Race to Robie Creek Sign-up

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Two months. About 60 days. That's all the time you have left to get your booty in shape for the Race to Robie Creek. And the race, which takes place on Saturday, April 16, is all about booty: the theme for the 34th annual event is "Plunderin' for Booty"—but of the pirate and not the gluteal variety.

Often referred to as the "Toughest Race in the Northwest," the only-slightly-easier race is signing up to run Race to Robie Creek before all the numbers are doled out. This year's sign-up begin at high noon on President's Day, Monday, Feb. 21, at robiecreek.com.

According to Mike Shuman, Boise runner and owner of Shu's Idaho Running Company, the spots go quick. He reckons last year's first chance drawing was over in nine minutes.

"He's exaggerating," says Brian Rencher, a member of the Rocky Canyon Sailtoads, the group that started the event 30-plus years ago. "It went in 13."

But fret not. Should 12:12 p.m. roll around and you've missed the first round, there's a second chance lottery round of roughly 200 to 400 spots. That number varies, according to Rencher, based on how many potential racers misfile paperwork or snag a duplicate in the first round.

"For $6 you can enter that," said Rencher. "And those chances are pretty good. Last year we drew about 450 names out of 900 that entered."

That's $6 to enter the second chance drawing; the $45 registration fee still applies.

And if you miss that drawing, there's a special third chance opportunity through the Shu this year.

"Let’s say that some people don’t get in it," says Shuman. "We’re going to have an after-drawing. There’s a chance lottery."

The hubbub about limited space is really about quality and crowd control, says Rencher. The limit this year is 2,434 participants, but it's not about keeping people out.

"We've tried a bigger number, and we just get to the conclusion that it's a sardine can at the finish. It's our 34th year, so that's where that 34 comes from."

And if you still miss out on competing, stop by the finish line at Robie Creek campground to party with the racers. There'll be a pirate-themed party complete with grog, food and entertainment—a place to celebrate and shake your booty.