The world’s oldest 100-mile (161K) race, the Western States Endurance Run, began Saturday morning in Squaw Valley, Calif.
The point-to-point ultramarathon that finishes to the southwest in Auburn first began in 1974 and has become arguably the most prestigious trail race in the world. A total of 369 runners began the net-downhill race that climbs 5,486m and descends 7,010m before finishing on a 400m track at Placer High School.
South African Ryan Sandes (16:19:37) and American Cat Bradley (19:31:30) won the 2017 Western States Endurance Run finishing at 9:19 p.m. Saturday and 12:31 a.m. on Sunday, respectively. Once he was settled in second, Sandes was as far as an hour back of then-leader Jim Walmsley through halfway before chipping into the lead and passing the heavy favourite before the 78-mile mark. Bradley outlasted Magdalena Boulet, a past champion, who finished second, 18 minutes back.
Western States began at 5 a.m. local time on June 24.
One of the leading storylines entering the weekend was the return of Walmsley, who was aiming for the course record and, if everything fell into place, a sub-14:00:00 performance. In 2016, Walmsley was more than 30 minutes under course record pace at certain checkpoints but got lost with approximately 11K to go and finished outside of the top-10. This year, he again was under course record pace before he dropped out at the American River (Rucky Chucky) crossing around 125K. (Runners took boats, according to iRunFar, across the river this year instead of swimming as water levels were high.)
— iRunFar (@iRunFar) June 25, 2017
“Sometimes when you’re not careful trying to set off fireworks you light yourself on fire,” Walmsley said via photographer Myke Hermsmeyer. “It’s only a matter of time before Jim starts playing with fire again,” Hermsmeyer himself added of Walmsley.
Both course records, American Timothy Olson’s 14:46:44 and North Vancouver, B.C. Ellie Greenwood’s 16:47:19, from 2012 remain intact.
Canadian results (placings categorized for men/women)
Winnipeg’s Mallory Richard had the best finish amongst Canadians placing just outside of the top-10 in 11th. Richard, 32, moved up considerably throughout the race passing more than half of the field following the first checkpoint and ultimately clocked 22:44:20. She ended up 13 minutes back of the 10th-place finisher. (Top-10 finishers get invited back to the race.) Sherbrooke, Que’s Sebastien Roulier, 43, was the top Canadian male on the day finishing 38th in 23:02:12.
(Note: this list includes runners who listed their residence in Canada with the exception of Case.)
11. Mallory Richard – 22:44:20
15. Stephanie Case – 23:58:25
38. Sebastien Roulier – 23:02:12
45. Lourdes Gutierrez-Kellam – 29:45:07
62. Gareth Williams – 24:10:02
81. Troy Dzioba – 26:11:19
140. Jamie Nott – 28:35:58
Alissa St Laurent – DNF
Steven Stewart – DNF
Rob Gryfe – DNF
Matthew McDonald – DNF
Other notables who raced include 2017 Comrades champion Camille Herron (dropped out), World Marathon Challenge record holder Mike Wardian (35th – 22:56:16), Barkley Marathons finisher John Fegyveresi (118th – 27:51:46) and defending women’s champion Kaci Lickteig (16th – 24:02:18).
Full results and updates can be found here.