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June 25, 2008

Up in Smoke

So, about that previous post I just published ...

Nevermind. It's not happening. For the first time in its 35-year history, the Western States Endurance Run has been canceled.

A few minutes ago, all participants received the following e-mail:

Dear Western States Runners,
It is with deep regret that we announce today that the 35th running of the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run has been cancelled, due to the unprecedented amount of wildfires that have struck northern California in recent days and the health risks that have been associated with these wildfires. The Board of Trustees of the Western States Endurance Run has consulted with many of our local and state race partners, including the U.S. Forest Service and the Placer County Air Pollution Control District, in coming to this decision. We apologize to our runners for any inconvenience this decision has created.

As you can imagine, I'll have more to say about this tomorrow or Friday. For now, I'm looking to for a large bowl of ice cream to smother my remorse.


a.maria 6/25/08, 8:48 PM  

oh. my. god. what is it with mother nature this year totally crapping all over everyone's race!?!?

i'm so, SO sorry.

Backofpack 6/25/08, 8:52 PM  

Holy moly Donald. Unbelievable...We've been watching the website all afternoon. It boggles my mind, the preparation, the training, for out of staters, travel plans and hotel reservations...unbelievable. Wow.

I feel so bad for everyone.

miki 6/25/08, 9:00 PM  

I am so sorry this happened to all you runners who trained so hard. Enjoy the ice cream. You more than deserved it.

Journey to a Centum 6/25/08, 9:09 PM  

Time to start shopping for another 100 miler! Chop Chop before all the other runners from WS fill them up!

I can imagine your disappointment but it sounds like they made the right call.

Journey to a Centum 6/25/08, 9:18 PM  


Gretchen 6/25/08, 9:23 PM  

I am absolutely heartbroken for you and all the runners. I hope you're still coming up to Tahoe for the activities to comiserate with everyone...drop me an email if you want to cry in a few beers on Thurs or Saturday. ( gbrugman at hotmail) Also, think about the Burton Creek Trail Run in Thane City on Sunday while you're here.


Gretchen 6/25/08, 9:24 PM  

That would be Tahoe City...not "Thane"

209Mike 6/25/08, 9:38 PM  

Wow. I just saw that news. So sorry to hear about that. I'm searching for the silver lining...

olga 6/25/08, 9:57 PM  

Holy crap, sorry, man.

Sunshine Girl 6/25/08, 10:02 PM  

Oh Donald. I'm so sorry to hear this news. We all put your hearts and souls into these things, and as for Western States, it is THE SHOW. It's hard to imagine cancelling THE SHOW on such short notice. I would fully be devasted if I had been training for THE SHOW and it was taken away from me. So you are fully aloud to mope for as long as you need.

21stCenturyMom 6/25/08, 10:04 PM  

I already sent you email because this post hadn't shown up in bloglines. What a bummer. We are having a raging margarita party up here for our runner Saturday night. Come on up!

craig 6/25/08, 10:05 PM  

I don't know what to say Donald. Except that I like the way journey to a centum thinks. But I know you had your heart set on this particular race.

rick 6/25/08, 10:08 PM  

Sorry to hear Donald. Sobering news. Totally blows.

momo 6/25/08, 10:19 PM  

omg, donald, i am heartbroken for you. seriously, i can't imagine the emotions you must be feeling. will they roll your entry to next year?

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) 6/25/08, 10:41 PM  

Having followed closely your dedicated preparation all spring, I feel your pain in particular.

At the least, your writing hopefully will give an added voice to many of your fellow disappointed runners.

RunBubbaRun 6/26/08, 3:20 AM  

Donald, soo sorry to hear that. Sounds like something that is out of anybody's control and the right sucky decision..

There is only one WS100, but yup you need to find a 100 miler to replace that. In the meantime, enjoy that bowl of ice cream.

Bruce 6/26/08, 3:21 AM  

That's real bad news Donald. Sorry to hear that. Hope you can come up with another race so all that training wasn't for nothing.

cherie 6/26/08, 5:50 AM  

i'm so sorry! that sucks. i, too, would reach for the ice cream--something chocolate, with hot fudge, whipped cream, and chopped berries.

Bullet 6/26/08, 6:10 AM  

Man, I'm so sorry. I'm so disappointed for you. I know how hard you've worked.

Chase Squires 6/26/08, 6:11 AM  

Thanks for your note, Donald, yeah, I'm trying to salvage something, at weekend gambling by Lake Tahoe and maybe a run on the rim somewhere ....

