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GU Energy Labs to serve as exclusive performance nutrition sponsor

AUBURN, California – The Western States Endurance Run (WSER) and GU Energy Labs are proud to announce that GU Energy Labs is now the exclusive performance nutrition sponsor for Western States.

“We are so excited to have GU as our exclusive nutrition sponsor,” said Diana Fitzpatrick, president of the Western States Endurance Run Foundation (WSERF). “Our race has a long and established history in our sport, and GU also has a long and established history in developing cutting-edge sports nutrition products that have helped revolutionize human performance in endurance events.

“GU’s strong community-based values, in addition to the quality products they produce, make this a perfect match. We couldn’t be happier to have GU as our partner.”

“I could not be more proud to return to our partnership with Western States as performance nutrition sponsor and support the tremendous work of the foundation,” said GU Co-Founder and CEO Brian Vaughan. “GU was born and tested on the trails of this historic race nearly three decades ago and has fueled some of its finest finishes over the years.”

“Beyond the race itself, I’m excited to support the foundation’s substantial community and trail stewardship initiatives, which preserve and maintain the trail system for all to enjoy.”

As exclusive nutrition sponsor, GU will provide a full suite of hydration, energy, and recovery products on course, including both their original and ROCTANE Energy Gels, new Liquid Energy Gels, Hydration Drink Tabs and ROCTANE Energy Drink. ROCTANE Protein Recovery Drink will be available to runners at the finish. Additionally, to fulfill its mission to be maximally sustainable, GU will supply reusable HydraPak SpeedCups and HydraPak 5-serving gel flasks to athletes and facilitate the recycling of all brands of sports nutrition wrappers on course through TerraCycle.

About Western States Endurance Run

Western States, first run in 1974, is the world’s oldest 100-mile trail race and one of the most prestigious. Each June, 369 runners from across the US and around the world embark from the start line in Olympic Valley, California, to take tackle a challenging course to the coveted finish line at Placer High School in Auburn, California.

About GU Energy Labs

GU Energy Labs strives to help athletes to reach their highest potential with products that deliver the right nutrients, in the right amounts, at the right time. Developed in collaboration with Olympians and age groupers alike, the GU nutrition matrix of Hydration, Energy and Recovery products has helped countless athletes achieve their dreams since its inception in 1993. Headquartered in Berkeley, GU Energy Labs produces all of its Energy Gels onsite with just the right blend of heart and science. Recommit to becoming your best athletic self, learn more about GU products, and discover how nutrition planning can help you get there at www.guenergy.com.

Lottery Changes Announced

The Western States Endurance Run has implemented the following changes to the annual lottery, effective immediately:

1. Runners will no longer need to have consecutive qualifiers to keep their ticket count in the lottery. Each runner will keep his/her ticket count active after failing to get drawn in the annual lottery. The next time he/she qualifies and applies, regardless of when that is, their ticket count will double per the WSER 2^(n-1) formula.

All runners who entered the 2020 race lottery (held Dec 2019) will keep their 2020 ticket count. Runners who exercised their One-Time Lottery Bye in 2020 will keep their 2019 ticket count. All women currently using the Pregnancy Lottery Deferral can reenter the lottery at any time and will maintain their ticket count from the year they declared the deferral. All other runners will start at zero, and receive one ticket when they first qualify and apply.


Mia has previously qualified four consecutive years and did not get drawn in the most recent lottery (the 2020 lottery, held December 2019). She had 8 tickets in that lottery. The next time she qualifies and applies to the WS lottery – regardless of whether that is next year, 2025, or 2032 – her ticket count will be 16.

2. The One-Time Lottery Bye is eliminated as it is no longer necessary.

3. The Pregnancy Lottery Deferral is eliminated as it is no longer necessary.

4. Entrants who withdraw from the Race before 1 p.m. on the day before the Race will maintain their ticket count from their most recent lottery the next time they enter the lottery. (Previously, entrants who withdrew from the Race prior to Race day would start over at one ticket in their next lottery.)

5. The Pregnancy Entry Deferral (for women entered in the Race who become pregnant prior to Race day) remains in effect, except that there is no time limit on how long a woman may defer her entry into the Race. To reenter the Race, they must run a qualifier and inform the Race Director of their intention to enter prior to the lottery for that year’s Race.


The Board of Directors for the Western States Endurance Run has named three new members to the board, WSER President Diana Fitzpatrick announced.

The new members of Western State’s Board of Directors are: Magdalena Boulet, Kara Teklinski and Billy Yang.

“We are so pleased that Magda, Kara and Billy will be joining us,” Fitzpatrick said. “They each represent unique skill sets, backgrounds, perspectives and personal and professional achievements that will help advance our race in new and exciting ways. All three possess not only an abiding passion for our race, but perhaps more importantly, bring perspectives, experiences and skills that will help further Western States’ mission in setting the standard for 100-mile runs.”

Boulet, who serves as senior vice president of innovation, research and development for GU Energy Labs, is one of the most accomplished and respected runners in American history. In addition to being a member of the 2008 United States Olympic Women’s Marathon Team, she is a past Western States champion, winning the race in 2015. An immigrant from Poland and a graduate of UC-Berkeley, where she excelled as one of the nation’s top 10,000-meter runners, Boulet became a United States citizen on Sept. 11, 2001. Boulet, who lives in Oakland, California, has been named one of the 15 Most Powerful Women in Running by Women’s Running Magazine.

