Sunday, June 29, 2008

Northern California is burning...my ass!

Let me just start by saying one thing. F*#K, SH#t, ASS, BALLS! Ok, so maybe that was more like four things, but when you put six months of hard training toward one single event that doesn't go off, it's a little frustrating. As I'm sure most all of you have now heard, Western States was canceled for the first time in 35 years due to wildfires.

As devastated as I was to hear the news, it was the right decision. Having been down there, I can speak to the atrocious quality of the air. We didn't see sun for three days because of how much smoke is in the air. From the little bit that I've read, it also sounds like there was a fire burning within 2 miles of Dusty Corners. It certainly must have been a hard decision for the board to come to, but it was the ONLY choice given the conditions.

That being said, how bad is my luck with this damn race? I received a number of phone calls and text messages from friends and family offering their apologies. One in particular came from my friend Tim. He said he was sorry to hear the race was canceled, and then went on to say that I must have the worst luck at Western States. Now I'm not naive enough to think that I'm the only one who has had some hard knocks at Western States, but the odds of what has happened to me there over the past 3 years must be one million to one. I went from being a near winner in my first Western States, in what Tim Twietmeyer told me were the worst race conditions he'd seen in 25 years racing, to the first ever disqualified Western States winner. Then I went back last year in better shape only to get sick two weeks before the race and drop out at Dusty Corners. Ah, then there was this year. Third times a charm right? WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! This year I really felt more prepared than ever for the race, and I was really expecting a great finish. In fact, just minutes before the Hammer called me to tell me the news of the race cancellation, I had just told my wife and mom that I really felt good about how things were going to turn out this year. In 35 years, this was the first time the race was ever canceled. I'm sure that there are hundreds of other stories just like mine, but it's sure frustrating to put so much hard work into this and make so many sacrifices only to have 3 years and ZERO finishes at States.

How about the good news? Well evidently everyone scheduled to run this year has automatic entry for next year. Honestly, when I initially heard that the race was called off, I said that I wouldn't be coming back, at least not for a while. Of course, that was before I heard that everyone had a guaranteed spot for next year. So now what? I'll have to give it a little thought yet, but there's a pretty good chance that I'll roll the dice on this one next year. Maybe since this year's race never even got started, it won't count as my third time. Then I can still count on the third time's a charm rule. No, that won't work. This was the third time, but I can't possibly have bad luck 4 years in a row, right?

10 comments:

Laura H said...

You were one of the first people I thought of when I heard it had been canceled. Yeah - there are other stories, there will be other races, blah, blah, blah...but CRAP! I'm so bummed for you!! You deserve to be pissed off for a while longer!

Hart said...

yeah i'm bummed for you too man.. but the 4th time will be a charm!

MN Ultra Runner said...

Hi Brian,

I'm new to the WS conversation, what would cause a DQ? Best of luck next year in your '3rd' shot!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Brian you were so prepared and ready but don't let that get you down. Forces of nature can't put you down because you are a force of nature yourself. Don't let this get you down, change it into a positive. We were all rooting for you today, and still will be. Let the force be with you!

Dumbdog

Alison said...

I'm so bummed out for you. I was so excited to be down there for possibly the most competitive race in years and years. You know you'll be back next year, though...

justin angle said...

bummer. but on the bright side, it gives you the opportunity to log a solid 100 miler before you rip WS next year.

Anonymous said...

You were the first person I thought of when I herad about the cancelation. A very big personal disappointment. 4 is the magic number.....

Brian Morrison said...

Thanks guys. I appreciate all the positive thoughts. My new approach to looking at it is helping me. This year I thought third time would be a charm, but that obviously wasn't the case, so now I'm thinking about Olympic athletes racing only once every 4 years. So next year's States will be like an Olympic year there. I'll have 4 years of training for it. Man, I can't believe next year is already going to be four years of attempting this thing.

Kevin said...

Hey Brian,

It's Kevin from SRC and last summer's North face group. You gave me a good laugh with your post. You're always such a polite person and to hear you curse sent me rolling. Kathleen sent me your blog today. Will be interesting to read about your races and get the darker side of Mr. Morrison from now on. Seriously though, I'm so sorry about Western States. I'm sure your training will pay off at white river and cascades. I hope to get up to speed soon and see you out there on the trails.

Matthew said...

You would've gotten Anton. Bearded dude with no job was scared and convinced the organizers to cancel...perhaps he actually set the fires???