June 26, 2008

Western States 2008 Race Cancelled

The 2008 Western State 100 mile endurance run has been cancelled. The official announcement was made last night around 8 pm. Fires, smoke, danger to the runners, crews and support personnel contributed to the decision. When I heard the official news, I was not surprised, given the briefing we had yesterday at 3 pm. I couldn’t bring myself to post anything until now.

I’m not quite sure what to say, as this kind of thing is difficult to put into words. I’m in the best shape of my life. I’ve focused more on this race than any before. Just to get to the race took two years. Qualifying, the lottery, training, now its gone. Just like that. My disappointment is shared by thousands of other runners, crews and volunteers. Many of these folks have come from overseas.

But the world continues to turn. And the running gods will speak to all of us another day. Sure, we all lost out to mother nature. But no one can challenge her when her mind is set. As they say in ultras, there will be times when you feel terrible, and times when you feel good. You just have to keep moving forward. I must now set my sights on another race, and move forward, for another day.

Unofficially I was told that all the runners that were in this year will have a slot next year if they choose to run. That is a long way from now, but if it turns out to be the case, I’m in for sure. In the mean time, I’m looking to get into another 100 miler this summer or early fall. I need to put myself on the line, and waiting a whole year won’t cut it.

I want to thank all the people that got me this far. My wife, Jen, who has made so many sacrifices for me to be able to train. Rob McNair, who has been there without fail to train with me from the day I got into Western States. My two daughters who don't have their daddy to “hang with” on weekends when I’m out running all the time. Jeff Padilla for running my first 50 with me and being part of my WS crew along with Jen and Rob. And everyone else who has offered their words of encouragement and advice along the way. Thank you all. I’m saddened yet appreciative of all that its taken to get here.

The journey continues.


Greg said...

I am so, so sorry Will. But what can you do? Maybe I'll join you for a fall 100. Take care, bro.

Will Cooper said...

I'm thinking AC 100. Gotta hurry though because my guess is it will fill up quickly now that WS is cooked.

Anonymous said...

I am soooo bummed for you! I will be there at AC for you if you want me to. Take care and enjoy hangin w/ Jen & jeff. Laura

Charlie Nickell said...

AC100, go for it. Greg will do your trail work for you.

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog for the last 4 months. I woke up this morning to find that the WS100 has been cancelled. Sorry to hear that. What a downer?
Kieran (Australia)

Campbell said...

Sorry to hear that the WS was canceled Will. As you said the journey continues and just think the sort of shape you will be in when you tackle the race next year. My first 50km is only 10 days away and my first 50 mile is only 6 weeks away, so it's all about to happen. Happy Running. (Kiwi Cam - www.justrunning.wordpress.com)

Frayed Laces said...

Sorry to be late on this one. I heard about WS being cancelled and thought of you. What a let down. I hope you get to find a suitable replacement soon! And when are you going to come down here and do the HURT 100, hmm?