So there’s a 100 mile footrace in southwest Colorado up in the San Juan mountains called the Hardrock 100. It has over 60000 feet of elevation change and averages an elevation of over 11000 feet. It’s one of my lifetime running goals to get into this race. And as it turns out, it might take approximately my running lifetime to do it.

Hardrock maintains a lottery system for entry and for a new runner, the odds of getting in are quite daunting (much less than 1%). So I wanted to build a model to give me a probabilistic sense of how many year it would take me to get in, assuming I have a certain percent chance of qualifying for and entering the HR100 lottery each year. Details in the notebook linked here:

jupyter notebook on hardrock

TL;DR: It’s going to take about 10 years assuming I have a 90% chance of running a 100 mile qualifier every year until then.

I don’t see this as a disappointing result at all, instead, I’m glad I have a starting point for understanding, quantitatively, what it will take to enter HR100. That’s, in my opinion, the point of doing statistical and Bayesian analysis. Instead of relying on a vague intuition and hoping for a one-off surprise in a couple years, its better to prepare now for the decade of running that the HR100 will take to prepare for. Allez!