Looks like things are moving along for the Lumberjack in MI in two weeks. I've duped a different friend into going out to do the race so that I can have someone drive while I sleep. I've tried driving and sleeping at the same time and found that it usually doesn't work out that well.
This one is a 4 x 25 mile lap course so a little different than my previous 100s and a format I'm a little less excited about only because one of the things I really enjoy about 100s is the adventure part of a big single lap. Yes the courses are well marked so you know you're headed in the right direction, but there is something enjoyable (to me) about being in the middle of one of these things and thinking to myself, "I have absolutely no idea where I am or how to get to where I'm supposed to go."
I get a kick out of the "safety net" that marathon mtb promoters attempt to use by handing out maps with registration. Keeping in mind that we're typically out in the middle of frickin' nowhere and an awful lot of dirt roads don't have signs at trail intersections -- or road intersections for that matter. Even if there are intersection signs the course maps are not only shrunk way down in order to fit on an 81/2 x 11 sheet of paper (remember, its a 100 mile lap!) but also often appear to be copies of copies and are basically illegible. Add to this the fact that if you're looking at the map you're probably pretty far off course and therefore have to figure out where the hell you might be on the map to even begin to find your way back - and given that you can't read the map that is almost impossible. Finally, finish this off with the fact that you might not want to talk to the locals - cue banjo - and you're pretty screwed, but at least you have a map. Of course, as a promoter myself I'd do exactly the same thing since its a damn fine way to help cover one's ass.
Of course, the courses don't typically change a lot year to year and so after you've done a particular 100 once you (sort of) know the course, but the adventure aspect is still there. Who else wants to drive me to MI and do one of these things (even if it is a lap race)? I could use more nap time.