Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Mile Run

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MMT Entry -- Detailed Explanation

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STOP! Read This First

This page describes the MMT entry process in excruciating detail. You do not need to know everything on this page! We set it all out in the interest of full disclosure and for the truly anal. You need not read this. We will tell you what you need to know as you complete the entry process.

This is like your car's transmission. All you have to know is to put it in "D" and go. You can, if you want, read a manual that describes about how a transmission works. But the complication inside the transmission needn't make driving the car complicated.


The three major events of the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club, especially the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100, have enjoyed increasing popularity. This popularity, however, has meant that entry became hectic and stressful. In response, we developed an entry process that we believe reduces the stress while being transparent and fair.


The application process is in two parts. You fill out the application at one time, then you come back and pay later. In between those two times, we pick the initial entrants to the event by lottery.

If you get in the lottery, you will pay on your second visit to us. If you did not get in the initial field, you can join the Waiting List. We will fill vacancies in the field from that list.

Important Points

This process, except as noted below, is online. There is no paper option for entry. You will pay online.

We use PayPal to process payments. There is a fee for that, but we pay it. Payment processing is included in your entry fee.

You do not have to have a PayPal account to pay. You can use a credit card. If you have a PayPal account, you can pay that way, but you are not required to.

There is paper in the Waiting List process since you will have to mail us a check to join the Waiting List.

Filling Out Forms and Paying

Anyone who wants to run the 2012 MMT must complete the on-line application between December 1 and December 7. The application process will close at 9 p.m. on December 7. (All times on this page are Eastern Time.)

Runners may apply only once, under a name they commonly use. (All entrants accepted may be required to verify their identity at race packet pickup. This is necessary to help ensure that the lottery is fair, even, and that everyone has the same odds.)

Also, if you have run the event previously, you should use the same name you did before so that you get credit for those finishes.

While we expect that runners are generally honest, anyone caught trying to subvert or "game" this system may be barred from future VHTRC events.


Does this mean that entry is hopeless?

You should not interpret this process as meaning that your chance of getting in the race is low. In fact, we believe that the waiting list procedure we have instituted will help us accommodate many runners. While we are not sure how many will seek entry, we don't suggest that you assume you can't get in.

We have taken measures to make the lottery open, transparent, and fair.

Up/down, above/below: In this explanation, "up" and "down"/"above" and "below" mean on the number system, not the page. So if you go from 10 to 11, you go up to 11 which is above 10. If you go from 11 to 10, you go down to 10 which is below 11.

Your random number: During the period that application is open, each person who fills out an application will be given a unique, randomly-generated number from 0 to 999. The applicant's name and randomly generated number is added to the applicants list immediately and can be seen by the public. The applicants list will be "ordered" based on the randomly generated number. (But wait! Number 1 is not necessarily better than number 698. Keep reading.)

We will determine the initial entrants by picking 205 applicants from this list. We pick them by determining a starting number and then taking it and the 204 people above or below that number. (So if the starting number is 680, it sounds like 1 isn't doing so well!)

The second figure is the DOW—we think!

The DOW number: The starting number is determined by using the least three significant digits of the closing Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW). The DOW is usually listed to two decimal places (e.g. 13,438.86). If the last digit is a zero, many sources will drop it. If that occurs, we will add it back. If the close as: 13,438.8, we will start at 880. The DOW number is available on any number of Web sites. If there is any question about what the DOW close was on the day in question, we will go by the number on the site maintained by Dow Jones & Company, which "owns" the DOW.

The starting point for selection: If there is an applicant on the DOW number, he or she is first in the field and that is the starting person. If no one has that exact DOW number, we move up or down to the first number with an applicant as the starting person for selection. If the DOW closes up, we go up to find the starting person. Otherwise, we select down.

Once we find the starting person, we select him or her and the 204 people below or above (depending on the direction that the DOW sends us - up if it closes up, down otherwise.) If we get to the end/beginning of the applicant list and not all the slots have been filled, we wrap around to the beginning/end and continue selecting.

Example: If the DOW closes up at 13,625.58, our starting number would be 558. We would look at number 558 on the applicants list. If there is a person at 558, he or she is the first person in the event. If not, we go up until we find a number with a name. After we find the first person, we select that person and the 204 people above. If we get to 999 and have not reached 180, we go to 0 and work up from there.

The people not selected in the lottery may join the Waiting List. The Waiting List will be ordered in conformance with the priorities set out below. (If you are not selected among the initial 205 entrants, you will need to take additional action to secure your position on the waiting list. See below.)

The results of all of this will be posted on this Web site and the people selected will have the period below to come back to complete the entry by paying online. Anyone who has not paid at the end of this period will lose his or her slot in the event.

Those eligible to join the Waiting List, but who have not done so during the time to pay, will lose their Waiting List priority. (After this process ends, anyone may join the Waiting List at the bottom.)

The point of all of this is transparency. All applicants know where they stand and where everyone else stands at all times via the Web. The selection of the initial number (the DOW) is available on the Web and is completely out of the hands of the VHTRC (indeed, anyone for that matter).


All applicants will have an equal chance to be selected in the lottery. There are no priorities in the lottery.

We have established priorities to order those on the Waiting List. Since we expect significant movement from the Waiting List to the entrants list, having a high priority creates a significant chance of getting into the event.

Applicants will be placed on the Waiting List in this order:
(within each category, applicants are sorted by their random number in the direction (up or down) established in the lottery)

  1. Former overall male and female winners of the MMT.
  2. Volunteers who have served at three of the last five MMTs and who were not in the final starting field of the last MMT (volunteers must have committed ahead of time to work a full shift on race weekend).
  3. Applicants with five or more prior MMT finishes, ranked by number of finishes (14 down to 5).
  4. Two-time losers in the lottery. (See definition on entry page)
  5. All other applicants ordered by number of prior MMT finishes (4 down to 0). This group is ordered first by number of finishes and then by lottery number. So all four time finishers will be ahead of all three time finishers, etc.

The Waiting List

Those not selected in the lottery are eligible to join the Waiting List in the order noted above. To preserve your priority, you must join the Waiting List during the same period that successful applicants must pay.

You will join the Waiting List by mailing in a check. The Waiting List process, unlike the entrants process, is old fashioned. It works better that way. Information about how to send in your check will be available in the process of joining the Wait List.

Example: Fred, Sam, and Betty have each won the MMT before. They have lottery numbers 455, 456, and 457. The DOW was up and the last person to go on the entrants field had lottery number 450. There was no one on lottery numbers 451-454. Fred and Betty sent in a check to join the Waiting List by the deadline. Sam did not. Fred would be number 1 on the Waiting List and Betty would be number 2. Sam would not be on the Waiting List.

When the Waiting List reopens after the initial entry period, you (and Sam above) may join the Waiting List at the bottom in the order we receive your check. (Checks received the same day will be shuffled to determine their priority among each other.)