Things are heating up in Squaw Valley, California as 369 lucky entrants arrive and start their final preparations for the world’s oldest 100-miler, which starts Saturday morning at 5 a.m. PT (8 am ET).

RELATED: Three Canadians to watch at Western States 100

This race has some impressive veterans: Ian Maddieson, 75, of Albuquerque, NM, is going for his 16th finish. Founder Gordy Ainsleigh, 71, of Meadow Vista, CA, is going for his 23rd. Meghan Laws, 57, of Cool, CA, has 11 finishes to her name (and she’s fast). 

Vancouver’s Ellie Greenwood set the latest women’s course record (16:47:19) in 2012. Timothy Olsen of Colorado holds the men’s record (14:46:44), also from 2012. Canadian Rob Krar won the race in 2014 and 2015. (None are running WSER this year.)

RELATED: Rob Krar wins Western States 100 for second consecutive year

Runners must qualify with a previous 100-miler or approved 100K race before entering the highly competitive lottery.

Many road runners first became aware of Western States thanks to Dean Karnazes‘s 2006 book Ultramarathon Man. Karnazes, now 55, returns to the iconic race this year for (hopefully) his 12th belt buckle.

There are 12 Canadians entered in WSER this year.

Who will win?

The iRunFar site creates what it calls its Group Think predictions based on data from almost 1,600 participants. 

In the women’s field, newcomer Courtney Dauwaulter, 33, of Golden, CO, ranked first in total prediction points, followed by Kaci Lickteig, 31, of Omaha, NE (who has four previous finishes, including the win in 2016) and Stephanie Violett, 34, of Bend, OR (who has three previous finishes, including the win in 2016).

Camille Herron, winner of last year’s Comrades Marathon in South Africa, was considered a strong contender, but was forced to withdraw due to injury. 

Ultrarunner and triathlete Ailsa Macdonald, 37, of St. Albert, AB (the only Canadian woman entered), ranked eighth in the voting on the iRunFar list. Macdonald won her very first 100-miler, last year’s Sinister 7 in the Alberta Rockies. 

On the men’s side, Jim Walmsley, 28, of Flagstaff, AZ, ranks first, followed by Francois D’haene, 32, of St-Julien, France, and Tim Freriks, 27, of Flagstaff. Jared Hazen, who ranked fourth, has had to withdraw due to injury. 

How to watch

Live tracking is available on the WSER site, here.

Or follow the action live on the iRunFar site, here.

WSER is also available via Google Assistant™ or Google Home™ devices, and Amazon Alexa.

U.S. viewers may also watch via the ultrasportslive.tv site.

 

 

Report error or omission

Related

Leave a Reply