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2022 Race Recap

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

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.

June 25-26, 2022 Full Race Results

2022 WS 100 Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

WESTERN STATES ENDURANCE RUN READIES FOR 2022 RACE: ‘CHANGING OF THE GUARD’

Women’s contenders poised to make history again while men’s field looks to crown first champion in post-Jim Walmsley era

The 2021 edition of the Western States Endurance Run featured one of the most competitive and historic women’s races ever held, while Jim Walmsley cemented his Western States men’s competition legend with a third commanding win. The 2022 edition of Western States, which will be held on June 25-26, promises to be just as notable. Deep women’s and men’s elite fields are vying to earn the top crowns at the 49th annual event. Presenting sponsor HOKA will again play an important role in this year’s event, including its support of Western States’ second annual Live Broadcast, which will begin just before the Saturday, June 25 start at 5 a.m. and will continue until race weekend activities conclude around noon on Sunday, June 26. The Live Broadcast can be accessed via Western States’ YouTube channel, with veteran elite runners Dylan Bowman and Corrine Malcolm providing commentary.

“We have incredible depth in both the men’s and women’s fields this year,” Race Director Craig Thornley said. “In 2021, on a brutally hot day, our women’s race made history with the high percentage of female finishers who finished in our top 30 – 15 of them were women, which speaks to what a pitched and exciting competition we had last year.

“We are expecting our women’s elite field, which features several notable international standouts as well as some of the most well-known figures in American trail running, to be highly competitive again this year.

“Our men’s race should be fascinating as well, as we look to crown a new race champion following a succession of memorable runs by three-time champion Jim Walmsley. The storyline for our men’s race will be ‘a changing of the guard.’ It is anybody’s guess who among a field of proven veterans and exciting newcomers will be our 2022 men’s champion.”

Seven of the top 10 women’s finishers are back for this year’s race, including second-place finisher Ruth Croft of New Zealand. Croft’s time of 17:33 was just behind 2021 women’s champion Beth Pascall of England, whose time of 17:10 run on a day where temperatures reached 101 degrees was the second-fastest in race history. Pascall is not running this year due to a long road back from injury during the winter and early spring. She will be at the Laverado Ultra Trail by UTMB the same weekend as Western States.

Top American entrants include Brittany Peterson of Pocatello, Idaho, who finished fourth in 2021 and was second in 2019, Katie Asmuth, of Mammoth Lakes, California, 2021’s fifth-place finisher, Keely Henninger, of Portland, Oregon, ninth in 2021, Kaci Lickteig of Omaha, Nebraska, 10th in 2021 and the 2016 Western States women’s champion, as well as Zimbabwe’s Emily Hawgood, who finished seventh last year.

Perhaps the most intriguing women’s entrant is Camille Herron. The 40-year-old from Warr Acres, Oklahoma, is the 100-mile world record holder, having broken her own record in February 2022 with a 12:41 run at the Jackpot 100-Miler in Las Vegas, Nevada. Herron, who also set the 100-mile American track record with her 13:21 at December’s Desert Solstice timed track event, fought through an off day and finished Western States in 2021 in 27:28.

Walmsley, as Thornley indicated, has cast a significant competitive shadow over the men’s race over the past five years. He set the Western States course record in winning the 2019 race in 14:09, and all three of his victories (2018, 2019 and 2021) represent three of the four fastest races ever run at Western States. Walmsley is living and training in France this summer as he prepares for August’s UTMB Mont-Blanc event.

Last year’s top men’s finishers will be well represented in 2022, with second-place Tyler Green of Portland, Oregon, third-place Drew Holmen, of Boulder, Colorado, fourth-place Cody Lind of Challis, Idaho, and fifth-place Tim Tollefson, of Mammoth Lakes, California, all returning. Jared Hazen, who ran the second-fastest time (14:26) in Western States history in finishing second to Walmsley in 2019, is also in this year’s field.

An added wrinkle to this year’s event will be Western States’ inclusion in the UTMB World Series. The UTMB World Series is considered the world’s ultimate trail running circuit that unites the sport’s biggest stars and runners of all abilities across 25 events held worldwide in 2022.

All runners who successfully complete Western States will be awarded four “Running Stones,” which can be used as entries into the lottery for the iconic UTMB Mont-Blanc and the UTMB World Series Finals in 2023. The top three finishers at Western States gain entry into UTMB in either 2022 or 2023. The top two finishers at UTMB Chamonix in August earn “Golden Tickets,” or automatic entry, for the 2023 Western States.

“The UTMB World Series has already proven to be a groundbreaking and important step forward for our sport,” Thornley said. “Western States has always made a concerted effort to make our sport more inclusive, internationalized and united. Our race is very proud to be part of the UTMB World Series, which at its core is an effort to give more runners more opportunities to compete at many of the most challenging and iconic events in the world.”

