How do I apply to get into the race?
Unless you’re an automatic entrant, you’ll need to apply to the lottery to get an entry into the Run. You must submit your lottery application online via our portal during the lottery registration period for the lottery you want to enter. Check the Entry Process page for more information on how to apply, including lottery registration dates.
DO I NEED A QUALIFIER TO ENTER THE LOTTERY?
Yes – to enter the lottery you must have run one of the Qualifying Races listed on the WSER website for the lottery you wish to enter. You will be removed from the lottery if you don’t have a valid qualifier. Please don’t ask or try to apply to the lottery if you don’t have a qualifier. There are no exceptions. See Entry Process for more information on lottery entry rules.
HOW DO YOU GET AN AUTOMATIC ENTRY?
There are several ways to gain automatic entry into the Run, including top 10 finishers from the prior year, Golden Ticket winners, and aid station or sponsor spots. See the Automatics page for a complete list of automatic entrants. Automatic entrants must still have a valid qualifier and follow other rules and deadlines for entry (see Entry Process).
How much is the entry fee?
See the Entry Process page for information on the current entry fee.
When will my credit card be charged?
There is no charge for entering the lottery. Your credit card will be charged when you register for the Run on ultrasignup.com after getting into the Run through the lottery or as an automatic entrant.
What is your refund policy?
We use a tiered system for entry refunds (not including the online fee): 75% refund for withdrawals on or before May 1; 50% refund for withdrawals from May 2 through June 9; 25% refund for withdrawals from June 10 through June 20; no refunds after June 20.
Do you maintain a wait list?
Yes. We draw a wait list at the lottery and as runners withdraw from the race, people on the wait list will be offered the opportunity to register for the race. Note that if a Race Admin or Sponsor automatic runner withdraws before May 1 that runner may be replaced with a runner who is not on the wait list.
IF I NEED TO WITHDRAW DUE TO AN INJURY OR ILLNESS CAN I DEFER My Entry?
WHAT IS THE RAFFLE?
The raffle is one of the ways we raise money to support the charitable mission of the WSER Foundation, including medical research and trail stewardship. There are two raffle drawings each year: Friday before the race in June and at the lottery in December. Each raffle winner gets a free automatic entry to the WSER Run. See the Raffle page for additional details.
WHEN CAN I REGISTER FOR THE LOTTERY?
Lottery registration opens in November for the upcoming December lottery. Check the Entry Process page for the exact dates when registration is open for the lottery you want to enter.
HOW MANY TICKETS WILL I HAVE IN THE LOTTERY?
Every time you enter the lottery and don’t get in, you will have additional tickets in the lottery the next time you enter. You receive 2^(n-1) tickets for each time you enter where n is the number of years applied. For example: If you don’t get in two times, you will have four tickets when you enter the third year (2^2), eight tickets the fourth year (2^3), 16 the fifth year (2^4), 32 the sixth year (2^5), etc. See the Lottery page for more information.
IF I HAVE MORE THAN ONE QUALIFIER, DO I GET EXTRA TICKETS IN THE LOTTERY?
No – having more than one qualifier doesn’t entitle you to additional tickets in the lottery. You need one qualifier to enter the lottery and having additional qualifiers doesn’t change the number of tickets you will have in the lottery.
WHO CAN ATTEND THE LOTTERY AND WHERE IS IT?
The lottery is open to the public and is held on the first Saturday in December in the auditorium at Placer High School, 123 Agard St., Auburn, CA. See the Lottery page for details.
HOW WILL I BE NOTIFIED IF I AM SELECTED IN THE LOTTERY?
If you are selected in the lottery, you will be sent an invitation to register for the Run at ultrasignup.com. You will have two weeks to register – after that you forfeit your entry and tickets in the lottery. See the Entry Process page for more information.
CAN I ENTER THE LOTTERY IF I AM PREGNANT?
Yes – as long as you have a valid qualifier for the lottery you enter. If you are selected, you can request a pregnancy entry deferral and defer your entry for as long as you want. See the Pregnancy Entry Deferral policy for more information. If you don’t get selected, you will have more tickets in the lottery the next time you decide to enter.
WHAT AIRPORT SHOULD I USE AND WHERE SHOULD I STAY?
The closest airports to fly into are Reno, NV (RNO) (50 miles from Olympic Valley); Sacramento, CA (SMF) (100 miles from Olympic Valley); and San Francisco, CA (SFO) (200 miles from Olympic Valley). There are plenty of accommodations near the start of the Run in Olympic Valley, the home of Palisades Tahoe ski resort. There are also places to stay in nearby Truckee and Tahoe City.
Are there training runs offered?
Yes. See the Training Runs page. There are three training runs in late May, during Memorial Day Weekend. It is a tremendous advantage on race day if you have taken this opportunity to familiarize yourself and any pacers with the canyons and “nighttime” sections of the course.
IF I NEED TO GET BACK TO THE START AFTER I FINISH THE RACE HOW WOULD I DO THAT?
While the race doesn’t provide a shuttle service back to the start, there are usually a lot of people headed to Olympic Valley after the awards ceremony who are more than happy to give others a ride. We make an announcement at the awards ceremony to help facilitate matching runners in need of a ride with drivers headed back to Olympic Valley. You can also hire an Uber or Lyft.
Volunteers and Spectators
How can I volunteer to help out during the race?
The race is always in need of medical professionals, aid station personnel, runner tracking, trail sweeps and start and finish-line helpers. If you’d like to volunteer, look at our volunteering page and then fill out the request form. We will do our best to fit you in. We will make the form available in January before the race.
Where can I go to view the race as a spectator?
Not all of the WS course is accessible to the general public on race weekend. Many of the checkpoints are restricted to race officials only, due to limited space for parking and to the need to keep the narrow access roads clear for fire and rescue equipment. Members of the press are asked to request press credentials well in advance of the race.
You can, however, see a lot of the race (and related activities) first hand:
- Olympic Valley Start: On the Friday of race weekend, you can observe the check-in process and listen in on the runner briefings. You can also watch the Race start at 5:00 AM on Saturday morning, although it is still quite dark at that hour.
- Robinson Flat Checkpoint: The front runners start to arrive after about 9:00 AM, Saturday, and continue coming through until the 1:50 PM cutoff time. Note that Robinson can only be reached via the Foresthill Divide Road out of Foresthill. Allow about an hour for the trip as the road, although paved, is narrow and steep in places. Parking is very limited at Robinson: you will need to park about a mile short of Robinson Flat at Sailor Bar and take a shuttle bus to the aid station.
- Foresthill Checkpoint: The front runners start to arrive as early as 2:00 PM, depending on trail/weather conditions. There is plenty of parking available in town and lots of places to view the runners. They will enter the checkpoint area in front of the school just north of downtown and proceed along the main street before rejoining the trail at the south end of town. The latest time for runners to reach Foresthill is about midnight.
- Placer HS Stadium Finish: The first runner may arrive as early as 7:00 PM. 24-hour runners must arrive by 5:00 AM, Sunday morning; 30-hour runners by 11:00 AM. Runner progress information is available from volunteers with laptops near the finish line, and runners are identified by the announcer as they enter the stadium for their “home stretch.”
As a spectator, can I walk out on the trail during the race?
Spectators are asked to stay within 1/4 mile of the checkpoints. This limit is the same as that demanded of runners’ crews.
Also, do not provide food, beverages or other assistance to runners outside the main checkpoint areas. Doing so may risk their being disqualified.