Two months into the year and my first 3 ultras have now been cancelled. Phunt and HAT were no big deals, but NJ Devil 100 was going to be my first hundred in seven months and only my second in 15 months. I know, I know. We’re in the middle of a pandemic and while things are getting better, we’re still a ways off from good. And having to wait a bit longer to continue my chase of 10K is most assuredly a high class problem.
That doesn’t make me any less desperate to get out and run 100 miles. After the email cancellation hit my inbox, I spent a decent amount of time on Ultrarunning.com’s calendar and there was really only one race that fit my calendar without requiring me to travel halfway around the country. As luck would have it, the race is being held on the same day and is a pancake flat course which is what I have been training for. The only catch? I’ve already done the C&O Canal 100 before.
Not only do I already have a buckle, but this is also the site of my first DNF. There are races that I love to go back to each year (Eastern States). There are races that I look forward to going back and doing again (Old Dominion, Oil Creek). And then on the complete other end of the spectrum is C&O Canal. When I go through and rank the 13 hundred mile races that I’ve started, this one comes in at unlucky #13. This is partially due to the weather (40s and rain) and partially due to my poor performances the two times I’ve run the race. I’m all about avenging a DNF (don’t worry Big Horn, I’ll get back to you eventually), however I have no interest in redoing races just to better my time. There’s too many interesting 100 milers out there and I’d like to try as many of them as possible.
That said. I’ve “enjoyed” all of the races that I’ve done and would recommend any of them to others out there. Even the one race that I would rank dead last. Basically, it comes down to the fact that I would rather do the worst 100 I’ve ever done than not do one at all. And that’s what my choice is right now.
The only hitch (it is 2021 after all) is the race is currently short of volunteers/aid station captains. The race just got all their permits, but without enough volunteers there’s a chance the race could get postponed to late August. That date doesn’t work for me as it’s right after Eastern States. I don’t want to sign up for yet another race only to have it cancelled/postponed on me so I’m in a bit of a limbo. I’m planning to wait a couple weeks then emailing the RD to see the likelihood of the race going off on 4/24. The race isn’t close to the 200 cap so I think I have some more time.
Fingers crossed I’m only 8 weeks out from my next 100. Hope I still remember how to run one.