Now in its 49th year, the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run has a 385-runner field from throughout the United States and more than 30 countries. Runners start at 5 a.m. on Saturday, June 25, 2022 in Olympic Valley, Calif., and travel 100.2 miles, through the Sierra high country and the canyons of the American River on the ancestral lands of the Washoe and Nisenan tribes, before finishing at Placer High School in Auburn, Calif.

Granite Chief Wilderness Trail Reroute

Granite Chief Wilderness Trail Reroute Project Receives $800,000 Award Through Great American Outdoors Act.

The Western States Endurance Run (WSER) is pleased to announce that the U.S. Forest Service – American River Ranger District (USFS) has secured $800,000 in funding for the Granite Chief Wilderness Trail Reroute Project (Project) through the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA).  The USFS, the Western States Endurance Run Foundation (organizers of the WSER), and the Western States Trail Foundation (organizers of the Tevis Cup Ride), worked together over several years to develop and gain approval of a plan for non-motorized alternative trail access through Granite Chief Wilderness (the Wilderness). Planning activities culminated in a 2019 Decision Memo, issued by the USFS, that formalized the decision to proceed with the Project.

The trail through the Wilderness that WSER uses on race day stretches from approximately miles 4 through 10.5 of the WSER course. Although the western portion of the trail through the newly expanded Wilderness has been recently rehabilitated and meets current USFS trail building specifications, other portions of the existing trail through the Wilderness were developed long before modern trail building criteria and techniques were defined, while other portions of the trail were created by citizens (social trails) that are not within the formally recognized trail network. The existing trail alignment is problematic with regard to both user safety and resource damage. In places the trail is overly steep with grades up to 30%, and over time have become heavily rutted and channelized, contributing to excessive erosion in sensitive sub-alpine riparian terrain. For decades volunteers from WSER and the Tevis Cup Ride have partnered with the USFS to maintain the trail through the Wilderness, but because of its design, or lack of design, it has required an increasing level of commitment. 

The Project is designed to close sections of the existing trail that have unsustainable grades that traverse a series of hillside springs (bogs) and replace these trail sections with sustainable trail segments that will be farther upslope and out of the densely vegetated area where the springs discharge. The Project has been divided into nine trail segments (see figure), and will result in 5.7 miles of new trail, along the ridge connecting Granite Chief, Needle and Lyon Peaks. New trail segments will access alpine terrain that has not previously been accessible, which will afford stunning views to the south, east, and west. When completed the new trail system will allow recreational users the opportunity to walk, run, or ride shorter loop routes from both the east and northwest side of the Wilderness. New trail segments will be designed using Best Management Practices to minimize erosion and be safer for all users. Unsustainable sections of the existing trail will be closed and vegetation in the affected area restored.

On a typical year the project area is covered by snow from October to June, and therefore field work can only be performed during summer months. The Project has been scheduled for the summers of 2022, 2023, and 2024. A 20-person professional trail crew will live in the Wilderness and work 5 days each week, for a total of 14 weeks. On weekends volunteer trail crews will perform work commensurate with their skill level. For the summers of 2022 and 2023 access has been arranged with the Palisades Tahoe Resort, and trail workers will use Palisades Tahoe maintenance roads to bring supplies and personnel into the Wilderness from the east. For the summer of 2024 access will be from the northwest edge of the Wilderness using Forest Service Road 51.

Craig Thornley, Race Director for WSER, states: “I have been very excited about this new trail since I first walked it a few years ago. It will not only provide a more environmentally sensitive and sustainable way to traverse the Wilderness and substantially improve the views, but because the new route across the Wilderness will be shorter it will allow us to make other changes farther down our event route to incorporate more single-track and sustainable trail sections.”

Chuck Stalley, the Ride Director for the Tevis Cup also supports the project, as “it will provide safer passage for our horses and their riders and require less annual maintenance.” 

Matt Brownlee, the USFS District Trails Manager, is fully committed to the Project “This exciting new trail realignment project will require three years of hard work but will provide years of public enjoyment while at the same time protecting sensitive resources in federally protected wilderness. This project was originally identified in 1993 due to accelerated erosion and lack of trail design parameters but didn’t gain traction until 2016 when myself/WSER/WSTF representatives began initial ground-truthing. Obvious terrain and construction hurdles will make this a logistically challenging project but will benefit the American public for years to come. A mentor of mine used to say “just go out there and make it better”, I truly feel that’s what we are going to accomplish with this legacy project and I welcome any and all who would like to be part of it.”

The USFS has estimated the Project will cost $1,350,000. With $800,000 in GAOA funding, there will be $550,000 in uncovered costs. The WSER is presently pursuing other grants that would reduce the amount of uncovered costs and will start fund raising to further close the cost gap.

