A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Setting up the Grand Slam - 2013 Style

Getting registered for all four 100 mile races (Western States, Vermont, Leadville, and Wasatch Front respectively), as well as actually register for the 2013 Grand Slam itself is a little bit involved.


First, each race is different in terms of how to register. Second, once finally registered, there is some volunteer and trail work requirements that must also be met before you're fully registered for the races. I'll give you a quick rundown on how everything needs to be done before it's all set up.

1) Win a spot in the Western States 100 race - You'll have to do this either through their lottery or if you're talented enough to finish on the podium on the several Montrail Ultra Cup races in the country to gain automatic entry. If you're like most people and try through the lottery, you cannot start planning a Grand Slam until you win this lottery. And you'll need to wait until early December for that. If you don't win the lottery, forget about the Grand Slam next year. Hopefully you'll have better luck the following year.

2) Send in an application for the Wasatch 100 immediately after the lottery - You need to send in your application online, then send in a check for $225 to the address listed on their page by January 6. Wasatch Front doesn't accept online payments because the race organizers have a selection process in early January. If you don't make the selection, they will make sure potential Grand Slammers have a shot at completing their Slam in this race by holding their checks until you actually finish the first 3 races of the Slam. So, if you're fortunate enough to finish the first three, then they cash your check and accept you into the race.

3) Request a spot in the Vermont 100 race immediately after the lottery - In the past, the Vermont 100 registration was open at the time of the lottery and one had no problem getting in after winning entry to Western States. But this year, the field filled BEFORE the lottery. In consideration for those trying the Slam, they will reserve spots in Vermont 100 if you send an email to the director at vt100@vermontadaptive.org. This SHOULD get you into the Vermont 100 race. Hopefully.

4) On January 1 - Register for the Leadville 100. Quickly! - And I mean quickly. I just have a feeling the field will fill up within hours after we ring in the New Year. I'm not sure what specific time on January 1 they will be opening up, but I'll be ready and poised to register at the stroke of midnight, eastern time. And since I'll be celebrating the New Year on top of a small mountain in the middle of the Greenbelt on Staten Island, I might have to use my girlfriend's phone to register for the race since payments are accepted online. :-)

5) Register for the actual Grand Slam recognition - This link provides the address in which an $80 check needs to go in order to be actually recognized for this herculean feat. I will probably do this after the Wasatch decision in January.

6) In the Spring, fulfill some mandatory requirements for entry - Western States and Wasatch front both have mandatory trail work requirements to be met for entry. Vermont has a volunteer requirement in an ultra. Both are slightly different in terms of volunteering. Leadville doesn't need a requirement. You can get some trail work done with a local conservancy or parks department in the area. As for volunteering in a race, find an ultra in the area and contact the director of the race. As directors always need volunteers, they should respond quickly and favorably to your message. For me, I can definitely fulfill the trail work requirement locally with the Staten Island Greenbelt Conservatory. Even though the trails were recently opened after Hurricane Sandy ravaged them, they still need some work done, so I'm sure they'll need a hand in the spring. As for the volunteer race requirement, I'll get a hold of Rick McNulty of the NJ Trail Series and I can volunteer for one of his races. I did that this past year when getting into Vermont, so it should be no problem there.

7) You should be set up. Whew!!! Of course, now you need to plan all your trips out, but that will be the subject of a future blog post.

Now to get my butt in even better shape than this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment