Each year, we are faced with the difficult problem of how to choose 140 starters from nearly six times that many applicants, while still respecting the values that make Hardrock, Hardrock. The Board feels that our ideal mix of runners would be 25% first-time Hardrockers, 25% veterans (i.e. >= 5-time finishers), and 50% everyone else. To preserve this mix, we are replacing our single weighted lottery with three weighted lottery pools, each with its own wait list:
- First-timers - 35 slots will be allocated to this lottery, which is for anyone who has never started a Hardrock. The intention is to increase the likelihood for applicants with many DNS's to get into the run. Modeling suggests that giving applicants 2^N tickets, where N is the number of previous DNSs, will ensure that those with the most DNSs will get in, while still giving first-time applicants a chance. “DNS” includes both those who were on the wait list and those who withdrew from either the wait list or start list.
- Veterans - 35 slots will be allocated to this lottery, which is for anyone who has five or more Hardrock finishes, with the following qualification: an applicant who DNFs in two consecutive attempts beginning in 2012 will be placed into the "Everyone else" pool until they complete the run in a subsequent year. Applicants will get one ticket for each previous Hardrock finish. The number in this pool is about the same as the number of 5-time finishers bypassing the lottery in each of the past few years, and so comes close to preserving this feature.
- Everyone else - 70 slots will be allocated to this lottery, which is for anyone not in one of the previous two lotteries. The algorithm for ticket allocation will be unchanged from the current one. Modeling suggests that the chances of being selected from this lottery will be better than under the current system.
Runners not selected in the first two lotteries WILL NOT be rolled over into the third lottery. If fewer than 35 "veterans" apply, the unused slots will be added to the "everyone else" pool.
A separate wait list will be maintained for each lottery. When a runner withdraws from the start list, a runner will be taken from the wait list for the lottery from which the withdrawn runner was chosen.
The previous year's winners will continue to bypass the lottery, but they will count against the lottery pool they would have been in.
Important Changes for the 2014 Lottery
Note: Changes will NOT be in force for the 2013 lottery
- We did away with the "started any Hardrock within three years" qualification.
- We reduced the "finished any Hardrock within five years" qualification to three years.
So now Hardrock itself is a qualifier like any other on the list, except that it counts for an extra year (three instead of two).
It is still the case that everyone in any of the lotteries has to have run a qualifier in the previous two years.