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2024 Race Recap


CONTACT: John Trent, WSER Media Relations, press@wser.org


AUBURN, Calif. – Katie Schide and Jim Walmsley both ran the second-fastest times ever in winning the women’s and the men’s races, respectively, on Saturday at the 51st Western States Endurance Run.

Schide, 32, of Gardiner, Maine, who finished second in 2023, led the women’s race from the very beginning and finished in 15 hours and 46 minutes, second only to Courtney Dauwalter’s 2023 course record of 15:29. It was a near-hour improvement of her 2023 time of 16:43.

Walmsley, 34, of Flagstaff, Arizona, who set the men’s course record of 14:09 in 2019, returned to Western States after a three-year absence. He held off multiple challenges from second-place finisher Rod Farvard, 28, of Mammoth Lakes, in winning for the fourth time at Western States. Walmsley’s finished in 14:13, with Farvard taking second in 14:24.

2024’s run saw 286 runners cross the finish line at Placer High School in Auburn, with 109 runners culminating their journey that had started 100.2 miles earlier in Olympic Valley, California, in under 24 hours.

Schide’s wire-to-wire win was just one of several highlights in the women’s race. The top 10 women combined to record the swiftest women’s race in Western States history. Fuzhao Xiang, 32, of China, finished in the third-fastest time in run history in 16:20. Eszter Csillag, 39, a Hungarian runner who lives in Hong Kong, finished in third place in 16:42. In all, and for the first time ever at Western States, the top six women finished under 17 hours, including 42-year-old Ida Nilsson of Sweden, who finished in 16:56 to set a new master’s (40-49) age group record.

The high competitiveness of the women’s field was also seen in overall standings. Following Schide’s 13th-place finish, the next nine women finishers took the next 14 spots overall. It was a continuation of a similarly strong showing by Western States’ women’s field. “Last year we saw the top ten women totally exploding what everyone thought was possible,” Schide said moments after her victory on Saturday. “It seems like it is going to happen again today.”

Schide, the UTMB 2022 champion who had run away from a Golden Ticket field in April and set a new course record at The Canyons 100K in Auburn, said her 2023 run at Western States helped her on Saturday. Schide was buoyed as she saw familiar Western States volunteers from 2023, and felt a rising sense of comfort as she spotted course landmarks,

“During the whole race I took confidence in every place I was at,” she said. “That felt really reassuring: I know where I am, I know what to do.”

Walmsley, in making his return to Western States after focusing the past two professional running calendars on living in France and making good on a goal of finally winning UTMB last August, also knew what he needed to do: Fight off repeated challenges from Farvard.

Walmsley, eventual third-place men’s finisher Hayden Hawks, 33, of Cedar City, Utah (who would finish just 16 seconds behind Farvard), and fourth-place finisher Daniel Jones, 33, of New Zealand (who finished in 14:32), were all together at the 43-mile Last Chance aid station. Then it was Farvard who mounted a challenge. Farvard was only eight seconds behind Walmsley at the 62-mile aid station at Foresthill before surging into the lead by one minute at the Dardanelles (mile 65) aid station. Walmsley retook the lead at the Ford’s Bar (mile 73) aid station before Farvard mounted yet another charge to take a four-minute lead on the climb up to the Green Gate aid station at mile 79.8.

Throughout, Walmsley was impressed by Farvard’s tenacity and tactics. “Rod was just crushing me in the aid stations, just taking chunks of minutes every single time,” Walmsley said.

Fortified after taking in extra fluids and changing socks and shoes at an admitted low point at Green Gate, Walmsley rallied. By Auburn Lake Trails Walmsley held an 82-second advantage over Farvard, with the advantage swelling to 11 minutes at Pointed Rocks aid station (mile 94.3).

After his win, Walmsley noted that he was “really proud of this one.”

“Rod just ran an incredible day,” Walmsley said. His voice breaking as he was interviewed, Walmsley added, “It brings a lot of emotion because it was just really hard.”

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