Tuesday 1 July 2014

Western States 100 2014 - 6th

Just after the escarpment at mile four. Photo: Tanner Johnson

It always takes a couple of days to digest the emotions from 100 milers and that's the case again for Western States this year. Overall it was a beautiful day, not too hot (around 90F, compared to 100F+ last year) and punctuated by so many consistent, fast and smart runs.

I had a great week at Lake Tahoe pre-race with some excellent easy hike/run sessions, reminding me why I got married there back in August 2010.

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe.

View from Mt Tallac, Lake Tahoe.

Running down Mt Tallac.

In terms of a race report, I'll summarize it briefly - I learnt stuff last year in the Grand Slam which meant I avoided any major problems, staying at a cruising pace all day with no real low points to finish 6th in 15:47. The heat training paid off so that ice in a bandana plus a water bottle full of ice was enough to keep me cool all day.

This time I was more excited than the previous four WS100s I've run - it just gets better and better. So the early mountain miles were spent chatting to a lot of the usual suspects, especially with Nick Clark at the front after he summited the escarpment first. I probably didn't need to go from outside the top 20 to leading from miles four to six, but the pace was casual and below the speed we all went last year. In fact, even Max King's leading time to Robinson Flat at 29.7 miles was a little slower than the lead pack ran there last year.

I was certainly happy with how it went, although I could tell early on that running Comrades four weeks earlier was still weighing down my legs. I'd hoped that going a bit easier at that race would have been fine, but I was greedy to include both and expect to be at 100% at WS100. It didn't make much difference, but I won't be doing that again next year, despite having such a great time seeing Ellie's incredible win. No regrets, but with major trail ultras getting more competitive every year, each takes more focus and respect.

I had a great time running with Team Montrail as my pacers (Matt Hart and Sean Meissner) as well as crew of Olivia Rissland and her boyfriend, Adam. Thanks so much to them for an amazing, flawless job.

Full WS100 results here and loads of info on irunfar. Big congratulations to all the finishers, especially Rob Krar and Steph Howe for their dominant wins.

My Strava file from the run. Plus Alex Varner's race report since we ran within a couple of minutes of each other all day long. He has the best trail etiquette in the business - he pulled off the trail to fart so it wouldn't poison me!

As a bonus I won the 2014 Montrail Ultra Cup with the Pixie Ninja, Kaci Lickteig. This mainly became a focus in the final miles when I knew I had to be close enough to Max King to avoid him leap-frogging me in the standings. In the end it came down to hardly and time or positions and could have gone either way.

Kaci Lickteig and myself with a huge-ass cup. Photo: irunfar.


Scott Kinabalu T2 2.0
Clif Bar Shot Gels (x50) and Bloks (x2)
UltrAspire Handheld Bottles
Drymax Maximum Protection Trail Socks
Julbo Dust Blue Shades
Mission Athletecare Enduracool Multi-cool

Photo: Tanner Johnson

Photo: Ultrarunner Podcast

Photo: irunfar
At the river for a swim with Bryon Powell and Matt Hart. Photo: mojoscoast