AC100 & the Out of Towners
|Regular folks, out for a 100, 2017.|
Observers noted that ostensibly solo runner and eventual women's winner Darcy Piceu seemingly had a crew. Then it transpired that RD Ken Hamada had approved a category switch for Ms Piceu several weeks before the race. Nobody else seemed to know. All the listings had her as SOLO. But no, Kenny is cryptic.
The race book rules are specific, as follows, full text:
SOLO DIVISION RULESWhen accepted into the race in the Solo Division, a runner agrees to follow the above race rules plus an additional set of rules set forth for the separate division. All Solo division runners must sign the Solo Runner Agreement form at race check-in to confirm their knowledge and acceptance of the following rules. Violators will be disqualified from the race and may be banned from future runnings of the AC100. If you have any confusion about which division you are in, please consult the 2018 Entrants List on AC100.com.
1) Drop bags and aid stations only
A solo runner may only receive aid from his/her own drop bags, the official AC100 aid stations and official aid station volunteers. Solo runners may not receive any aid or assistance from other runners’ crews or spectators.
2) No crew
A solo runner agrees that they will travel the course alone and will not use a crew. Any attempts to subvert this rule by using another runner’s crew or “friends that just happen to show up” will not be tolerated. Solo runners will not be penalized from receiving “emotional encouragement” in the form of hugs, high fives or cheers from other runners’ crews or spectators.
3) No pacers
A solo runner also agrees to run without a pacer. Having someone meet you “unofficially” along the course is considered cheating, just as it would be in the crewed division. A solo runner may, however, run with other registered racers in either division, which may also include a crewed runner’s pacer.
4) No switching to the crewed race
The solo runner has received special consideration for entry through the lottery, so once a Solo designation is accepted a runner may not switch to being a crewed runner. This includes prior to race day, at race check-in and during the race. To repeat, YOU CANNOT SWITCH FROM SOLO TO CREWED DURING THE RACE.
5) Switching to the Solo Division
A registered runner in the general division (crewed) may switch to the Solo Division at any point prior to race day or at race check-in. Once a runner is checked-in, his/her division is final.
There were pointed comments from the AC100 multitudes, mainly of the WTF variety. Responses from the Race were laughable, arguing that Ms Piceu and others were somehow confused as to what defined solo. She was crewed, and started as crewed with the RD's approval.
See items 3 and 4, above.
Who's an out of towner? Somebody who doesn't live in a 100-mi radius of Wrightwood? Altadena? Or somewhere outside the latitude lines described by the top of LA County and the Tropic of Cancer?
How many non-locals got the fiat upgrade to crewed? I can guarantee you that fucking nobody says "ahh, the hell with it! Running crewed is for pussies, Imma take the solo downgrade...hold my bottles!"
There's a price for running solo. Look at some of the big drops, where they occurred, and proportionate numbers:
|AC100 2018 drops. DNS [Wrightwood start] drops not included.|
The drops start piling up at logical escape points: Red Box and Chantry. Newcomb's is a bitch—you can see Chantry lights and you're an infinite fucked up 6+ miles away.
Get to Chantry and the way is clear to escape misery. Otherwise its a hot lonely wait at Idle Hour and Sam Merrill.
And if you're solo, its tougher.
The Celebrity Speed EZ Pass.I doubt the solo-to-crewed upgrade would've happened to Mr or Ms Unknown Entrant, with a short UltraSignUp resume.
But Darcy has a considerable resume. AC100 is languishing in a twilight obscurity, a sad decline from its original Legacy 100 status. Kenny definitely needed a marquee name after Jim Walmsley's no-show.
Kenny decides, and lets his subordinates scramble to explain it.
And there you have it.