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Performance Rules

The purpose of these rules is to ensure the Run’s integrity as a test of individual performance, providing equal conditions for all. The guiding principles of the Performance Rules are as simple as play fair, be safe, and respect the land.

Runners must abide by all rules and directives of the Western States Endurance Run (WSER) as set forth in the WSER Participant Guide, the WSER website, the Performance Rules, Crew Rules, and Pacer Rules, and all other official Run communications, including any final written or in-person briefing instructions (the “Run Rules”).

1. Each runner’s official run number must be worn prominently on the front of the body or hat and be easily visible at all times. No unofficial runners are allowed on the course.

2. Runners must follow the marked trail at all times. Cutting switchbacks or taking other off-trail shortcuts is not permitted. Any runner departing from the official trail must return to the point of departure on foot before continuing.

3. Runners may not accept aid or assistance from their crew or other spectators in between crew-accessible aid stations. No muling by pacers is allowed. Runners may not store supplies along the trail.

4. Runners must complete the entire course under their own power. No physical or mechanical aids are allowed, including, but not limited to, trekking poles, hiking sticks, or removable crampons. Shoes must be worn as manufactured, without material external modifications.

5. Runners are responsible for the actions of their crews and pacers. Everyone, including crews and pacers, must comply with all Run Rules (including all parking, aid, and access instructions) or risk disqualification of their runner.

6. Each runner must be checked in at all aid stations and must leave the aid station before the designated cut-off time. Runners returning to the aid station after the cut-off time will be pulled from the Run. All cut-off times will be strictly enforced.

7. Medical personnel may evaluate the condition of any runner at any time or place during the Run and have complete authority to determine whether the runner may continue in the Run. Refusal by the runner to cooperate in any way may result in immediate disqualification.

8. Injection of fluids or drugs (intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous) during the event may result in immediate disqualification.

9. Any runner who intends to drop out must turn in their Run wristband to the nearest aid station captain. This serves as official notice of the runner’s withdrawal from the Run. Runners who drop from the Run without turning in their wristband will be classified as “lost” and may be responsible for any costs associated with a search and rescue.

10. Runners must comply with the WSER Anti-Doping Policy.

11. Littering of any kind is prohibited and threatens our continued use of the Western States Trail. Please respect the natural beauty of our trails and the right of everyone to enjoy them.

12. Runners must refrain from any act of bad sportsmanship.

13. Runners must finish within the 30-hour cutoff time to be included as an official finisher of the Run.

Rule Violation Procedure

Alleging violation of a Run Rule is a very serious matter. Any runner determined to have violated a Run Rule may be disqualified from the Run and/or subject to other penalties, such as a time penalty, fine, disqualification from an age group or other award, a one-year, lifetime, or other ban from the Run, or such other penalty or sanction as deemed appropriate under the circumstances by the WSER Board of Directors.

Protests must be submitted by a registered entrant or Run official and lodged in accordance with the following procedure:

  • Whenever possible, protests should be reported as soon as possible to a Run official, such as the next available aid station captain; AND
  • All protests must be reported in writing to the Race Director at the finish line by 11:30 a.m. Sunday of the Run weekend; AND
  • Written protests to the Race Director must include (1) the name and number (if applicable) of the person lodging the complaint, (2) the name and number of the person alleged to have violated a Run Rule, and (3) a detailed description of the alleged violation, including where and when it occurred, and to whom the violation was initially reported, if applicable.

The final determination regarding what, if any, penalty or sanction is appropriate shall be within the sole discretion of the WSER Board of Directors. Both parties shall be given the opportunity to discuss the allegations with the Race Director and the WSER Board of Directors Protest Committee at a noon hearing on Sunday. In extraordinary circumstances and in its sole discretion, WSER may consider protests filed after the Sunday 11:30 a.m. deadline.

WSER will make its final determination after the Sunday noon hearing or defer final determination to a later date. WSER may take any other action, such as withholding the award of a finisher’s buckle or other award, until such time as it is ready to make its final determination. Failure to appear at the Sunday noon hearing may result in a dismissal of the allegations or a forfeiture of the right to dispute the alleged violation.