Monday, April 25, 2016

AC100 FAQ Flow Chart

This is the flowchart of your emotions while in the AC100 Vortex.
The average AC100 Entrant®™ will have many questions about the Race, in addition to the usual "where the fuck is Wrightwood?" This looted MC Escher artwork has been hacked to describe your emotional state upon entering the AC100 Vortex. Race Day is a slam-dunk bonerific snap after all this.

Study this carefully. Then memorize your possible Awards options. Get to the finish line 30 times, and you get The Ring To Rule Over Them All. Now that Jussi Hamaleinen DNF'd in 2015, after 26 or so finishes, there's no danger to Race Mgmt to cough up the money to make one of these for years to come.

Meanwhile, Back To Reality

The real AC100 FAQ flowchart is below. No, I didn't make this up after eating a weed-brownie. This was created by an engineer that they let work on airplanes. Big ones. That so far have not all fallen out of the sky, thanks to built-in redundancies.

Go ahead. Read the original, and weep.
Technological advances have made it possible for the RD to take your money faster, and ignore your pleas longer. You're welcome.

AC100 Awards: Decoded and Explained

This explains the inexplicable.

You think I'm making this up? From the AC100 Racebook.
The original AC100 Awards diagram didn't do this masterpiece justice. So now its described by a cryptic 3D graphic, and in a fancy frame. If you made the Two Minute Lottery Cutoff, and then make it past Cloudburst on Race day, you'll have 33 hours to ponder this. 

 AC100 RD Ken Hamada came up with this Awards structure decades ago. Nobody's ever been able to make sense of it. Unless you had a degree in advanced calculus, or had a lot of time left over from solving Mysteries of the Illuminati, chem-trails, Bermuda Triangle, whatever.

And no matter who you are, nobody rides for free.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sierra Kilo Tango: 9 Hours of Bungholio

Course profile map with cryptic hand gestures.


I was passed by the finest names in SoCal ultras at least once. It helps when you're running different races to get the full impact of major talent. What bites was that twenty years ago I ran the 50-mile in the same time as I lurched thru the 50k.

There was an astonishing number of polite people out on the course, who also included newbies trying on their first trail run ever. It was great seeing them trying and getting it. They got their money’s worth.

I met people last year that I completely forgot until this year, when they called me by name. Holy fucking shit—that’s a mind-slip. But they were chill, still dropping me like they owed me money.

Race Particulars

The course is a perverse T-shaped out-n-back that humps over several ridge lines in northern LA Co. Last year I tried on the 50-mi outing for size, and got pulled at 29 miles, taking the drop-down to a 50k. Yes, it used to be a loop, but that was when the world was young and long before the war.

This can be insanely runnable. With 50mi winning times in the low 6hr range, compared to the technical challenges of Red Rocks 50, it justifies the “Cali Carpet Trail” moniker. You just have to bring that game.

The weather was magnificent. Even if you were wearing black capris and tights like I saw a lot of newbies in, you weren’t dying. A day later and temperatures had jacked into the 90s up on the Divide.

The Older I Get The Faster I Was

This is where my tortured narrative comes in—like Tori Amos riding that piano bench wailing about lost love. My stride has gone to shit for speed. It needs help. This gave me more time to dream up this low-level comedy fever. Insert the #InspirationalMeme of your choice, sideways.

Dropping That Deuce

I’d been running with a nice guy who fervently hoped he’d never have to pinch a loaf out on the course. You haven’t lived until you’ve solved that problem. Which struck a lonely half-mile after the 21.666mi turnaround at San Francisquito Cyn Rd. I credit the dill pickle slice for rebalancing my saline-chi and solid food. As I was taking a spur off to make the magic, a well-intentioned woman advised me etc. I was about to go into full detail when she got it, and dropped the conversation. That done, I dropped a log that was so dry it had bark and branches on it. Try to unsee that.

Finishing Up

I knew my time was gonna be loose and hard to swallow. So why not spend some time with friends out there? Spent a fine moment with Howie Stern, who was doing yeoman work taking race photos. Did the old-school thing, popped a can of canned apricots and split it with him. Strava®™ didnt give a shit, so fuck them. They haven’t upped their race categories above 26.2 either.

I crossed the finish line a hero of my own creation. The only thing that got pulled this time was the pud of my shriveled ego. I'll adjust.

You know you want this. Start at UltraLandia.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

AC100: Solo Division Buckle!

Eventually all AC100 entrants will be in this category
The Solo Division was announced with great fanfare after the 2014 AC100 Race. When this concept was introduced, I saw text  suggesting strongly that solo runners would increase each year, and the non-solos would be correspondingly reduced, so that by 2020 it would all be Solo. Of course, then there would be no useless and annoying spectators, right? Boom! Problem solved!

Now the runner could compete under Pelican Bay Ultra Club Rules—and not take any aid from family, friends, groupies, or even people he or she owed money to. Doing so would be a lightning DQ.

The incentive for this that you could sign up an hour earlier than the regular scrum.

You think I'm shitting you, right? 

in the meantime I'm waiting to see how the AC100 Lottery is going to play out. I predict it will go something like this:
  • it will occur the Tuesday after close of Race
  • 10:35 AM
  • in a remote, unverifiable location somewhere between Wrightwood and Kennedy Meadows, CA
  •  no independent auditing or oversight to see how many names are in the draw
  • all results final, the end. But this is a traditional Kenny Hamada hallmark, to keep cherished traditions alive.
You get the idea. I foresee a time when there will be 300 treadmills set up in a warehouse out in Adelanto, CA. What could possibly go wrong?

Friday, April 01, 2016

AC100 Unveils New Buckles for 2017

The venerable Angeles Crest 100 has taken historic steps to advance into the front ranks of Legacy 100-mile races in the USA. New buckles were unveiled this morning to showcase the innovations in lottery and entrant management. The Race will go full-Lotto on Aug 8, 2016 "to allow more people to enter the race" according to website spokesbots.

AC100 401 K Division Buckle, to honor the estimated 60+ DNS for their heroic sacrifices
Race Director Ken Hamada celebrates his 30th year as the RD saying "I've outlasted all of the original race directors, so I must be doing something right. I'll live another thirty years thanks to my diet and sheer determination. If you can dream it, you can do it, just like Kim il-Sung"

The current race Awards structure will remain unchanged, despite repeated assaults by forces of reason and logic. "If you are 50, like Jussi was, you'll do well here."
AC100 2nd Lottery Sunrise Buckle for those who entered ahead of lottery cut off.