And nothing had changed in my mind when I went down to Western States in 2010 to watch The Pain Train pace Cameron Hanes. A few weeks prior, I had purchased 10 raffle tickets for free entry into the race in 2011, but they weren't for me. The Western States website says this, "You don't need to be a runner yourself to purchase raffle tickets. This is a great opportunity to surprise that special ultrarunner in your life!" How cool would it be to win the lottery then give the transferrable entry to The Pain Train.
So there we were at the mandatory pre-race briefing on June 25, 2010 when they conduct the raffle. I'll never forget how I was saying my name to myself just as they announced it. I let out a huge yell! What were the odds! Well, they said there were over 5000 tickets purchased for this year's raffle, so if a similar number were purchased last year, that's like a 1/500 chance of being picked. It's like it was meant to be.
But suddenly I have a problem...William is one of the best friends I've ever had and one of his best qualities is selflessness. Basically he was too good of a friend to take the entry from me. He told me this might be the only chance I ever get to run the race since getting in is so difficult now. We talked about it several times, but I still couldn't help feeling bad about taking the entry because I never intended to take it in the first place. OK, so he wants me to have this opportunity, but now I have a another problem...how could I convince Tonya to let me run the race?
It's debatable whether I ever really did convince her, but I officially signed up in early October. Now I had to start thinking about how to train for this race...I felt like I would be entering into a whole different type of running...different than anything I'd ever done before.