The women’s field at the 2019 Western States Endurance Run is full of tough competition. Legendary endurance runners Camille Herron and Courtney Dauwalter did not have the race they planned for. Both athletes decided to call it quits after running over half of the course.
At the Michigan Bluff Aid Station 55 miles into the race (88.5K), Herron dropped. We spoke to Herron at the Placer High finish line and she was in good spirits. Herron explained she has been battling a hamstring niggle since April. This negatively impacts her ability to run uphill, which is much of the first part of the course.
Running uphill is a strength of Herron’s, which helped her win the Comrades Marathon in 2017. “Perhaps I could have pushed through by sprinting the downhills.” Says Herron about the 2019 WSER. Yet, she realized early on in the race that the smart choice was to withdraw and focus her attention on her primary goal of beating her own 24-hour record in October.
Herron has been inspired by Ellie Greenwood’s 2012 Western States course record. And although she feels disappointed about her decision to drop today, she is looking forward to a fast recovery. One day she dreams to break Greenwood’s course record of 16:47:19.
Meanwhile, a few miles later, Dauwalter also made the decision to finish her race early. Dauwalter approached Green Gate Aid Station 79.8 miles (128.4K) into the race limping. She decided to withdraw from the race shortly after due to injury.
Other female leaders including Amanda Basham and YiOu Wang also dropped mid course. Basham explains that she fell in the snow early on in the race, which affected her knee. She decided to drop at 62 miles at Foresthill Aid Station. Wang dropped at some point after Foresthill.