Saturday, June 28, 2008

100-mile Visions Lost In Smoke (Sierra Sun)

Our very own Gretchen Brugman (now training for the TRT100, her first 100) wrote an article about the cancelation of Western States. Donald Buraglio and myself were quoted. Be sure to read the whole article here.

I have been debating whether or not it is proper etiquette to wear the 2008 Western States t-shirt that came in the race packet. I haven't done the race, so according to Bad Ben's rules of t-shirt etiquette, I shouldn't don the threads. But is there a special rule for canceled races? What do you guys think?

I'm thinking no, it shouldn't be worn. But I comprimised by deciding that it was okay to wear the shirt for one day (today) for a memorial run along the Tahoe Rim Trail. The smoke isn't too bad up around Tahoe (still brutal around Foresthill), so I headed out for a casual 12 mile out-and-back. It was such a peaceful run, and I kept repeating "oh, that magic feeling...nowhere to go" from The Beatles' You Never Give Me Your Money. Sometimes it's good to not be tethered by a goal race. ;-)

Added a few new races to the schedule - Angel Island 50k next week, the Napa to Sonoma 1/2 Marathon with Kik Armstrong two weeks after that, the brand new Skyline to the Sea 50k in September, and back to the Santa Barbara 9 Trails in November. I can't fit in a replacement 100m this year since all my key weekends are committed, so it sure felt good to sign up for 100 miles worth of races. As the case with entering Western States, I was instantly revitalized by projecting the adventures to be had.

Onward and upward. I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

- SD


  1. Hey Scott -

    Sorry 'bout the race. No doubt the right decision was made. With any luck, I'll make it back to the Bay Area and see you at a race later this year. Hang in there and enjoy your chilled out time by the Lake.

    Best wishes,

    - Garett

  2. Can't wait for WS100 2009. Ran green gate to auburn overlook only saw 3 runners. Smoke sucks, well time to get ready for 12 hours at cool.

  3. You have such an awesome attitude! Onward and upward, indeed!

    I think your memorial run is a fitting event to wear the t-shirt to. Lucky for you, there are many, many epic races in your general vicinity! Lots of wearable t-shirt opportunities...Good luck in your 100 miles of replacement races.

  4. Is it "canceled" or "cancelled"? I keep thinking you are misspelling it, but the spellchecker doesn't correct it.

    Aha - answered my own question by looking here.

  5. Hey Scott

    Thanks for your many kind comments. This has been one of the most enjoyable weeks of my life. What started of as an endurance run turned into a celebration of trail running. What a fantastic time we all had up there in Squaw.

    R.e. the WS clothing. I think the appropriate thing is to place those fine articles in a plastic bag and shove them in the back of the wardrobe. Twelve months when you (when we have both), cross the finish line in Auburn lets bust those suckers out and wear them proudly.

    Oh, what a run we had on Saturday too - amazing!! Jean took photos. I'll add more soon.

    Cheers, Paul

  6. Thanks for the link Scott! Glad to hear you got out on the trails today. We had a few thwarted Western States runners at the Burton Creek Trail Run this morning in Tahoe City, bringing a nice international aspect to the event. They had a great attitude!
    I would say wear the shirt if you don't mind talking about the race being cancelled. If you don't want to think about that anymore though, better to leave it in the closet for a while.

  7. Scott,

    great blog, intersting and inspiring!

    As to waring the shirt: I'd say not wear it (special occasions may be different) - until you've finished the race - hopefully next year! (Hey, one race for two t-shirts!).

    Thorsten from Germany

  8. these fires really, really suck. I wonder when I'll get into states again. The WS board did he right thing in giving automatic entry to this year's runners. As far as the shirt, Scott, don't wear it to any running event. I think it's ok to wear it when training, and that's about it. I finished WS100 last year 15 minutes after the cutoff (i'm not very fast). I only wear my shirt for training runs. I don't feel like i've earned the right to wear it at a race. That's just me though.

  9. Echoing Paul's comments, I too had a great week-end at Squaw, celebrating our most international community of trail runners (and meeting Paul in the process) and enjoying sweet time with my family - our dog Izzie made many new buddies and my wife and kids appreciated sleeping in a bed Saturday night vs schlepping around aid stations!

    Like Scott I am looking with excitement at new races, possibly leading up to Rio Del Lago in the Fall (I cannot do TRT100 due to other commitments, including taking my horse-loving daughter to see the Tevis Cup).

    As for the shirt, I finished the race in 06 and would have no qualms about wearing it as a "conversation piece" about the power of Mama Nature :-) the word Auburn in the back is mis-spelled though, so it may be confined to gardening work!...


  10. Your post was timely and your perspective on things is spot on. Many of us could benefit by following you attitude towards racing and life.

  11. While I admit that I've never been that worried about the whole race shirt fetish/superstitious thing, I'd say you've suffered enough (if only emotionally) and have the right to wear the shirt.

    Anyone who is in the know will know that an '08 WS 100 shirt means you got porked by mother nature but will be heading back in '09. So wear it like a crown of thorns -- you're part of a small group that's experienced one of the worst things at WS ever -- being ready to run and then told no at the last minute!

  12. no reason not to wear the shirt whenever you want--after all no one has has MORE of a right to wear a 2008 ws100. had you not actually entered, or had you decided not to run prior to cancelation, or had the race actually gone forward in any fashion without you, that would be different. but clearly you are one of the group entitled to wear it--wearing a 2008 ws100 shirt simply means something a bit different than wearing, say, a 2007. but just in case you're concerned that the uninformed will be misled, you could stamp "canceled" (in permanent dye) somewhere on the garment.

  13. The DNF/sharpie rule applies. You must write "CANCELLED" or "CANX" in sharpie on the shirt in large letters before you can wear it.

  14. Just wear the damn shirt, it's a classic!

  15. Gretchen's article was great - it captured what just about all of us were feeling.

    As far as the shirt - I wouldn't wear it. I like Paul's idea to shove it in a closet for 12 months. I haven't even worn the arm warmers they sent us in December, for fear of bad juju.

    Good luck with your next event, wherever that is. And thanks again for the link!

  16. Oh, man I've been wearing those arm warmers since I got them. You don't think I caused the fires, do you? ;-)


  17. I tried wearing my arm warmers too, but they didn't fit over my biceps....

  18. I'm with the wear it with "DNH" (Jean P's coinage) or "didn't get to start" "would've finished" stamped/printed/decalled on there. I actually think that's sort of cool. That was my plan had I not been able to start one of my races last year had our baby been born earlier.

    Not that I actually need more race shirts I can wear...

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