Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Western States 100 Number Crunching

The deadline passed last night at midnight for would-be 2008 runners to confirm their entry for 2009. The race directors allowed us an automatic entry for 2009 after this year's race was canceled because of wildfires. I confirmed my entry when the window opened on September 15th, as did several others. Since that time, each day saw more and more confirming for next year. Now we have the final tally.

I had predicted that of the 391 runners, most would confirm but there would probably be 100 who wouldn't be able to make it. I was wrong. Only 38 slots are open. That just shows how popular this race is. Not to gloat, but I'm glad I'm in.

So, who gets those 38 open slots? It goes to "two time losers", a procedure that is now discontinued. It had guaranteed an entry the third time around for those who had entered and lost the WS100 lottery twice. However, due to the popularity of the race, the two time loser rule was done away with since it was getting to a point where they were growing in such a large number that the cup was beginning to spill.

So, those 38 open slots for 2009 will go to the two time losers (or TTLs), and there are 254 of them on the list. Those runners have until October 15th to confirm that they want to be put into a lottery, where they'll be chosen at random. Those that don't get in will be guaranteed entry in the future.

So (this is the third paragraph I've began with "so"), 90% of the runners from last year confirmed their entry. Let's assume the TTLs have the same percentage of confirmation. That means of the 254 TTL runners, 229 will confirm. That translates to a 17% chance of getting in, which is just one percentage point away from the 16% chance of getting in that we faced when I lucked out and got in for 2008.

Good luck to all who are in, and good luck to all trying to get in. Looking forward to 2009!


Sonriserunning said...

That's incredible,racing 100 miles. Most people would consider this a punshment. I think I would wait to sign up for the 2009 race in 2010. That's nuts--but, more power to you,it's a tremendous accomplishment just to finish.

Love2Run said...

That's a lot of calculating. Good thing you got in last year or your calculator could get burned out. I'm looking forward to see you do well next year.

Runner NYC said...

I'm so glad you're in! The odds do not look good for getting into that race. I'm on the wait list for Antarctica because I'm worried it'll melt away before I'm ready to run it. So, I'm in for either next March or the 2010 race! I almost never plan things that far in advance, but, like WS100, the event itself makes it worth it!