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Costly mistake opens door for youngest ever winner at Western States 100

A 20-year-old became the youngest ever winner of the Western States 100 on Saturday in California while Canadian Alissa St Laurent was fifth.

Western States 100

Jim Walmsley was in the lead with 32 kilometres to go and on pace to destroy the course record at the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run on Saturday in California. The 26-year-old, however, took a wrong turn, which cost him more than an hour. That left the door open to 20-year-old Andrew Miller to become the youngest winner ever at the world’s oldest 100-mile trail race.

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Kaci Lickteig won the women’s race in 17:57:59. Alissa St Laurent, a 31-year-old resident of Edmonton and first-ever woman to win the Canadian Death Race, finished fifth in 20:27:11.

Alissa came in fifth woman at Western States! Way to go Alissa! @alissastl #ws100 #ultraethnography

A photo posted by Ian MacNairn (@ianmacnairn) on

The race begins at Squaw Valley ski resort and heads south to the finish in Auburn. The Western States 100 has had some strong Canadian performances in recent years including back-to-back wins by Rob Krar in 2014 and 2015. North Vancouver’s Ellie Greenwood holds the women’s course record and won the race in 2011 and 2012 but is currently battling a leg injury.

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This year’s men’s winner, Miller, covered the course in 15:39:36, more than 35 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher. Walmsley, who at one point was 30 minutes ahead of course record pace, finished in 19th. He lost much of the time, and energy, due to his navigational error and having to backtrack to get on course again.

As of Sunday morning, 65 of the 355 runners who began the race dropped out and many more are still on course.

At one point on the course, runners have to navigate across a body of water, a chance for many to cool off. Temperatures rose to more than 37 C in certain sections of the California race.

@walmsley172 #ws100 #legend

A photo posted by Myke Hermsmeyer (@mykehphoto) on

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