Thursday, April 07, 2011

Beat's WM100 report

Beat just finished up his White Mountains 100 race report, with a spot-on observation about the competitive dynamic of these crazy winter races:

"65 racers collect at the Wickersham Dome trailhead to participate in the White Mountains 100. About half are bikers, half skiers and then there are the crazy seven, the foot people, “walkers” as the local news article had called us. That term is a sad mix of insult (at least in a 100 miler) and omen, evoking visions of elderly with walking aids that reflect just how we would feel in a day or so, when we would be reduced to just that — walkers.

The dynamic among the groups is interesting. From what I can tell, Bikers are here to compete most and foremost with other bikers, and to make sure the skiers know their place. Skiers come here to race each other, upstage bikers and hope for soft trails that would give them the edge to do so. Both think walkers are crazy and stupid for choosing such a poor form of winter travel, but there is a spark of admiration, an acknowledgement that indeed, walking is the most pure, the hardest, the most painful, the most mentally challenging. We, on the other hand, simply enjoy the fact that we get the most fun per dollar of our entry fee. Twice as much, usually."

Read the rest of Beat's report here.