WESTERN STATES 2018 (162k/D+5370m) : RESULTS AND PICTURES. Jim Walmsley (record 14h30) and Courtny Daltwater win

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The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run 2018 has seen Jim Walmsley y Courtney Daltwater as  winners, with a race record of 14h30 for Jim Walmsley. As we have mentioned in previous articles, this Ultra is the oldest 100 miles in the world, in 2018 the 369 runners suffered till 38ºC en carrera. Jim and François d´Haene fighted leading the race but the american was stronger than the french at the end.

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Jim Walmsley and Courtney Daltwater, winners of WSER 2018. Photo: UTWT

 

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WESTERN STATES 2018:  THE RACE, RESULTS AND PICTURES

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Western States Endurace Run 100 miles THE 100 millers. The races started when Gordon Ainsligh in 1974 was able to finish the Tevis Cup, running against the horses by himself, after this the fever of ultratrail started with much other races across the world like Leadville, Diagonale des Fous or Ultra Trail Mont Blanc.

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THE COURSE:  The Western States Endurance Run is conducted along the Western States Trail starting at Squaw Valley, California, and ending in Auburn, California, covering a total of 162k/D+5370m. The Run begins at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday of the last full weekend in June at the west end of Squaw Valley. Runners must reach the finish line no later than 10:59:59 a.m. on the following day in order to be eligible for an award. All entrants must strictly adhere to the Performance Rules, Rules for Pacers, Rules for Crews and to the pre-event briefing by Run Management to avoid disqualification and to remain eligible for an award.

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The Western States Endurance Run follows the middle portion of the famous Western States Trail, a nationally dedicated recreational trail that stretches from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Sacramento, California. One of the most arduous organized running events in the U.S., the Western States 100 is truly the “Ultimate Challenge” for the long distance runner. Entry in this event should not be taken lightly!

Beginning in Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games, the trail ascends from the valley floor (elevation 6,200 feet) to Emigrant Pass (elevation 8,750 feet), a climb of 2,550 vertical feet in the first 4½ miles. From the pass, following the original trails used by the gold and silver miners of the 1850’s, runners travel west, climbing another 15,540 feet and descending 22,970 feet before reaching Auburn, a small town in the heart of California’s historic gold country. Most of the trail passes through remote and rugged territory.

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THE RACE: High temperatures predicted a hard day for the 369 runners, with maximums of 38ºC at the finish in Auburn, California. Just only 73 runners from outside the United States in the race, confirming once the US races are still run by local people.

We already talked about the three favorites in our previous articles : Jim Walmsley and François d´Haene for men, and Courtney Daltwater for women. Jim Walmsley already run here a record pace a couple of times here before with no success. As in 2016 was leading the race until he lost himself about 90 miles finishing 20º. In 2017 was pacing at record until Foresthill (62 miles), but at the end he has to retire in 78 mile. On the other hand, Francois D’Haene as the last Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc 2017 winner when he was fighting against Kilian Jornet till the very end.

Courtney Dauwalter, 33 years and school teacher from Golden, Colorado, has started to take part of the Ultratrails in USA in the last two years winning in Sean O’Brien 100K, Moab 240 and Ultra Trail Mount Fuji 100 Miles, together with the 24 hours national record in 2017.

The favorites were leading the race very soon: Jim started with a very fast pace from the very beginning always under the record while François was after him with a slower pace with differences between 10-15 minutes until the middle of the race. After them, there were several alternatives to finish in the podium but never close enough to the other two. At the end, Jim was running away François who was slowing his pace due the heat and fatigue accumulated.

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Auburn’s finish line saw Jim Walmsley winning with new record of 14h30. A more than deserved win after the problems he had on the previous two editions.16 minute less that the record that Tim Olson set at 2012. The silver was for François D´Haene in 15h54m while the bronze was picked up by a consistent Mark Hammond in 16h08

 

We had more alternatives in the women’s race where the young South African Lucy Bartholomew was ahead during the first part of the race, although Courtney was always kept between the front positions. As the miles passed, the American veteran climbed up his pace as the rising temperatures severely punished her rival who was losing positions. At the finish line, Courtney Daltwater won with 17h27, silver was for the veteran Katylin Gerbin with 18h40 and bronze for Lucy Bartholomew with 18h59m, looks like she is a potential winner for this and other future races.

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RESULTS WESTERN STATES 2018

 

 

¡NEW RECORD! Here you have below all Western States records and the evolution until those 14h30m from Jim Walmsley in this edition, 16 minutes less than Tim Oslon in 2012. Though looking at the list, we can see the record of Ann Trason in 2002 which looks like almost impossible to beat at the moment..

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MORE ON SKIMO, TRAIL RUNNING AND MOUNTAIN GEAR

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Info by Abel de Frutos for Trailrunningspain

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