Thursday, June 30, 2016

AC100: Severe Challenges Ahead


The Angeles Crest, looking east from Mt Wilson
The Angeles Crest 100 is facing serious threats to its continued existence. Both are man-made. 

The AC100 had been given an informal pass though the Pleasant View Ridge Wilderness by the USFS since 2011, because of their over-stressed/underfunded assets. Since 1996 the Race has contributed thousands of hours of trail work. This has been extremely important. Hal Winton, co-RD, has been the lead on all this. He's sat through more endless grinding meetings, then driven to remote areas, bucked chainsaws and deadfalls, and introduced hundreds of runners to trail-work.

The 2014 Monument decision merely opened up the whole mess for review.

Yes, the 1984 Granite Chief Wilderness decision affected the Western States 100, and they were able to grandfather the race in. Antonio Rossman was part of the legal team that made that happen. Was a phone-call put in to Reagan from his old friend Wendell Robie? Maybe. That would sure help. Reagan was indifferent to environment at best [see James Watt, Sec of the Interior, Walter Hodel], but was sociable to his friends.

Dominic Grossman’s petition is brave and necessary. Will it succeed? I don’t know.

  • AS OF JANUARY 15, 2013: To cross the first threshold and be searchable within WhiteHouse.gov, a petition must reach 150 signatures within 30 days. To cross the second threshold and require a response, a petition must reach 100,000 signatures within 30 days.
Those are long odds.

Did AC Race management [ie Ken Hamada] do his homework prior to this? Maybe. In 2011 I put together a full-color map/presentation chart [24x18] that the Race needed to have in Sen Boxer’s office. Originally it was a crappy b&w Xerox w Ken’s handwriting all over it. I got Ken to spend actual money to have this printed out at Kinkos and FedExed to Boxer’s Fresno office. I heard no more after that.

Now It It Gets Worse For The Race.

The Wilderness Act is specific, as Bryon Powell wrote in Running Times December 2009:
"The Wilderness Act severely restricts the use of designated lands, barring "commercial enterprises," permanent roads, and except as needed for the administration of the land, all temporary roads, the use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment, or mechanical transport, and any structure or installation within the area. It also provides guidance as to how the federal agencies should administer them: "These [wilderness areas] shall be administered for the use and enjoyment of the American people in such manner as will leave them unimpaired for future use and enjoyment as wilderness, and so as to provide for the protection of these areas, [and] the preservation of their wilderness character.”

The Race is registered as a corporation. It is not a “community event” as named in Dominic’s petition. Yes, it has aspects of that, but no.

Now Lambert Timmermans has alleged that Ken underpaid the USFS by a lot.  Timmerman’s motives are mixed. For a moment he and Jean Ho were the nominated heirs to the AC100. They also had been providing chip-timing services via their company NSR.com. I’d call that a serious conflict-of-interest, but hey! Not my problem.

Early in 2015 Kenny shuffled the deck and fired both of them, elevating Jakob Herrmann up to Ass’t RD. As I had been fired as the Race Book Editor [1998-2014] in Oct 2014, I told them “Ken had me for lunch, then he had you for dinner”.

Prior to his departure Timmermans claims to have seen the books. Whether or not he can make that stick is another story.

There’s more, but its a side-show to the unfolding catastrophe.

8 comments:

geoff cordner said...

And buried underneath it all, a once amazing race on a once amazing course. I'm not really noted for my sunny optimism, but I just don't see how the race could survive peculiar management decisions, ex RD's vengeful theatrics, and management's steadfast refusal to allow to race to remain relevant. Toss this into the mix and, well...

Maybe it's for the best, sort of like a boxing commission's refusal to license a once champion boxer once again on the comeback trail, fighting only for money, so past his prime the best he can hope for is not to suffer permanent damage.

Bib #13 said...

The drama that comes with this race is un-fucking-believable. I have never heard of anything like that happening on Hardrock or Kodiak, to name a few races.

Willem Pennings said...

We can get into finger pointing he said/she said argument all day long. The magic of this race are the people that train on the AC course, maintain the AC course and help to share their experience with new runners about the AC course. Hal is an incredible steward of the forrest and an inspiration to so many. Dominic stepping up to create the petition in such a short time of the course change is an example of the passion AC veterans have for their home turf. It's an absolute shame that such a community event is run with little regard to the community that supports it.

Mr Trail Safety said...

I'm afraid all altruism and community-spirit vanished when Kenny found the internet could deliver him a money-bomb.

Mr Trail Safety said...

"Drama" is useful for describing mean-girls high school heroics. This is a farcical tragedy straight out of Shakespeare, with a Wagnerian funeral pyre to boot.

Sam Bosworth said...

Something happened at Kodiack. I ran it the first year when we had 40 miles of pct. What happened to the PCT section? Fire roads

Anonymous said...

NSR never received a dime from the old bastard. Get your facts straight Mr trail dumb ass

Mr Trail Safety said...

Thanks, "Anonymous"! Take it easy, you're gonna get an ulcer...