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It is Western States 100 weekend: the low-down on the high-up

The countdown is formally on: three days left till the world’s oldest ultramarathon begins. Western States 100-mile Endurance Run (WSER) is on many ultrarunners’ bucket lists, and it’s one of the extremely anticipated endurance occasions of the yr.

“Everybody has a plan till they get punched within the mouth,” says California-based coach and creator David Roche. “It throws each athlete into the fireplace. Those who emerge can conquer the world.” With shut to five,500 metres in elevation acquire and some very popular climate predicted (par for the course for WSER), this race challenges everybody who will get to deal with it.

This yr’s occasion, operating from June 25-26, guarantees no scarcity of pleasure.

WSER’s press launch calls this yr’s race “a altering of the guard” scenario, with final yr’s winners (three-time champ Jim Walmsley and Beth Pascall) not returning, and the highest spots within the race up for grabs. Returning athletes and famend newbies alike are positive to maintain followers on the sting of their seats.

Who to look at

Tim Tollefson: With a fifth place end final yr, Tollefson, from Mammoth Lakes, Cali., might be seeking to finest his earlier time of 16:55:49. Tollefson, a physiotherapist and pro-athlete for HOKA, can be the latest founding father of Mammoth Lakes Path Fest.

Jared Hazen: Whereas he took a DNF final yr at WSER, Flagstaff, Ariz. pro-runner Hazen has been on the rostrum twice and is definitely hoping for a win this yr. Hazen was arguably the male favorite final yr, after operating an extremely quick race in 2019 and boasting the second-fastest-ever time on the course at 14:26:46. Walmsley’s course document appears to be inside attain for Hazen, because it stands at 14:09:28.

Drew Holmen: After taking third in 2021, Holmen, who lives in Boulder, Colo., says his race technique this yr is physique temperature regulation. No small feat with the historically scorching temperatures at WSER, however the 14,500 kgs of ice that WSER has ordered might assist.

Photograph: Ruth Plourde

The ladies’s race

Ruth Croft: New Zealand native Croft positioned a outstanding second final yr in her first-ever 100-mile race. Croft ran 17:33:48 and took a ninth place general.

Lucy Bartholomew: Australian fan favorite Bartholomew is again. Bartholomew ran a breakout efficiency in 2018 with a third-place end at age 22. “So joyful to hug the U.S. household once more and produce my finest effort and angle,” Bartholomew posted on Instagram.

Photograph: Lucy Bartholomew/Instagram

Camille Herron: Probably the feminine identify followers are most accustomed to, Herron, from Warr Acres, Okla., broke her personal 100-mile document in February, operating 12:41:11 on the JackPot Ultras in Nevada. She had DNF’d Western States twice earlier than final yr, the place she struggled with niggling accidents and GI misery and ended up ending in 27:28:32.

Photograph: Instagram/runcamille

Canadians to look at

Ailsa MacDonald of St. Albert, Alta., obtained an computerized entry to this yr’s race, because of her Thirteenth-place end on the 2019 Western States and first-place end on the 2020 Tarawera 100 Mile. She’s an astoundingly completed ultratrail athlete in addition to a world-ranked Ironman triathlete. MacDonald constantly locations at or close to the highest of each race she enters, with some outright wins alongside the best way, together with her first 100-mile race at Sinister 7 in 2017.

Reid Coolsaet of Hamilton is one in every of 34 Canadians heading to WSER this weekend. Olympic marathoner turned ultrarunner Coolsaet is a top-ranked Canadian athlete, and might be one to comply with in his first WSER efficiency. Coolsaet won his first ultramarathon ever, the Quebec Mega Path 110K, final summer time, regardless of operating an additional 10K because of a flawed flip.

Photograph: Andre Morgan

How one can watch

Starting at 8:00 a.m.E.T., a livestream of the athletes as they progress by the race might be out there at Ultralive.internet.

This would be the second yr that WSER is streaming dwell on Youtube.


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