As the final hours tick down to the start of the lottery drawing for the Western States Endurance Run, not every applicant will endure the rush of nerves while anticipating having their name called for a berth in the 46th edition of ultrarunning’s original 100-mile race.
Kyle Robidoux of Roxbury, Mass., and Aliza Lapierre of Williston, Vt., can sit back, relax, and enjoy watching the spectacle unfold, comfortable in the knowledge that they’re already in.
Robidoux completed a Western States qualifier – the Yeti 100 – in 2018 for his third 100-mile finish. However, he was able to forego the lottery when he was awarded a sponsor’s bib. Meanwhile, Lapierre placed in the top 10 at the 2018 race which earned her an automatic berth for 2019. The New Englanders are among 78 runners who have already accepted automatic bids; a total of 104 automatic bids will be doled out prior to race day on June 29-30, 2019.
Of the 369 starting spots, 262 will be determined in the lottery at 8:30 a.m. PST (11:30 a.m. EST) Saturday, Dec. 1, at Placer High School in Auburn, Calif. The venue is significant as the school’s track serves as the finish line for the 100.2-mile race that begins in Squaw Valley. In addition to the 262 starting spots, a 50-name wait list will also be drawn.
A total of 5,862 runners are entered in the lottery, including more than 4,000 Americans. Of that field of hopefuls, 54 hail from Massachusetts and New England boasts more than 100 applicants. Everyone’s odds of getting in are low due to the high number of applicants, but Western States uses a tiered ticketing system that gives long-time applicants a greater chance of having their names selected. First-year applicants get one ticket and second-year applicants receive two; third-year applicants receive four tickets; fourth-year hopefuls have eight tickets; fifth-year applicants have 16 chances to be selected; sixth-year applicants receive 32 tickets, and seventh-year hopefuls have their name on the maximum offering of 64 tickets.
Tom Morton and Oliver Truog lead the list of Massachusetts hopefuls. Morton, of Chicopee, and Truog, of Milton, are two of 30 lottery applicants with 64 tickets. That gives each of them around a 67-percent chance of having their name called. That’s no guarantee, but it’s their best chance in seven tries. Morton completed the Bear 100 in September to earn his place in this year’s lottery. In previous years he qualified by finishing the Vermont 100 (2017 and 2012), Wasatch 100 (2016), Eastern States 100 (2015), Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc (2014), and Leadville 100 (2013). Truog qualified this year by running the Kettle Moraine 100 in June. His previous qualifiers included the Vermont 100 (2017 and 2014), Mohican 100 (2016), and Javelina Jundred (2015).
Princeton resident Ralph Crowley is also among the Bay State’s highest hopefuls. He’s in the lottery for the sixth straight year. He is one of 95 applicants with 32 tickets, giving him a 43-percent chance of having his name selected. Crowley earned his place in this year’s lottery by finishing the Cuyamaca 100K in California in October.
Four Massachusetts residents – Stoneham’s Chris Bustard, Arlington’s Marilyn Oberhardt, Pelham’s Chris Neoh, and Medway’s Jack Bailey – are among the 191 applicants who are fifth-year applicants with 16 tickets apiece.
Nine Massachusetts residents – Wayne Ball, Joseph D’Alessio, Shaun Daylor, Russell Dresher, Neil Feldman, Annette Florczak, Daniel Gulas, Dane LeBlanc, and Gregory Lowe – are in the lottery for the fourth year in a row.
Only one Massachusetts resident – Leanne Tierney – has four tickets as a third-year applicant.
The largest crop of lottery hopefuls are first- and second-timers. Ten Massachusetts residents (Michael Barrett, Wayne Chan, Kate Cook, Patrick Hayes, Aaron Keene, Harry Mattison, Padraig Mullins, Sarah Pandiscio, Chris Risko, and Jeremy Scanlan) are making their second straight appearance in the lottery, and another 27 have one ticket apiece as first-time applicants. The first-timers are Bradley Armour, Jen Bergstrom, Kerrie-Ann Briguglio, Matthew Cadieux, Patrick Caron, Andrew Castaldi, Brendan Chambers, Terry Cheong, Shelley Cheung, Davis Cutter, Lizzy Dickey, James Dinsmore, Robert Froehlich, Anthony Holand, Niveen Ismail, Brent Kocis, Christopher Lay, Douglas MacLean, Neil Martin, Mike Muller, Grant Ritter, Thomas Schulmeyer, Phoebe Seltzer, Greg Soutiea, Roy Van Buren, Sarah Weigel, and Dave White.
In addition to Massachusetts residents, another 91 New Englanders have an opportunity to have their names drawn in the lottery.
Rhode Island (4): Claire Gadrow, Dan Glover, Jeremy Howard and Tek Ung all hold one ticket apiece.
New Hampshire (18): Brandyn Lewis has 16 tickets; Kim Goff and Alexander Shaffer have four apiece; Christopher Barry, James Doneski, Jessica Goldman, Jason Lantz, Jeffrey Taylor and John Toscano each have two tickets; and Elizabeth Collins, Vanessa Garlick, Kanoa King, Giuseppe Le Pera, Thomas Leo, Chad MacDonald, Suzanne Marchesano, Steven Thomas and Adam Wilcox all have one ticket.
Maine (18): Beau Langevin leads the Maine hopefuls with eight tickets; Bruce Dailey has four; Danielle Triffitt, Melissa Ossanna and Ken Parnow have two apiece; and Doug Beaulieu, Zak Wieluns, Chip Eastman, Todd Reutlinger, Chelsea Peterson, Chris Bournakis, Jodi Badershall, Brian Emerson, Charlotte Clews, Cade Brown, Tammy Volock, Michael Donnelly and David Grimm have one ticket apiece.
Vermont (21): Kristen Lundy is the top Vermont hopeful with 16 tickets; Lindsay Simpson has eight; Eli Burakian has four; Pete McHugh, Bertram Johnson, John Fegyveresi, Todd Sears, Anthea Dexter-Cooper and Dylan Broderick all have two tickets; and Kevin Hartstein, Robert Gill, Andrew Gilbert, Christopher Eaton, Riley Brady, Landon Fenimore, Krista Alderdice, Guy Alderdice Jr., Andrew Crews, David Ricklefs and Corey Barrett are in the pool of single-ticket holders.
Connecticut (30): Scott Slater is in the lottery for the seventh straight year and is the top Connecticut ticket-holder with 64; Ken Tulloch and Tom Golembeski each have eight; Drew Lichtenstein, Scott Gregor, Sean Meehan, Brian Shafer and Alexander Ciccone have four tickets apiece; Steven Labranche, Alexander Tucker, Jarrod Neeley, Michael Schnepp, Sarah Slater, Jordan Grande, Debbie Livingston, and James Whipple each have two tickets; and Kelyn Curitomay, Rob Flowers, Brian Nephew, Johanna Ylanen, John Pierz, John McCabe, Jennifer McHale, Jared Gell, Jared Buchanan, Jesse Howes, Sarah Greer, Brian Vanderheiden, Joseph Laskey and Russell Stroud are all in with one ticket apiece.