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Altra Named Exclusive Footwear Sponsor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Craig Thornley, WS 100 race director, rd@wser.org. and
Colleen Logan, VP Marketing, clogan@iconfitness.com

ALTRA NAMED EXCLUSIVE FOOTWEAR SPONSOR OF WESTERN STATES 100

The world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race announces partnership with Altra Footwear

AUBURN, Calif. – Altra Footwear has been named the exclusive footwear sponsor of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, Western States 100 President John Medinger announced today. Altra is also the sponsor of the Altra 6K Uphill Challenge, beginning at the Western States start line and ending at High Camp. The Challenge takes place at 10 am on Friday, June 24 and is free and open to all.

“Over the course of the past several months, we talked to several footwear companies about their vision for a partnership with our Run,” Medinger said. “It became increasingly apparent, in our discussions with Altra Footwear Co-Founders Jeremy Howlett and Brian Beckstead, that Altra has a compelling vision for a partnership that we feel will immensely benefit our Run, the runners who come from across the globe to run our race, and the Western States community of friends and volunteers who have an incredible personal investment in what we do.

“Altra is a company that is clearly on a rapid and exciting trajectory. They are a company of high ethical grounding that appeals to all ability levels. And, they have a keen eye for where the sport is headed. They really do ‘get’ what we stand for as an organization, and they’ve made it very clear that our partnership will not only benefit our Run, but the sport in general.

“We are incredibly pleased to announce this partnership.”

Altra, which is located in Utah, traces its roots back to the work of founder Golden Harper, Beckstead and Howlett, who began experimenting with a better performing shoe which they named “ZeroDrop™” – the name refers to the lack of differential between the shoe’s heel and forefoot area. The shoe is also known for its distinctive FootShape™ toebox instead of the constrictive V-shaped toe box of virtually every other brand of running shoes.

“Altra Running and Western States Endurance Run are a natural combination, because we are both true pioneers in our respective fields,” said Brian Beckstead, Altra co-founder and VP of sales. “Western States invented the ultra-running race with the first ever 100-mile race in 1974. Altra pioneered running shoe design with a roomy foot-shaped toe box and a zero drop platform.”

Altra’s first – and only – product in their first line of shoes won “Best Debut” by Runner’s World in March 2012 and “Editor’s Pick for Most Innovative” by Competitor magazine in September 2011

When the line expanded to trail running shoes, the Altra Lone Peak was named “Editor’s Choice” by Runner’s World. Most recently, in Spring 2015, the Altra Superior 2.0 trail shoe won Editor’s Choice from both Runner’s World and Trail Runner. In Fall 2015, Altra Lone Peak Neoshell won “Best Weatherproof” from Competitor magazine, “Best Trail Running Shoes of 2015” from Men’s Journal and was selected for the Summer Gear Guide by Outside magazine.

The shoe’s unique Foot-Shaped toe box was an immediate hit with the ultra-running community, who necessarily spend continuous hours on their feet.

At the 2015 Western States 100, Altra shot to third place in the official shoe count at 16% of all finishers and 16% of all sub-24 finishers. In just a little more than 4 years, Altra has catapulted to the third largest trail shoe brand in the Run Specialty channel and now has 3 of the top 10 selling shoes in the industry, according to research from NPD.

“Ultra runners really appreciate Altra’s FootShape Toebox.  It allows your toes to spread out which provides a relaxing comfortable place for your feet to be and provides a stable base over rocky terrain.  At Mile 87 it’s particularly effective!” said Beckstead, who completed UTMB, Ultra Trail Mount Blanc in August in Chamonix, then two weeks later ran the Wasatch 100 in less than 30 hours.

The Western States 100-Mile Endurance run, first held in 1974, is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail run. Held on the last weekend in June in Squaw Valley, Calif., Western States brings together runners from around the globe and from all 50 states for what is considered the world’s most competitive 100-mile race.

