Full ultramarathon and trail running results from this weekend. Don’t overlook what happened at Lake Saroma in Japan over the weekend. Tatsuya Itagaki finished with a superb time of 6:14:18 (6:01 min/ mi), only 45 seconds off of Takahiro Sunada’s current road WR (6:13:33) set in 1998.
Stulberg: Sustaining a lifetime passion for your sport. Don’t burn out!
Quick and random thoughts on Western States Endurance Run 2017:
- “You ran in 2017? And you finished? Nice work.” will be a refrain heard for years to come. Those were tough conditions out there, reflected by the 33% drop rate.
- Kaci Lickteig is one tough woman. When she came through the finish at 24:02, she was absolutely broken. I’ll bet she learned more yesterday than she learned during her win. I also got to see the bond between she and coach Koop and how each handled her performance. Huge respect for both of them.
- From my perspective, there are significantly more families at the race then in years past. Not sure what’s been causing it, but it’s awesome to see kids anxious to get autographs from their favorite runners (kid strutting around Foresthill with his Ryan Sandes hat like he was a boss) and watch the race with real excitement. A very good sign for the future of this ridiculous sport.
- Jim played with fire and got burned, but that’w what it takes sometimes. I’m anxious to hear what he’ll do differently next time. Here’s one pretty inflammatory (and pretty lame) take on his day.
- Cat Bradley ran probably the smartest race of the day, and also showed real toughness in her battle with YiOu after Foresthill. She certainly earned that win.
- The women really toughed it out for the finishes: Emily, Stephanie (Violett and Case), Maggie and Sarah. None of them had great days out there, but they all finished. Nice!
- Mackey was working an aid station and apparently had a pretty low DNF rate. Imagine complaining about leg pain to Dave and trying to quit the race.
- Tim and Ellie’s records are freaking stout.
- Best looking runner thru Foresthill was Alex Nichols. He looked fresh and ready to rock…a lot more than Jim and Ryan. I really thought he was going to chase down Ryan for the win.
- I’m pretty sure Mocko blew all of his energy making this video a few days before the race.
- Ryan Sandes ran a patient and smart race and toughed it out. Bravo!
- At around 29:30, a gentleman came through the gate about to enter the track. He was late 50s, early 60s and had been running all day. His wife was holding his hand, and he was sobbing. Absolutely broken down sobbing as he placed his foot on the track and made his way around to the finish. This is powerful stuff.
- I slept on a chair lift (Shirley Lane Express) on Friday night up near the Escarpment. Definitely better than hiking up the hill at 3am. On Saturday night I slept for an hour on the track while watching all the runners come in. Sunday night I slept in my bed. Hard.
- Apparently the early aid stations were overwhelmed with the number of people not making cutoffs and ran out of transport vehicles. The snow in the high country was pretty nuts.
- I was there when Gordy gave his spot to waitlister #39 John Fegyveresi on Friday afternoon. “Fegy” is a Barkley finisher (2012), traveled from Vermont to Squaw, and was in tears when he found out he’d been running. Well done Gordy. That was awesome.
- It’s a testament to the race organizers/volunteers when the RD can compete in the event and the day runs smoothly. Well done.
- I won! Put my money where my predictions were and won about $100, even beating out a past WS winner. Boom!
- Sharman and Browning are beasts. Give those guys any conditions, any weather, tough competition, and they’re both going to persevere. Same with Meghan Arbogast….they’ve got something special.
- Sorry about the lack of repertoire with the Alphorn on Saturday. I lost my mouthpiece and am severely limited in range right now.
- The drug testing was a bit underwhelming. A pickup truck with a camper shell? I don’t know, at least make it look more serious.
- Cameras and film crews. I’m writing a longer piece about the number of crews on the course and what I think the future looks like.
- URP guests leading up to Western this year:
- Random images from the day
50 mile WR holder Bruce Fordyce robbed at gunpoint: “Two men inside the car then pointed guns at me. One got out and began kicking me. They took my takkies (running shoes), which were old and smelled of old cheese, so they are more than welcome to them.”
AJW and I met up on Friday for our beer exchange. Plenty of hops and barleys changed hands.
The inextricable tie between eating disorders and endurance athletes.
Tarawera gets additional funding to support and promote the new 100 miler. Awesome. I know a guy who’d love to go over there in February…
I’ve heard from so many people that Bighorn was a slipper, sloppy mess this year. Here’s another report that shows the insanity.