Thursday, August 16, 2012

Good Luck!

This weekend features a host of exciting runs in the trail running and ultra world: Waldo, Leadville, Pike's Peak, and the continuation of the multi-day Trans Rockies, among many others I'm sure. Between Facebook, blogs, and Twitter, I witnessed approximately 324 versions of the sentiment "Good luck!" 

I noticed this because I am very conscious of the fact that I rarely wish friends good luck at races. I mean, I do hope luck is with them, but luck is a funny thing. I've always been a bit of a fan of Seneca's sentiment "Luck is where the crossroads of opportunity and preparation meet." In other words, you're either ready for your race or not; there's no such thing as luck.

On the other hand, I do see how some things that are beyond your control can affect your race. Mostly in my mind, these are bits of bad luck: coming down with the flu on race morning, spraining an ankle at mile 63, wildfires threatening the course, as is currently happening for the Waldo 100K.

So perhaps a wish for good luck, is simply a wish to avoid bad luck? That's a sentiment I think I could endorse. After all, sometimes shit happens. Let's just hope it doesn't happen to you, right? Good luck!

It's just that, mostly I assume my friends don't need luck at this point. They've trained their butts off for weeks and months, and now that race day is here, what they need is to be smart and have a positive attitude. Generally before race day, I wish my friends to "have fun!" In other words, even if it all goes south, try to suck it up and have a positive attitude, okay? Toughen up, buttercup! (I mean, uh, have fun!)

With that in mind, I am wishing a wonderful day to all my many friends running races this weekend. Mostly, I am wishing a huge absence of bad luck to the fire fighters working the Bobby Fire up it the Willamette National Forest. From what I can tell, things don't look great for Waldo. It's such a wonderful race; I really hope it can happen, but I know the RD's will make the best decision possible.

It's another exciting weekend of racing! What do you usually say to your friends just prior to race day? What do you most enjoy hearing yourself?  


  1. Personally, I've always hated the variations of "luck is really just being prepared." Luck comes in having the opportunity. Being prepared means absolutely nothing without the opportunity to use the preparation.

    1. I think we're kind of on the same page here, Steve. Yes, sometimes things can get in the way of your opportunity - there are some things out of your control. If wildfires cause a race to be cancelled, that's definitely bad luck. Preparation is kind of a separate thing. If you didn't prepare for your race, it's your own damn fault!

      I guess maybe I tend to skip saying "good luck" because I prefer to send them off with a thought about something positive they can DO. "Have fun" seems like an important one to me.

  2. "You got this, keep it minimal, and keep putting one foot in front of the other."