Rob Krar went to the Western States 100 with one goal in mind: to win.
The Canadian capped off an extraordinary 12 months by doing just that, triumphing at one of the most prestigious ultras in the world. Krar was a favourite after placing second last year. The gruelling event begins in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains and runners climb over 5,500m and descend another 7,000m.
Krar sat back in second place for much of the race, before overtaking American Max King at about 71 miles. “I have nothing but respect for Max,” Krar told the Auburn Journal after the race. “I certainly feared him going into the race.” King ended up finishing fourth.
The native of Hamilton, Ont. burst onto the scene with an impressive run under extreme heat at Western States in 2013. The affable and bearded pharmacist who now calls Flagstaff, Ariz. recorded major victories throughout the 2013 ultra season. Krar defeated some of the best ultrarunners in the world at the 2013 Ultra Race of Champions, including superstar Kilian Jornet, cementing his reputation as a top competitor.
Krar’s finishing time of 14:53:22 was the second fastest ever in the 40 year history of Western States.