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PETERMAN, CROFT POST SMASHING WINNING PERFORMANCES AT WSER
Adam Peterman becomes first male runner since 1986 to win Western States in first 100 ever; Ruth Croft runs third-fastest women’s time
Even in its 49th year, the Western States Endurance Run continues to make history, as Adam Peterman became the first men’s race winner since 1986 to win the race during a 100-mile debut, while Ruth Croft won the women’s race with the third-fastest time in race history, notable on a day when temperatures soared into the high 90s.
Peterman, 26, of Missoula, Montana, won the men’s race in 15 hours and 13 minutes. Peterman and Hayden Hawks, 31, of Cedar City, Utah, who finished second in 15:47, waged a pitched battle during the California Street section of the course at around miles 74-76 with Peterman taking a 2-minute lead at the Rucky Chucky river crossing at mile 78.
“It got pretty intense along the river,” Peterman said. “Both of us were hammering.”
Peterman became the first male runner to win Western States in his 100-mile debut since 27-year-old Chuck Jones won the 1986 edition of the race in 16:37.
“It’s hard to believe,’ Peterman said. “I thought I had a chance, but you never know what’s going happen over 100 miles. So I just tried to run my own race the whole time. I hoped that would make the podium. … It was really hard. (Winning in his debut) was hard to believe, really.”
Arlen Glick of Massillon, Ohio, finished third in 15:56.
Croft, 33, from Greymouth, New Zealand, had finished second to Beth Pascall in 2021. Croft used that experience in posting the third-fastest women’s time in race history, finishing in 17:21. Although Croft now owns two of the six fastest times in race history (her 2021 time of 17:33 is the sixth-fastest race history) Croft noted at the finish that her entire day on Saturday was “magical.”
“It was pretty special today,” she said. “I had an awesome crew out there and my parents came from New Zealand, and my aunt. It was pretty magical.”
She said that running with a good friend, Zimbabwe’s Emily Hawgood, who eventually would finish in fifth in 18:16, helped.
“I caught up with Emily coming up to Robinson Flat (at mile 30),” she said, “and we kind of teamed up ran a lot together.”
The two would run together for the next 20-plus miles before Croft took command of the race at Michigan Bluff at mile 55.7. She built a four-minute lead over Hawgood that she would never relinquish.
Alisa Macdonald, 41, of Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, finished second in 17:46, while Marianne Hogan, 32, of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, was third in 18:05.
Conditions saw temperatures reach into the high 90s throughout Saturday. Even with the high temperatures, the race saw 305 finishers out of 383 starters. There were 101 runners who finished the race in under 24 hours. In a testament to how well runners throughout the field were able to manage a challenging, hot day, the race’s “Golden Hour” – the time between 29 and the race cutoff at 30 hours – saw a phenomenal 79 runners celebrate a hard-earned finish on the track at Placer High School in Auburn, California.
The oldest runners to finish this year were 61-year-old Meghan Canfield of Corvallis, Oregon, who ran 24:38, and 63-year-old Simon Bennett of Ackworth, Great Britain, who finished in 29:32.