2015 Race Recap

2015 Western States 100, June 27-28, 2015

Krar repeats, Boulet makes smashing debut … but Swanson steals the show 371 starters and 254 finishers – 68.5%

Rob Krar defended the men’s title with one of the most memorable runs on record, finishing in 14:48:59 after breaking the race open with a dramatic move from Michigan Bluff. Krar was only two minutes behind Timothy Olson’s course record on a day when temperatures were warm from the start and reached well into the 90s at the river crossing. Magdalena Boulet, 41, of Oakland, Calif., and a 2008 U.S. Olympic marathoner, rebounded from a wrong turn not long after the Robinson Flat aid station to win the women’s race in her WS 100 debut in 19:05. And yet, it was the Run’s final moments that captured the attention of all. First, with a little less than four minutes to spare before the 30-hour cutoff, the Run’s youngest female finisher, Katie Trent, 22, of Reno, Nev., finished. Youth had been served, but age had yet to be fully recognized. Gunhild Swanson, 70, of Spokane Valley, Wash., was vying to become the first over-70 female to ever finish the race. Swanson, who was joined over the final mile by several friends and supporters, including Krar, who had run stride-for-stride with Swanson in his flip-flops once Swanson had cleared the final Robie Point aid station, entered the track with a little less than two minutes to spare. The sun-baked Placer High crowd then rose to its feet as Swanson had less than 50 meters to go. With the fevered cheering of the crowd reaching an absolute, chaotic and magical crescendo, Swanson determinedly rushed across the finish line in the history-making, age-defying time of 29:59:54, which then sent the crowd into utter pandemonium. The race’s 254th and final finisher had not only made race history, she had stolen the show in what observer called, “our finest hour … ever.”

Full Results

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2015 Ultra-Trail World Tour Press Conference

MEDIA ALERT

CONTACT: John Trent, media relations, (775) 842-4871, president@wser.org

WESTERN STATES 100, ULTRA-TRAIL WORLD TOUR, TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE, FRIDAY, JUNE 26

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AUBURN, Calif. – Media are invited to attend a joint press conference, sponsored by the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run and representatives of the Ultra-Trail World Tour (UTWT) on Friday, June, 26 in Squaw Valley, Calif.

The event will begin at 2:30 p.m. and will be held at the Squaw Valley Conference Center.

Several of the world’s finest ultra runners, along with representatives from the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, UTWT, and WS 100 Presenting Sponsor Montrail will be on hand to discuss this year’s Western States 100-Miler, the UTWT, and the future of the UTWT — series of 11 races held throughout the world with rankings for runners of all abilities who finish the races. Topher Gaylord, President of Mountain Hardwear, Inc., and a longtime WS veteran who has been one of the sport’s thought leaders for more than two decades, will lead the proceedings.

Western States is the only North American stop for the UTWT.

WHAT: Press conference, “State of the Sport,” sponsored by WS 100 and UTWT.

WHERE: Squaw Valley Conference Center, Squaw Valley, Calif.

WHEN: 2:30 p.m., Friday, June 26.

2015 WS 100 Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: John Trent, media relations (775) 842-4871, president@wser.org

WESTERN STATES 100-MILE ENDURANCE RUN FEATURES STELLAR FIELD FOR 42nd RUNNING

The world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race returns defending men’s champion Krar and women’s champion Howe

The top trail runners in the world, including defending men’s champion Rob Krar and defending women’s champion Stephanie Howe, will embark on the 42nd running of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, June 27-28.

Western States is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail run. The race features a field of more than 360 entrants from more than 30 countries, and more than 40 states. Runners start from Squaw Valley, Calif., the site of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games. They climb and descend about 40,000 feet through the alpine beauty of the Granite Chief Wilderness and the deep, equally picturesque, yet infernal canyons of the historic California Gold Country, then cross the Middle Fork of the American River before finishing at Placer High School in Auburn, Calif. The 100.2-mile race has a 30-hour time limit.

Krar, 38, of Flagstaff, Ariz., ran one of the more memorable races in race history last year. After breaking open the men’s race with a record-setting split time of 2 hours, 3 minutes on the critical 16-mile Cal Street section from Foresthill, Calif., at mile 62 to the mile 78 mark at the Ruck-A-Chuck river crossing, he finished in 14:53 – only seven minutes off Timothy Olson’s 2012 course record.

Howe, 31, of Bend, Ore., took the lead in the women’s race shortly after the 30-mile mark and ran to a commanding victory. Her 18:01 finishing time was the fourth-fastest in race history.

Both Krar and Howe will be pressed by two of the deepest men’s and women’s fields in race history. Nine of the top 10 finishers in last year’s men’s race return; all 10 of the top 10 finishers in the women’s race from 2014 are entered. The men’s returners are led by runner-up Seth Swanson, 36, of Missoula, Mont., who finished in 15:19, and third-place finisher Dylan Bowman, 29, of Mill Valley, Calif., who ran 15:36.

