Rarely do I end up not running a race I've entered, but that's what happened with last weekend's Jemez 50. My buds Deb & Steve moved to the Los Alamos, New Mexico, area last year and raved about the course's beauty & difficulty. I was easily sold. "We'll do another roadtrip; it'll be a blast!" However, as the weekend approached and I finally got around to Google mapping exactly how far this trip was going to be (1800 miles round trip, yikes!), it began to look more like one of those "This seemed like such a good idea in January" kind of ideas. Gas is up to about $3.50/gallon in California ($3.99 in Malibu yesterday). Because it was going to have to be a "quick" drive over and back, I just couldn't justify the trip. :(
BUT it ended up all working out for the best: I hadn't yet performed the required trail work for the Angeles Crest 100, and it just so happened that a work trip was scheduled for Saturday, with a training run on the course the next day. And, because I'm going to be out & about all summer, it just so happened that THIS was the only work trip I could make. Our merry band of 12 worked on the Idlehour Trail--I was a "clipper." (Ouch--the forearms were not pleased the next day.) One guy wielded a chainsaw for the bigger stuff, while others focused on trail rehabilitation and stabilization.
I have to say that I enjoyed the Sunday run a little bit more. After a restful and mostly peaceful--a couple of yahoos thought it was really, really cool to howl like coyotes at 11 pm--night of camping at Chilao, about 15 of us ran the 27 miles from Islip Saddle back to Chilao, roughly the second quarter of the course. We passed 7 or 8 PCT thru-hikers and a Boy Scout troop but otherwise had the trail mostly to ourselves. A nice run on a beautiful, sunny day with some cool people. :)
I felt a little bad about missing Jemez but knew it was the right decision.