Updated Monday, June 28
On an exceptionally hot day in California, Jim Walmsley won his third consecutive Western States 100 title Saturday in 14 hours, 46 minutes. Walmsley came through the Pointed Rocks aid station at mile 95 with a comfortable lead of about 81 minutes, and the live webcam followed his final mile by bike.
Walmsley, who lives in Flagstaff, Ariz., had admitted earlier in the week that he hadn’t been entirely healthy throughout his build and had been nursing an IT band injury, leading to speculation that he might not even make it to the start line, but apparently he had nothing to worry about, as his remarkable result proved.
Walmsley ran 14:09:28 in 2019, the last time the race was run (it was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic), smashing the course record of 14:30:04 that he set in 2018, in his third appearance at the race. On Saturday, he had put considerable distance between himself and Hayden Hawks by around mile 35, but it was clear another record was not going to be possible.
Hawks was in second position for most of the race, but shortly before Walmsley’s arrival at the finish line, announcers Dylan Bowman and Corrine Malcolm mentioned he was in danger of being passed by Tyler Green of Portland, Ore. and Drew Holmen of Boulder, Colo. Both successfully passed Hawks, and held on to finish second (16:11:00) and third (16:23:08).
— Treeline Journal (@TreelineJ) June 27, 2021
Beth Pascall of the U.K. led the women’s race all day and was a good bet to win, but the top five were very close together throughout, making it too risky to call by the time Walmsley crossed the finish line in Auburn. But Pascall did prevail, finishing in 17:10:41, the second-fastest time ever behind Canadian Ellie Greenwood‘s 16:47:19 from 2012. (Pascall finished fourth in 2019.)
Pascall won the Canyons 100K race in California in April, and shattered the record on the Bob Graham fell round in the U.K. last year. At the time of Walmsley’s finish, she was sitting at 7th or 8th overall, with Ragna Debats of the Netherlands (who is 42) and Ruth Croft, who won the Tarawera 100K in her native New Zealand in February, just outside the top 10 overall. Croft went on to finish second, in 17:33:47 (in ninth overall, in her 100-mile debut), and Debats in third in 17:41:13 (10th overall), breaking Ann Trason’s 19-year-old masters course record by 30 minutes.
— iRunFar (@iRunFar) June 27, 2021
2019 women’s champion Clare Gallagher finished in 35th position, in 22:47:36.
Walmsley is only the third man with three consecutive victories; the other two are Scott Jurek, who had seven straight victories from 1999-2005, and Tim Twietmeyer, who won five times, three of them consecutively in 1994-1996.
For the first time, there were live broadcasts on YouTube and by iRunFar, so fans could follow every minute of the race, with constant well-informed and passionate commentary from Bowman and Malcolm about the oldest and best-loved 100-miler in North America.
- Jim Walmsley 14:46:01
- Tyler Green 16:11:02
- Drew Holmen 16:23:09
- Cody Lind 16:49:40
- Tim Tollefson 16:55:49
- Kyle Pietari 17:00:34
- Stephen Kersh 17:29:24
- Hayden Hawks 17:48:47
- Kyle Curtin 18:18:31
- Alex Nicholls 18:33:14
- Beth Pascall 17:10:42 (seventh overall)
- Ruth Croft 17:33:48 (ninth overall)
- Ragna Debats 17:41:13 (10th overall)
- Brittany Peterson 18:07:42
- Katie Asmuth 18:23:24
- Audrey Tanguy 18:37:45
- Emily Hawgood 19:13:55
- Camelia Mayfield 19:17:20
Canadian Kat Drew finished in 53rd position, in 23:45:30.
For full results, click here.