Home > Trail Running

Western States’ fastest Canadian dances to top 10

Kathryn Drew of Vancouver dances at mile 80 of the The Big Dance as the only top 10 finisher without a sponsor

Vancouver’s Kathryn Drew has been setting her sights on the iconic Western States 100-mile Endurance Run (WSER) for many years. After earning her Golden Ticket at Canyons 100K in April, she toed the line with some of the most well-known ultra-trail runners in the world. In a record-breaking year at WSER, Drew crossed the finish line in 18:59:08, in eighth place–making her one of the only Canadians to run that fast in the 46-year history of the race.

RELATED: Clare Gallagher wins WSER in second fastest time ever

Drew with her crew from Fraser Street Run Club at the finish line

Western States is known as The Big Dance. So logically, Drew decided to dance big to Beastie Boys. At mile 80 (100K into the race), Drew, her crew and pacers pulled out the moves. She raced hard all day, but never stopped smiling while cracking sarcastic jokes. Twenty miles later, she sprinted onto Placer High track as one of the fastest Canadians to ever finish WSER.

RELATED: It takes a village: how to crew an ultra

When we asked what shoes she changed into at the mile 62 aid station, Drew joked, “They’re Chanel.” Out of the top 20 male and female finishers, Drew was the only one without a sponsor. The last few months Drew has had some assistance from Kintec, a local running store. However, over the last few years, she has spent thousands of her own dollars on Wildhorses (not Chanel), Huma gels, race entries, and travelling as she races to the top. In 2019 alone she has inspired the Canadian and international running community at Bandera 100K (3rd), Chuckanut 50K (1st), Canyons 100K (1st), Trail World Championships, and now Western States.


Drew wasn’t the only Canadian crossing the finish line at Western States this year. Vancouver’s talented Kim Magnus raced to top 20. Alissa St. Laurent finished her third WSER in 22nd place. Other Canadians included Cedric Chavanne (53rd male), Nathaniel Couture (40th male), Ted Croll (244th male), Andre Erlank (106th male), Rod Giachetta (253rd male), Nicolas Guayasamin (144th male), Simon Marcil (63rd male), and Carsten Meyer-Jacob (73rd male).

Top 10 women with Kat Drew third from right. Photo: Dave Stevens

Kat from Canada’s top-10 performance at Western States means she has a guaranteed entry for The Big Dance in 2020. Although she could still be buying her own fuel for her next ultra, there is no doubt Drew will continue to shock the trail and ultraunning world–with her results as well as her dance moves.

RELATED: How Jim Walmsley broke his own record at Western States