Last year was my first time riding Lotoja. I rode with my brother, and our wives drove support vehicles for us, with kids in tow. Inasmuch as 206 miles and 11 hours in the saddle all at once can be fun, we had a really great time. Such a good time, in fact, that I have been thinking about doing it again pretty much ever since. Which is why I've been watching the website to make sure I don't miss registration day--last year's race field was full in less than a day, so I want to make sure I register as soon as it opens.
I checked the website last night and felt like a 6 year old T-baller trying to hit Josh Beckett. The registration process this year has completely changed. Instead of registering on a first-come, first-served basis until the field is full as has been done in years past, this year's race will be filled on a priority basis, with category winners and multi-year veterans getting guaranteed entry, followed by three out of last five riders, then two-out-of-last-three riders. One-time riders and first timers are at the bottom of the totem pole. And we're expected to be fighting for only 33% of the total spots. My chances of getting in are based on a lottery that is likely to be oversold. So much for my plan to get up early on registration day. Yuck.
Of course, my mind immediately turned to how I could circumvent the system to ensure I get in. There's got to be some brute force method that is certain to land me a race number. But before I spill my guts about all the diabolical means I contrived to race this race no matter what, I think I'll just fill out the forms and register just like everyone else. Then I'll keep my fingers crossed that the lottery works out in my favor. Maybe I should register with the name of one of those lucky people who always seems to be winning drawings. Perhaps I should register more than once with various assumed names. Seems like Powerball is always won by a group of people, so why not a race entry lottery?