Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Grindstone seedings...classic

Even though Clark Zealand is the RD of Grindstone, I can't help but wonder what little birdy (a.k.a. David Horton) helped him with the Gstone seedings. When Horton seeds runners in his races, he sends them subliminal messages in the number. He will seed you higher than you should be to motivate and/or humiliate at the finish line ("Sophie, I seeded you higher than this!" was Horton's greeting as I crossed the finish line at Promise Land one year). He will also seed you lower than you should be when you have some tough races to send the message, "You don't deserve to be in the top-5...get it together!" He will also seed based on tradition...Derrick Carr was married in 1983 so he always gets number 83 in Horton races, despite the fact that Derrick is a top-10 runner...a practice that I find sweet.

So I had to laugh this morning when Clark sent the Gstone runners their numbers and their seedings. As predicted, Keith Knipling is seeded number 1 for the men and Krissy Moehl is number 1 for the women (wearing bib #50). Yours truly is seeded number 2 for the ladies, despite the fact that Donna Utakis (seeded last among women) has won MMT (beating me by many hours) and the Cascade Crest 100. Sabrina Moran is seeded 5th, despite the fact that she kicked my butt at Masochist last year, as did #3 Jenny Anderson and #6 Kerry Owens (Jenny at Highland Sky 40 and Kerry at MMT in 2005). What message is Clark/Horton sending this time? I'm not certain, but I do know that I am honored to wear #51...and now I will forget all about it.

My prediction for the women? Krissy, Donna, and Sabrina will duke it out for the top-3 and then the rest of us will follow with my friends Jenny, Kerry, and Rebekah leading the pack that I also hope to be in...looking forward to running with you, chicas!!! This race will be one of attrition, and as I learned at MMT, you can be a decent 50-miler runner and truly suck at 100s. Everyone who is coming to Gstone is fit...the outcome will depend on experience, pacing, fueling, and mental toughness, especially during the last 35 miles.

I need to remember that at mile 65!!


Jenny said...

You sell yourself way too short. You are in top shape. Your work outs over this summer kick my butt in comparison. You are an amazing ultrarunner and you deserve being seeded 2nd. You earned it and you will earn it when you come across that finish line in the place predicted. You're awesome and it is an honor to take the trail with you and Rebekah this weekend. My prayer are with you.

Sophie Speidel said...

Thanks, Jen. Coming from you that means a lot! We are going to have a wonderful adventure out there. The cool thing about 100s is that they aren't really about racing, but about just BEING. Being in the moment, listening to the sounds of the forest at dusk, watching the sunrise (sometimes twice but not this time!), hanging with friends. I hope your knee feels better and I look forward to seeing you on Friday!