Hot off the singletrack, Vancouver’s Kathryn Drew and Kim Magnus earned their Golden Ticket to Western States 100 at Canyons 100K on Saturday. Canada made its mark at the last of the five 2019 Altra Golden Ticket series of races. Drew decided to race Canyons after placing third at Bandera 100K in January–missing a ticket by a hair. They raced hard, but made it fun. The Golden Ticket was pretty cool, but the women said running the first 60K together was “the absolute best.”
For the rest of the ultrarunning world, the Canadian sweep at Canyons 100K may appear as a shock. But for their friends and fans back home, this victory has been in the works for a while. Most recently, the women placed first and second at Chuckanut 50K. The two have been incredibly focused on their training over the last few years, and an automatic entry to Western States 100 is well deserved. The Golden Ticket has been the “ultimate goal” says Magnus.
The weather was hot, and not exactly similar to training temperatures. Luckily, Drew’s partner Jeremey Drosdeck played the role of personal weather reporter, and updated the women about the conditions at each aid station. Runners got creative and sought out tiny pools of water to cool off. “Bird baths in every single creek was a highlight of the day” jokes Drew.
Before Drew and Magnus head south to Squaw Valley for Western States 100 on June 29, they will head to Mirandha do Corbo, Portugal for Trail World Championships. The 44K race with 2,100 metres of elevation gain will be part of their next training build, and a bit of a warmup for Western States. But first, sleep.
Alberta’s Arden Young was also racing the 100K, but dropped down to the 25K due to illness. Smart choice, as Young went on to win the 25K race.