It is one of the most anticipated races of the year, and this year was no exception. The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run saw for the first time in its history three women finishing in the overall top ten last weekend. The Californian event once again welcomed a strong turnout of runners with Ruth Croft, Beth Pascall, Ragna Debats, Audrey Tanguy and Clare Gallagher, last year’s title holder.
The men’s category saw an equally strong turnout with some of the best athletes in the discipline, including Jim Walmsley, Hayden Hawks, Jared Hazen, Tim Tollefson and Matt Daniels headlining this major trail event.
In what can only be described as an extraordinary year for the women’s category, nine competitors finished in the top twenty places in all categories, and three women in the top ten places overall. A result that confirms that when it comes to ultra-endurance, the difference between men and women starts to diminish. The Englishwoman, Beth Pascall, won first place and set the second-best time in the history of the race, still held by the British Ellie Greenwood (16:47). In addition to making race history, Beth, who took a sabbatical year to devote herself to the competition, moved up to seventh place overall. New Zealander Ruth Croft, already victorious in the Tarawera Ultramarathon this year, has had an incredible season, taking part in the American race for the first time and finishing second. Spanish runner Ragna Debats came third in the women’s and tenth overall in the race, with a time of 17:41:13.
Beth Pascall – 17:10:42
Ruth Croft – 17:33:48
Ragna Debats – 17:41:13
Americans Jim Walmsley and Hayden Hawks were favourites to win this year in the men’s category, despite Jim’s uncertain form due to an injury in the spring and Hayden’s lack of experience over this distance. As is often the case with this event, the title contenders had to deal with the heat, which was close to 37 degrees, as well as the challenging altitude, which saw the favourites fall back one by one. The runner exceptional to this was Jim, whose endurance and experience saw him take first place for the third time in a row with 14:46, despite the performance being far from his own record (14:09). First timers Tim Tollefson and Hayden Hawks finished fifth and eighth respectively, with Hayden completing his first ever 100 miles in 17.48.
Jim Walmsley – 14:46:01
Tyler Green – 16:11:02
Drew Holmen – 16:23:09
Next race on the 2021 UTWT circuit is the first edition of Val d'Aran by UTMB®
The first edition of the highly anticipated Spanish race will take place in the beautiful region of Val d’Aran. With 4000 runners registered and more than 50 nationalities represented, the event is already sold out. Among the elite runners, there will be the Japanese Kaori Niwa and the Swedish Anna Carlsson in the women’s race, and the Spanish Jordi Gamito and Aritz Egea in the men’s race. Val d’Aran by UTMB® will make its first appearance on the Ultra-Trail® World Tour with a 162km distance (VDA) which awards 500 points to the winners. The trail season is now well and truly launched on the Ultra-Trail® World Tour!