Perhaps the one thing that stands out most in the memories of every runner who participates in the Western States Endurance Run is the incredible volunteers who work the aid stations. With a staff of over 1,500 volunteers, the support given to the runners is unparalleled. The river crossing alone has a team of 125 personnel. There are 21 aid stations, including 10 major medical checkpoints along the course.
The aid station captains have many years of service at Western States and are professionals. The aid stations are well stocked with fluids and a variety of foods. The fluids that are generally available are: water, Clif Shot Hydration Drink, Clif Shot Recovery Drink, Sprite® or 7Up® and Coke®. The night aid stations will also have soup, hot coffee and hot chocolate. The foods that are generally available are: salt replacement foods (saltines, pretzels, chips), Clif Bars, Clif Mojo Bars, Clif Shot Energy Gels, Clif Shot Bloks, fruits (oranges, bananas, melons), potatoes, cookies, candies, sandwiches, etc. Hot soup will be available at several of the aid stations, including the River Crossing, Auburn Lake Trails and Pointed Rocks.
Western States is now a cupless race. Bring your own cup or use your bottles if you wish to drink at the aid stations. There will be hot cups available for soup. There will also be a few shared plastic “community cups” for cold drinks.
The use of Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or Naprosyn can lead to kidney problems when used in abundance and/or under stressful conditions such as running a 100 mile run. We will not provide these medications at our aid stations. If you feel the need to bring and use your own pain medications or anti-inflammatories, then you are willing to assume the responsibility for their use.
Our medical staff also has many years of service at Western States. With a staff of approximately 50 physicians, 75 nurses, podiatrists, emergency medical technicians, paramedics and massage therapists, we feel that we provide the safest and best medical backup in the world. Several of these people have been participants in the Run, making them all the more aware of the needs of the runners.
Without the assistance of these 1,500 invaluable volunteers, there would be no Western States Endurance Run. Many of these volunteers have spent days preparing for the Run and will be at their stations for over 30 hours. They have given up their day to insure you the best possible chance of success. They have given up their weekend to insure you the best possible chance of success. Giving each volunteer the courtesy, respect and sincere thanks that they each richly deserve is all that we ask.
2017 Course and Aid Station Modifications
- The USFS added switchbacks between Red Star Ridge and Duncan Canyon aid stations which added .8 miles of single track trail. In order to make up that distance we are taking a more direct route up the climb out of Squaw (.2 miles shorter). And, after Robinson Flat we are taking Forest Rd N43 for 2.8 miles, going around Little Bald Mtn, before joining the existing trail before Millers Defeat aid station (.6 miles shorter).
- Brown’s Bar aid station (formerly at 89.9 miles) is moving down to and is renamed the Quarry Rd aid station at 90.7 miles.
- Hwy 49 aid station (formerly at 93.5 miles) is moving up to and is renamed Pointed Rocks aid station at mile 94.3 miles.
|Checkpoint||New Distance||Medical||Drop Bags||Crew Access||Pacer Change||Men's CR||Women's CR||24 hour||30 hour||Cutoff|
|Squaw Valley||0||Yes||Yes (multiple)||5:00am||5:00am||5:00am||5:00am|
|Red Star Ridge||15.8||Yes||Yes||No||7:28am||7:41am||8:20am||9:10am||10:00am|
|Duncan Canyon||24.4||Yes (1 vehicle)||8:31am||8:52am||10:00am||11:15am||12:10pm|
|Robinson Flat||30.3||Yes||Yes||Yes (shuttle)||9:30am||9:59am||11:25am||1:05pm||2:00pm|
|Dusty Corners||38||Yes (1 vehicle)||10:39am||11:14am||12:55pm||3:15pm||4:10pm|
|El Dorado Creek||52.9||No||12:46pm||1:33pm||4:20pm||7:30pm||8:30pm|
|Michigan Bluff||55.7||Yes||Yes||Yes (1 vehicle)||After 8pm||1:23pm||2:13pm||5:20pm||8:50pm||9:45pm|
|Ford's Bar (Cal-3)||73||No||4:00pm||9:25pm||2:30am||5:00am*|
|Rucky Chucky||78||Yes||Yes (Far Side)||Yes (Near Side shuttle)||OK||4:32pm||5:48pm||10:40pm||4:00am||5:00am|
|Green Gate||79.8||Yes (on foot)||OK||4:49pm||6:15pm||11:20pm||4:55am||5:40am|
|Auburn Lake Trails||85.2||Yes||Yes||No||5:35pm||7:12pm||12:50am||6:30am||7:00am|
|Pointed Rocks||94.3||Yes||Yes||Yes (on foot)||OK||unknown||unknown||3:20am||9:15am||9:40am|
|No Hands Bridge||96.8||Yes (on foot)||OK||7:14pm||9:09pm||4:10am||9:55am||11:00am*|
|Robie Point||98.9||Yes (on foot)||OK||7:35pm||9:35pm||4:40am||10:35am||11:00am|
|Placer High School||100.2||Yes||Yes||Yes (multiple)||7:46pm||9:47pm||5:00am||11:00am||11:00am|
- Estimated Pace for Leader, 24 hour, and 30 hour runners is based on past experience, but may vary significantly due to temperature and humidity conditions in the canyons.
- Cut-off times reflect the deadlines for LEAVING the aid station. If you return to an aid station after the cut-off, you will be pulled from the Run. The cut-off times will be strictly enforced by the Cutoff Coordinators or Aid Station Captains. Anyone leaving an aid station after the cut-off time will be disqualified. This rule is for the safety of all participants. IF YOU MISS THE CUT-OFF, YOU MUST STOP. Significant sanctions will apply to anyone breaking this rule.
- *Cutoffs denoted with an asterisk are default cutoffs. The cutoff is identical to the cutoff at the next aid station. These cutoffs are intended for emergency use at hard to access aid stations and must be respected.
Run Management will provide transportation for drop bags to the locations specified on the Checkpoint Chart above. This service is provided to aid crewless runners. Those with adequate support are asked not to overload our volunteers with unnecessary drop bags.
Drop bags must be securely tied, labeled clearly with the runner’s name and entry number, and deposited at the appropriate collection station established for each checkpoint on the Friday preceding the Run. Drop bags must fit through a 6″ X 8″ opening and can be no longer than 16″. You are limited to one drop bag per aid station. Pacers are not allowed drop bags. The collection station is located near the corner of Squaw Peak and Squaw Valley Road (near tram building), for Run Day distribution. Drop bags must be left between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Please do not use paper bags, shoe boxes, or anything made of paper-like products. These can get wet and tear easily.
It is imperative that runners do not leave perishable items in their drop bags. It is strongly recommended that warm clothing and an extra flashlight be placed in the drop bags that will be delivered to each of the night aid stations. Do NOT place glass bottles in your drop bags.
We cannot facilitate pacer drop bags. Pacer supplies must fit in the runner drop bags.
The drop bags will be returned to Placer High School stadium as soon as possible. It is the responsibility of each runner to claim his or her drop bags. If you cannot retrieve your drop bags, have someone else do it for you. Drop bags must be claimed by 3:00 PM, Sunday. Drop bags are located on the infield of the Placer H.S. track (finish line). Any drop bags remaining at the track following the event may be disposed of. DO NOT leave valuables in your drop bags.