As I mentioned last week, the Western States 100 ultramarathon was held over the weekend, in was was described as blistering heat. The temperature was said to be hovering around 104º in the middle of the day, when the runners were in the thick of the 100 mile course, which included dense forests and running through deep canyons.
The results from the race, which had an official cut-off time of 11 AM yesterday, are now posted on the Western States website, and you can check them out here. The overall winner was 33-year old American Hal Koerner, who completed the course in 16 hours, 24 minutes, and 55 seconds. That’s an impressive time to cover a hundred miles, in high heat, and over difficult terrain no less. Second place went to Tsuyoshi Kaburagi of Japan, who was approximately 25 minutes behind the winner. Brit Jez Bragg claimed third place, another two and half minutes back. Anita Ortiz was the top female runner, crossing the finish line in 18 horus, 24 minutes, 17 seconds, and claiming the 9th spot over all.
Some very big names in the world of ultrarunning failed to complete the course due to the extremely hot conditions. Scott Jurek, one of the best endurance athletes in the world, holds the Western States course record, and has finished the event seven times, but was forced to withdraw at the 47.8 mile mark. Likewise, ultramarathon man Dean Karnazes also dropped, making it to the 62 mile mark before calling it a day. The fact that both of these ultra legends failed to finish should give you an indication of what it must have been like out on the course.
On the bright side, they can chalk it up to conditioning for next month’s Badwater Ultra, set to go from July 13-15. That race covers a distance of 135 miles starting in Death Valley and running up Mt. Whitney. Yeah, running in Death Valley in July sounds like a great idea!
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