the VT100 and other races helps our races out immensely.<br><br>
I myself have written e-mails and spoken face to face with another member of the VT100 committee. Actually.. it was the VERY person who suggested they add the volunteer requirement. In speaking with her about things to help make the VT100 Better (she asked), I told her to get rid of the Volunteer Requirement. I myself blamed the FVR as the reason the race is the ONLY one of the Grand Slam races that does not sell out. Apparently, they do not agree.<br><br>
I'm just saying.. while the race population is in decline.. I'm sure a few more reason come into play. I, myself.. LOVE running in the heat and humidity and think New England needs MORE SUMMER ULTRAS, seeing as they are all in the Fall or Spring. <img alt="dontknow.gif" src="">
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That might be the smart move! We'll see...
> Holy S dude... thats some reply.<br><br>
And I hate to type a lot. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src=""><br><br>
> I'm just trying to view it from the OTHER perspective.<br><br>
I'm all for that but while some races like yours may get some help, tell me how it helps the Vt100 get more volunteers for its race? They could probably get by with not having aid stations three miles apart and use less people race day.<br><br>
It does not solve volunteerism across the circuit. It's fact of life whether we want to admit it, 20% do 100% of the work. Call it a busy life or total selfishness but that's the way it is. Even the local 5k/10k's have the same problems. Every alleged good cause put on race to raise money. In my area the volunteer pool is being ambushed every weekend and both days.<br><br><br>
> Doug, I'm directing a 200 and 100 miler in November in VERMONT. Why<br>
> don't you consider coming?<br><br>
if I don't do the vt100 I think about it. <img alt="notworthy.gif" src=""> Since Moses and I went to School together I find about 5-6 races a years is all these old bones can handle and live for another day.<br><br><br><br><br>
> myself have written e-mails and spoken face to face with another<br>
< member of the VT100 committee. Actually.. it was the VERY person who<br>
> suggested they add the volunteer requirement. In speaking with her<br><br>
I have done battle with her a few times. She is headstrong and the board listens to her. She is like Bush claiming there were WMD in Iraq.<br><br><br>
> I'm just saying.. while the race population is in decline..<br><br>
It is? I think you find the numbers are in fact on the increase from the local 5k to the ultra and why so many races are going to lotteries while others fill in a week or two rather than a month. We are in a growing phase which is good but not a free lunch.
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good news for November VT 100 --my friend Jill is planning the Nov. 100<br>
for her first 100. She wants to avoid the heat and humidity (althou last year was just perfect, it can be bad) and wants more aug/sept training time. and sh doesn't want to deal with the volunteer thing.<br>
Her boyfriend Joe will pace her!
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