This is an Invitation-Only, No-Fee, Low-Aid race held in the Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary in Titusville, Florida the third weekend in December. The 2019 dates are Saturday-Sunday December 21-22, 2019. Race start time is 7:00 AM Saturday morning, and runners have 32 hours exactly to finish 29 loops of a 3.46-mile course for a total of 100.34 miles.
In order to run, you must receive an Invitation to Run. In order to get one of those, you need to email Mike Melton at [email protected] ANY TIME between 12:01 AM June 1, 2019 and 11:59 PM June 30, 2019 with a Request for an Invitation to Run. All Requests will be considered equally, no matter when they arrive, as long as they fall within that window. It’s not necessary to send an essay – a simple ‘I would like to run the 2019 AO100 race’ will suffice ;-).
Please do BOTH of us a favor and send your Request for an Invitation to Run, from an email address that you KNOW you will be using for the entire year. Each year, I get a handful of Requests from people using some spurious email address, and when I try and contact them at a later date, the email ends up floating endlessly in the ether of the universe, and they never receive my followup communications. I would strongly suggest against using a work email address, since work situations can and do change at a moment’s notice.
Invitations to Run will be sent out via email on or about July 3, 2019. Everyone will either receive an Invitation to Run, or will be given a place on the Wait List.
It matters not how many ultras or 100-milers you have run, nor how fast you are. It matters not if you’re running for your own reasons, or if you’re running for a charitable cause greater than yourself. What matters is that you want to test yourself against the course and the time limit, and that you take your entry into the race seriously.
The Selection Process is unfair, just like life is unfair. No race that has more possible runners than entry slots has an entry process that’s fair. Umstead’s process of first come, first served fastest computer wins, is unfair. Western States’ lottery system is unfair, Hardrock 100’s logistical ticket system is unfair, Massanutten’s stock-market-based system is unfair, and the Barkley Marathons’ entry process is unfair. The process for selection into Ancient Oaks is no less unfair than any of those processes, and may be even more unfair than any of those other processes. The Selection Process is also private, and will not be disclosed, since it would lead to some runners trying to ‘game’ the system. If any of this is a problem for you, then there are more than 140 other 100-mile races to choose from, and you should choose to run one of those other races.