If you're a frequent visitor to this blog, you might have noticed I haven't been posting a lot lately. I know, I need to get on it! And I will...now that I'm about done with an amazing feature-length story about Mike Morton that will appear in the March 2012 issue of Ultrarunning magazine.
I previously interviewed Mike, and that interview provided some great content to build out an enrapturing story. This is the project that I'm most proud of, by far. I'm proud of it for a few reasons. First off, I think it's going to be a nice edition to ultrarunning lore. Second, Mike Morton's story, which goes way beyond that famous 1997 Western States 100 course record, is something you'd ordinarily find in a Hollywood movie--not real life. Yes, his story is that good. Third, the whole process of writing this story was so rewarding and made me feel like a sportswriter. All I was missing was a travel budget!
In telling Mike's story, I've been in contact with the two guys who knew him best back in the '90s--Eric Clifton and Courtney Campbell. Eric, of course, has won lots of races and is still going strong. Courtney, like Mike until a few years ago, has been largely out of ultrarunning for a while, but back in the 90s he and Mike often ran together in--and won--many big races out East. They were once called "The Dynamic Duo."
The story, which is a whopping 4,000 words (every word carefully selected, like grapes for a fine wine), is set to appear in the March 2012 issue of Ultrarunning magazine--you know, the year-end/stats issue. I couldn't be more thrilled that my story is going to run in Ultrarunning magazine, much less its most popular issue of the year!
Tomorrow the Western States 100 lottery registration opens. Yes, I'll be among the billion people trying to get in. We'll see how it goes. I think the lottery results go out on December 11. If I do get in, I'll be gunning for a time under 20 hours. The max 9,000 feet and the snowy stretches at Western won't be too bad for me, since I'm a Colorado runner and I think this is probably the hardest place in the US to run. What's gonna be hard--actually very hard--is the constant downhill the last half and the hot canyons. I imagine at Michigan Bluff I'll be contemplating life, like the rest of 'em.