Warning: The video (courtesy IRunFar.com) contains profanity.
Jim Walmsley was more than 30 minutes ahead of course record pace at the Western States Endurance Run 100-miler on the weekend before disaster struck. The then-leader of the race made a navigational error which cost him valuable time and energy. He ended up finishing 19th.
The runner took a wrong turn after getting a scare earlier as he nearly got swept away at the race’s river crossing. According to the above video, the Flagstaff, Ariz.-based athlete’s adventuring crossing came at mile 78 (125K) when he reached the Middle Fork of the American River.
As required, he was wearing a life jacket to cross the river. It was then that he was swept down river. Fortunately, he recovered. Had he received assistance from the safety boat, it’s believed he would have been disqualified for on-course aid. There is a safety rope that runners hold on to as they cross the water.
Many people on social media have been sharing the following video of Walmsley, who looked incredibly smooth at the 62-mile (100K) mark of the race.
To say Jim Walmsley (@walmsley172) is fast is an understatement. This is mile 62 of the 2016 Western States 100 where Jim was running like it was a 5k – in temps near 100° and already 28 minutes UNDER course record! I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ll be editing 2 vastly different films from the race (feat. @fleetfeetseattle & @sagecanaday!) that I cannot wait to share. In the meantime, enjoy this taste. #WS100 ?: The Chemical Brothers
Walmsley’s mistake opened the door for Andrew Miller to become the youngest-ever winner of the Western States Endurance Run at just 20 years of age. Read our full race recap here.