At least it has better odds than Powerball
13 days until the lottery for Western States. Normal people (i.e. non-ultra runners) may find it suprising that so many people want to run a difficult 100 miles that there has to be a lottery, but WS was the first trail 100 and one many ultrarunners want to do. It is big (~350 starters) and has great support.
Here is part of the release I signed
I am also aware that I may be exposed to physical injury from a number of natural factors including snow, hazards on the trail, lack of water, communicable diseases, wildlife, hazards of vehicular traffic and other hazards attendant to running along or across roadways during the day or night. I understand and accept that the risks include the fact I may become injured or incapacitated in a location where it is difficult or impossible for the Run’s management to get required medical aid to me in time to avoid additional physical injury or death.The odds of getting in (winning the lottery) are typically about 50%. Of course you have to qualify to enter, so that keeps the number of entrants down. To help make it fair, if you lose twice you are automatically in the 3rd year (you still have to qualify). I lost last year, so if I don't make it this year I'll be guaranteed entry for 2007, as I've already qualified (the qualifying period started 10/1/05, the day I ran Arkansas).