2022 WSER Lottery Numbers

Last updated: December 2, 2021 at 21:46 pm

The 2022 race lottery will be held on December 4, 2021 in front of a live audience at the Placer High School auditorium in Auburn, CA beginning at 8:00 a.m. PST. We expect to be done by 11:00 a.m. As names are pulled from the hat, they will be posted at https://lottery.wser.org as close to real-time as possible. There will also be a live video feed on our Facebook Page.

Each applicant ran a qualifying race of 100k or longer within the last two years to be eligible to enter. Some have done so for many years. Each runner who enters the lottery and fails to gain entry into the Run (and otherwise doesn’t gain an entry via other means such as an aid station, sponsor, or HOKA Golden Ticket spot) will have additional tickets in the hat when entering the lottery the following year, thus improving the probability of being selected. Every lottery applicant will receive 2^(n-1) tickets in the hat where n is the number of years entering the lottery without gaining entry. That is, 1st year applicants = 1 ticket, 2nd year = 2 tickets, 3rd year = 4 tickets, 4th year = 8 tickets, and so on. The maximum number of years for the 2022 lottery is 8 years or 128 tickets.

You can view the final 2022 applicants and their ticket counts. And here are final tickets that will be printed and put in the big drum.

Beginning with this lottery, the requirement to enter consecutive lotteries has been relaxed. See our post from March 2021 for more details.

After the cancellation in 2020 and then starting fewer than our allowed 369 starters in 2021, The US Forest Service is allowing us to start 385 runners in 2022 (then 380 in 2023 and 375 in 2024). As we began in 2017, we are using a wait list model instead of overbooking like we had for decades to get the target number of starters which is the number we are legally allowed to run through the Granite Chief Wilderness. 162 of those 385 are automatic entrants. 223 will be drawn in the lottery. The final three entrants to get to 385 will be drawn from those in the audience. We will also draw an additional 75 names for the ordered wait list. The probabilities of being selected as one of the 223 in the lottery or 75 on the wait list (298) are as follows:

  • 18 runners with 128 tickets, each has a 77.2 % chance of getting drawn
  • 59 runners with 64 tickets, each has a 52.3 % chance of getting drawn
  • 186 runners with 32 tickets, each has a 30.9% chance of getting drawn
  • 328 runners with 16 tickets, each has a 16.9 % chance of getting drawn
  • 514 runners with 8 tickets, each has a 8.8 % chance of getting drawn
  • 722 runners with 4 tickets, each has a 4.5 % chance of getting drawn
  • 1063 runners with 2 tickets, each has a 2.3% chance of getting drawn
  • 3318 runners with 1 ticket, each has a 1.1% chance of getting drawn

So what are the chances of getting into the race if you are selected for the wait list? In 2021 we exhausted the wait list which was rolled over from 2020. In 2019 the last person to get a spot on the starting line was drawn 31st. In 2018 the 36th person on the list got in, in 2017 the 39th person got in. All the historical data from the wait lists can be found here.

Good luck to all.

Dylan Bowman Named to WSER Board

The Board of Directors for the Western States Endurance Run has named Dylan Bowman to the board, WSER President Diana Fitzpatrick announced Monday.

Bowman, 35, a three-time finisher at Western States has been an elite-level ultra runner for more than a decade. He is considered an influential voice in the sport, having served as host of one of the sport’s leading podcasts, “The Pyllars Podcast with Dylan Bowman,” which provides insight into ultrarunning, sports, business and the outdoor industry as well as serving as commentator for the live broadcasts provided by Western States and the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) over the past year.

“We are incredibly pleased and very excited to have Dylan on our board,” Fitzpatrick said. “In many ways, Dylan represents where the sport of ultra running is today and where it is going in the future. He has long been a passionate advocate for building the sport in the right ways. Dylan clearly understands what our race’s legacy is and he is someone who we believe can help our organization bring that legacy to the next generation.

“Dylan’s perspective and his many talents as a communicator and community builder will help increase the reach of our race and will help us further bridge the digital connection in how we share ideas relevant to our race, how we present and share our race with a worldwide audience, and perhaps most importantly of all, how we can continue making strides in building an even stronger sense of community and inclusion in our sport.”

Bowman, who grew up in Colorado and is a former college lacrosse player, ran his first ultra at age 23 in 2009. Since then, he set the course record at New Zealand’s Tarawera 100K and notched other international victories including Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji and the Ultra-Trail Australia 100K. He is also an accomplished FKT runner, having set the Wonderland (Washington) Trail FKT. This summer Bowman finished second at the Hardrock 100. In addition to his career in communications and digital media, Bowman is a former volunteer coach for the 1,000 Mile Club, a running club for incarcerated men held at the Bay Area’s San Quentin Prison.

Bowman’s appointment came about following the retirement from the board of Mark Falcone. Falcone announced earlier this spring he would be stepping down after serving on the board in a variety of capacities for more than 15 years. In addition to countless hours devoted to stewarding the Western States Trail through trail work, Falcone was one of the few Western States board members to ever also serve on the board of the Tevis Cup horse ride.