Anne 6/26/08, 6:17 AM  

I immediately thought of you when I heard the bad news. Of course, the race directors are doing the right thing, but it's still heartbreaking news to people like you who made the WS100 the center of their universe for so many months. We've got plenty more ice cream to send your way, should you need it.

David Ray 6/26/08, 7:46 AM  

I was gonna say that now you'll have time to answer the tag questions. But that's just stupid and not funny. Hope you can find a good alternative and still enjoy a beautiful run.

stronger 6/26/08, 7:47 AM  

Oh man. What about Leadville 100 to make up for all the training and all the heart that went into your preparations? We could all pitch in for the entry fee. Looks like it's still open. My doors are open for a place to stay and I could find you pacers and everything. Aug 16-17

Spokane Al 6/26/08, 7:58 AM  

Donald, I was catching up and just found out the news. This is absolutely heartbreaking! I am so sorry for you and trust that this is merely a bump (albeit a moderately sized one) in you road towards competing in and completing WS.

Deene 6/26/08, 8:03 AM  

Blasphemy!! (and i don't even know what that means but it sounds good at the moment) i was so looking forward to your post race report.
will other ultras put you on their priority waitlists? theres the leadville 100 or hard rock.

Formulaic 6/26/08, 9:17 AM  

Donald, so sorry to hear the bad news!

I know how much you dedicated your life to this and now to have it disappear as you so eloquently put “up in smoke".

Looks like everyone is rooting for you. Hopefully you'll find another race but only you can decide what is right for you.

Enjoy the creamery!

IM Able 6/26/08, 9:20 AM  

No words. Oh my.

Yes. Turn to ice cream. Ice cream good.

jen 6/26/08, 9:47 AM  


Donald, this f-ing blows. Are they rescheduling it?


Zach 6/26/08, 9:50 AM  

Sorry man - that sucks. Enjoy the ice cream then find another race! I know it won't be the same as WS but you trained hard to run the distance.

Do you know if your entry for this year will carry over?

Wingman 6/26/08, 10:01 AM  

Sorry, I know you were training so hard for this and looking forward to it. I guess this will put to test the axiom that it's the journey and not the race. Not having the race does nothing to diminish all that you've been working for and while the tangible result isn't there, the journey is no less meaningful.

Paul 6/26/08, 10:14 AM  

Sorry Donald, I'm so sorry to hear about that. I was so looking forward to hearing about your journey. It's still been a good read up to this point :)

triguyjt 6/26/08, 10:14 AM  

Irony of Ironies...Interviewed a cleveland runner yesterday who was just about to get on a plane for western states...and then ..bamm..the bad news...no event...i really feel for you donald..and i hope, afteer the ice cream..they can re-assess..process the tough news and set your sights on another race... really bummed for ya...

robb 6/26/08, 10:45 AM  

Sorry to hear about that. You should consider doing another 100 miler. After you finish the ice cream.

angie's pink fuzzy 6/26/08, 11:14 AM  


I just found out, and immediately came over to your blog. All I can say (that's family-friendly, anyway) (and it's a HUGE understatement) is:


Legs & Wings 6/26/08, 11:43 AM  

That's disappointing! Wow, I'm in shock.

Addy 6/26/08, 12:58 PM  

This is such heartbreaking news. I am so sorry. I hope you'll find another 100 to celebrate the amazing training you've done, but for now really enjoy that ice cream.

Thomas 6/26/08, 1:11 PM  

I'm so sorry, Donald. To hear this after all those months of hard training must be incredibly frustrating.

At least you did not have to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles before you heard of the cancellation.

Small mercies, eh?

Darrell 6/26/08, 1:28 PM  

I just heard the news and came here first to see what you'd have to say. The cancellation is disappointing for sure but probably the wisest thing to do considering.

I hope the ice cream helps.

the Dread Pirate Rackham 6/26/08, 1:48 PM  

this is a real butt-biter. I'm so sorry! but, like others, I say get out the race schedule and start shopping!!!

I feel bad for all the significant others of the runners training for this - having dealt with a twitchy tapering ultra runner myself, I know it's no picnic.

Speed Racer 6/28/08, 4:49 PM  

Oh no! I mean, OH NO! It does not affect my life in the least and I STILL can't get over it. OH NO! I'm SO sorry! What are they going to do about all the people who qualified?! Are they going to make you start the lotto over fresh?! OH NO!

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