AC100: It's A Man's Race, and Less

RD Ken Hamada has made clear that the AC100 is a "man's race". A sufficient number of men and women disagree.
The 2016 AC100 is bearing down on us less than 8 weeks out, and there are interesting scenarios building in three areas: procedural, legal, and 2017 entries.

The Procedural DIY

The Race was recently looking for qualified medical team. This used to be handled by Nick Nudell’s Ultra-Medical Team. Nick had begun to retool his business model to move in a different direction earlier this year. 

The timing of Nudell's withdrawal, notification were not known to me at the time of writing. The well-regarded John Emmons stepped up, and that problem has been solved

When Hamada fired Lambert Timmermans and Jean Ho as Assistant RDs [Oct 2015], he evidently deleted Negative Split Running’s timing service as well. The Race will supposedly be timed from Kenny’s phone w a scanner that will read the chip on the bib. 

It's a flying start already.

Oh Dear, Legal Drama! Which is the Official Facebook Page?

In 2009 I'd set up the original AC100 Facebook page. I was the Racebook editor, and it seemed like a good idea. The training runs/trail work dates could now be looked at directly, even if Race Mgmt didn't have it together to actually work with Facebook. You still had to email the beloved co-RD "Uncle" Hal Winton, who was wedded to his creaking mail account.

October 2014: Hamada fired me as RaceBook Editor/Social Media.The termination agreement stipulated Hamada was not to use any of my photos etc in the 2015 Racebook, which he ignored. He also slept thru the following 8 months until he realized that I was still their social-media editor, playing it straight. 

May 2015:
Hamada wrote me an angry email, demanding that I hand over the group. I didn’t want to give away what I’d built. I informed him that:
  • He could start his own group, which he did
  •  I’d changed the name of the Facebook group page to “Angeles Crest Runners Forum, later Angeles Crest UltraLandia”; and
  • specified that the group had no official ties to the AC100. Right up front. 
Angeles Crest UltraLandia Facebook cover art: Dead Man's Bench, 2015

UltraLandia group description, for those who bother to read these things.

The 2015 race book appeared, with many of my photos and maps still being used. I sent Hamada an invoice for the map usage ($500). He fired back with a demand for $1500--alleging improper use of the AC100 name without his permission 'all those years’, i.e. from 2009-2014.

In my reply I reminded him that: 

  • I'd set up the Facebook group because nobody else had the bright idea; and that I posted news, events and doings of the AC100 as the RaceBook editor
  • "Angeles Crest Runners Forum" is a generic name, not specifically referencing AC100
  • that an independent comment forum was desperately needed after his "catastrophically inept management decisions of the last year"
I then ran it past a lawyer and a paralegal, who cheerfully agreed with my points. In closing, told Hamada I didn't owe a nickel, and to pay up. Dead silence.

Kenny Shuffles The Deck

Autumn 2015: Ken surprises both Lambert and Jean Ho, presumptive RD heirs to the AC100, with news that they were fired. Jakob Herrmann had been promoted up from the web-guy to Asst RD. Parts is parts, evidently. In any case, its straight out of Shakespeare.

Meanwhile, the presumably official AC100 page steamed on, under the nominal guidance of Timmermans et alia. Following revelations that alleges fiscal irregularities, Hamada is now suing Lambert Timmermans in Small Claims Court [Alhambra CA], for allegedly violating intellectual copyright by using the name “Angeles Crest 100” on the Facebook page that Timmermans started [as Ass’t RD] after I'd told Hamada where to step off. 

The successor page, May 2015.
Now there is a third iteration: AC100 (official) Angeles Crest 100 presence. Characteristically, it’s a closed group, so the public cannot peer into the cryptic murky workings of the race. 
No, this is the real one!
In the midst of all this, there are rumors that Hamada has never registered “Angeles Crest 100” under any trademark or copyright.  So theoretically ANYONE could start up a 100 using that very name. There may be some weight of prior use here, so let’s not hold our breath. The Small Claims ruling may shed some light. More likely it will put a swift kick for somebody to hire a good intellectual-property [IP] lawyer. Who, remains to be seen.

Yes, You May Already Be A Winner

The latest development coming out of the Hamada Skunkworks is the Three-peat Lottery Bypass Strategy: every Aid Station captain can give away one spot to one of his volunteers, to bypass the lottery. Also, runners who’ve finished AC100 3x consecutively can bypass the lottery to support their efforts for the 10x consecutive finish.

The Lottery is as yet a vague, undefined process. There is no stated process of entry, verification, when and where the Lottery is drawn, accountability. Nothing. It’s chimerical.

By contrast,  the WSER100 process is:

  • Pre-qualified entrants, from a specific list of demanding races
  • a public Drawing, on a weekend, in front of a live audience.
Yes, only 8% of the 1400+ applicants will be drawn. Nobody’s gonna be happy. But goddamn, the WSER100 tries like hell to make it honest and accountable, however complicated and convoluted. All of which are lacking at the AC100.

In conclusion, for anyone who claims that all this is somehow “Drama”, I ask “why are you rushing to defend a process that is transparently dishonest?”


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