In addition to Howe, past women’s champions entered include 2013 winner Pam Smith, 40, of Salem, Ore.; Nikki Kimball, 44, of Bozeman, Mont., a three-time women’s champion (2004, 2006, 2007); Anita Ortiz, 50, of Eagle, Colo., who won the race in 2009. 2008 U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathoner Magdalena Boulet, 41, of Oakland, Calif., will be making her WS 100 debut.

Other runners of note include:

Gordy Ainsleigh, 68, of Meadow Vista, Calif. Ainsleigh , who has finished the race more than 20 times, was the first runner to complete the 100 miles between Squaw Valley and Auburn in 1974 when he joined the horses in the 100-mile Tevis Cup;

Meghan Arbogast, 54, of Cool, Calif., eighth last year and generally considered the finest veteran (over 50 years old) runner in the world;

Gunhild Swanson, 70, of Spokane Valley, Wash., who established the race’s over-60 record in 2005 in 25:40. If Swanson finishes this year, she will become the first over-70 female runner to do so.

“Last year was a pretty remarkable day – we had temperatures that weren’t bad (89 degrees was the high), Rob and Stephanie ran remarkably strong races, and we had 296 finishers, including 129 silver buckles (for sub-24-hour finishes),” race director Craig Thornley said. “This year has the potential to be even better. The men’s race will be exciting with Rob and a host of talented runners running to beat him. And our women’s race may very well go into the books as our deepest and most competitive field ever.”

“We had a relatively dry winter in the high country, so conditions are snow-free and potentially fast. Thanks again to the Montrail Ultra Cup, (which has provided an avenue for qualification for many of sport’s elite runners through a national series of qualification races), there are probably close to a dozen to 15 runners with a legitimate shot at winning either our men’s or women’s race.”

WHAT: 42nd running of the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run

WHEN: Saturday, June 27, 5 a.m. start at Squaw Valley, Calif., finish at Placer High School, Auburn, Calif. More than 360 trail runners from more than 30 countries and more than 40 states to compete.

2015 Lottery Results

The 2015 Lottery was held in front of a live and remote audience on December 6, 2014 in Auburn, CA. The master of ceremonies was five-time champion, 25-time sub-24 hour finisher, past WSER president and current vice president Tim Twietmeyer.

Tim Twietmeyer, Master of Ceremonies, with Devil's Thumb AS Captain Denis ZIlaff

Tim Twietmeyer, Master of Ceremonies, with Devil’s Thumb AS Captain Denis ZIlaff

As described in my presentation before the drawing, the target for total number of entrants this year is 387: 114 automatics, 270 in the lottery drawing, and 3 in the bonus lottery.

114 Automatics

  • 27 Race Admin (aid stations, trail crew, etc)
  • 25 Montrail Ultra Cup (20 top runners, 5 others)
  • 18 Top Ten Runners from 2014
  • 16 Sponsor slots
  • 11 Raffle Winners
  • 6 UTWT elite foreign athletes
  • 5 Foreign Consideration
  • 2 WSER Trustees
  • 2 Runners going for 10th finish
  • 1 Special Consideration
  • 1 Founder (Gordy)

 

WSER Awards Coordinator Gloria Takagishi Draws Names

WSER Awards Coordinator Gloria Takagishi Draws Names

270 Lottery Drawing

With 2566 entrants and their 6601 tickets, our pre-lottery monte carlo simulations matched closely to what we actually drew.

  • 1427 first year with 1 ticket – predicted 67.7, actual 65
  • 641 second year with 2 tickets – predicted 59.2. actual 55
  • 281 third year with 4 tickets – predicted 49.6, actual 49
  • 136 fourth year with 8 tickets – predicted 43.8, actual 46
  • 57 fifth year with 16 tickets – predicted 30.8, actual 37
  • 24 sixth year with 32 tickets – predicted 18.9, actual 18

We drew 49 duplicate names for a total of 319 total draws to get the 270 unique names. Predicted was 313 draws.

As we always do, there were 3 additional names drawn in the Bonus Lottery at the end to give those in attendance a last chance. Those three lucky folks are:

  • Sarah McGinn
  • Jeff Boutte
  • David Rhodes

Congratulations to all who were selected.