Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Grand Slam Results Update

And then there were 20! After three fine trail ultra races, we now have 20 survivors on the Illinois Trail Ultra Grand Slam list. Only one race to go and it happens in 17 days (Farmdale 33 miler on October 18). Here is a link to the Grand Slam results through the first 3 races (the results are sorted 3 ways: alphabetical, overall placing, placing within gender). Ellen Erhardt and Matt Condron have large leads, but maybe they'll have a meltdown at Farmdale--you never know. I plan on making more progress and possibly catching one or two guys above me in the standings...watch out Gregory and Brian! If it weren't for my slow run at Clinton Lake, I'd be at the top of the standings...not. Good job everyone.

I'm not sure how many I thought would finish all 4 races, but it was certainly less than 20. I hope the current 20 all make it to the Farmdale finish line. My goals for starting the Grand Slam were:

1. Promote ultra running in Illinois
2. Motivate people to run trail ultras
3. Market the 4 races
4. Reward both persistence (finishers) and excellence (champions)

My favorite part of this first year has been an unplanned consequence of the Slam...I have gotten to know some really interesting runners! I probably would have met a few of you at one or two of these races, but with all of us "bound together" by this Grand Slam thing, it's been easier to start conversations and continually say "Hi" as we cross paths (whether those paths are on a race trail, training run, or cyberspace). All 19 of you are pretty darn awesome (remember, of the 20 current Slammers, I'm one of the survivors--and I have gotten to know myself better too!).

The finisher awards for the Slam will be ordered soon, and I'm a little disappointed in myself for not getting something really cool figured out earlier in the year. All Grand Slam finishers will get some kid of award (and the male and female champions will get an extra bit of recognition), but the awards may be more "normal" than I anticipated. No cool handmade one-of-a-kind artifacts this year. As one of the current Slammers told me Sunday after the Hobo 50K, "I don't need an award, just give me a good 6-pack of beer!" Maybe I'll have some cold beer in my car trunk too. Anyway, my point in sharing this story is to downplay the importance of material rewards in favor of internal satisfaction in finishing 4 great ultra races. If you complete all four races, you've accomplished something to be proud of for a long time. In addition to that pride (and whatever prize you get) you'll also be enshrined on our Grand Slam web page for all the world to see! That's not too bad.

If this Slam carries over to next year, I'll consult the finishers (and the other 3 RDs: Larry, Dave, and Andy) on revising the rules and awards. Maybe have 5 races and you need to complete 4? Maybe you must volunteer at one race? Hmmm....

2 comments:

GTI said...

That's funny, Chris, because *I* was looking up at Brian and Dan and Michael and thinking "look out, boys!", just like you were! But don't worry, I can hear you breathing down my neck, too! (Gimpy back my @##) You might have a good shot at me, too, because 6 days before Farmdale, I'm taking a crack at running Chicago again. But no excuses! The gauntlet has been thrown down! ;-)
See you in a few weeks.
-Gregory

Chris said...

Gregory,
I doubt I'll catch anyone above me in the Slam standings. But if I have a great day and others suffer...that's OK too! Good luck at Chicago. See you at Farmdale.