Teklinski, who serves as the business manager and chief of staff for Roche/Genentech Product Development Global Clinical Operations, has played an integral role for many years in enhancing the race’s digital footprint. She has helped bring industry standard excellence and innovation to Western States’ live tracking of runners, which each race day is viewed by millions throughout the world. Her work extends each December to the massively popular livestream of the Western States lottery. Teklinski, who lives in Mill Valley, California and has been a Western States volunteer since 2010, has vast experience in supporting global launches of products and in leading cross-organizational projects.

Yang, who owns Billy Yang Films, has been a longtime chronicler of ultra running through his many films on the sport, as well as through his highly regarded podcast, the Billy Yang Podcast. Yang’s “Life in a Day” from 2017, which movingly tells the story of several of the race’s female competitors from the 2016 race, is considered one of the best films ever made about Western States. Yang, who lives in Los Angeles, came to America in the early 1980s when his father moved the Yang family from Seoul, South Korea. In addition to film and digital storytelling, Yang has an extensive background in marketing and product and brand activation.

The new members succeed three longtime board members who are now emeritus members and are part of the race’s Advisory Council. The group includes John Medinger, a longtime voice of the sport who is the only individual in the race’s long history to serve two separate times as president; Antonio Rossmann, whose more than 30-year tenure on the board included an historic legislative lobbying effort that maintained the use of the federally protected Granite Chief Wilderness in perpetuity for the race; and Donn Zea, whose versatile career on the board included key initiatives in trail stewardship, the strengthening of collaborative relationships with international events that included the Ultra Trail World Tour and governmental affairs.

2020 WSER and Training Runs Cancelled

To the Western States Community:

Due to the continuing public health threat of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Board of Trustees for the Western States Endurance Run has made the decision to cancel the 2020 Western States Endurance Run. In accordance with this decision, we are offering an entry spot for the 2021 race to all runners entered in this year’s race and a wait list spot on the 2021 wait list to all people on this year’s wait list. The 2020 Memorial Day training runs are cancelled and all registrations for those events will roll over to the 2021 Memorial Day training runs. More details on entry and registration for 2021 events will be provided later.

We have made the decision to cancel after careful deliberation, knowing that our foremost responsibility is to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our 2020 entrants, our volunteers, our broader running community, and society at large. The current situation in the United States and throughout the world is one of disruption and uncertainty. We feel that moving forward with plans for a race in June is not aligned with what our government, medical experts, and society is asking us to do. While painful to do knowing the hopes and dreams that surround this event, we feel it is the responsible action to take in light of what is going on in the world around us.

We took into consideration the following in making our decision to cancel:

  • We considered our social responsibility in this global crisis to not continue to foster an environment where the training needs of our entrants are in direct conflict with current shelter in place rules in the U.S. and abroad.
  • With more travel bans, shelter in place rules, and lock downs, it seems increasingly unlikely that people from around the world will be able to assemble in Squaw Valley on the weekend of June 27.
  • We determined that we will not be able to secure all the necessary permits and approvals in time to postpone the race until the fall.
  • We took into consideration how disruptive this pandemic has been—its financial impact, work and job stress, family and health concerns, kids at home—making it difficult or impossible for many to focus on training for Western States.

By making this difficult decision to cancel the race now, we hope to relieve some of the pressure people are feeling during this time of stress and uncertainty. We also hope that having an entry secured for 2021 offsets some of the disappointment about not being able to run the race this year and creates a brighter light for the future.

We thank you for your patience and kindness during this difficult period. We hope you all remain safe and healthy and we look forward to gathering with you in Squaw Valley in June 2021.


Diana Fitzpatrick, President, Western States Endurance Run
Craig Thornley, Race Director, Western States Endurance Run
Members of the Western States Endurance Run Board of Trustees

COVID-19 Update #3

To the Western States community:

We continue to monitor the latest developments regarding the outbreak of COVID-19 throughout the country and the world. As an organization, our commitment to everyone involved with Western States remains the same: We will do everything in our power to put on a race this year provided we feel it can be done safely and responsibly. The situation continues to be extremely fluid and dynamic. The past week alone has seen several states enact strict limitations on businesses, gatherings and the delivery of essential services. Some states and numerous cities, towns and municipalities have implemented “shelter in place” restrictions.

We want you all to know that we are working on race solutions for many of the challenges that are inherent to this time of uncertainty. All options are on the table. We continue to plan for our runners to assemble during the weekend of June 27-28, but realize that we need to be proactive as well. In the event that the coronavirus situation does not improve, we are also exploring the possibility of postponing the event to the fall or guaranteeing a spot in the 2021 race for all 2020 race entrants. We are approaching our May training weekend in the same manner. We are hopeful the training runs will be held, but are also looking at options such as consolidating the training weekend or adjusting their place on the calendar in the event we choose to postpone to the fall. We are also aware of the community’s concern regarding qualifiers for Western States. We have a committee tasked with exploring a number of options that we hope will demonstrate fairness and an equitable understanding of how the 2020 ultra calendar has been thrown into disarray because of COVID-19.

The past few days have also brought into sharp relief what a world dealing with coronavirus looks like. People throughout the world are doing all they can to minimize contact with others, to practice social/physical distancing and to avoid large gatherings. We ask that in order to stay ahead of the curve that you continue to be aware of the latest US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines in order to ensure your health and safety and the health and safety of those around you. For our international runners, this means that you understand and are following any public health restrictions or guidelines that are in place in your particular country; for runners in the United States, please abide by shelter-in-place requirements or restrictions on movement if your state or city has implemented them.

Our goal in this unprecedented time remains the same. We will do everything we possibly can to keep our community safe, and to hold our race in 2020. We will continue to update you and be as transparent as possible as we figure out the best path forward for our runners and community. Thank you for your patience and trust in these unsettling times.


Craig Thornley, Race Director
Western States Board of Trustees