One of the world’s most iconic ultramarathons, the Western States 100, has a new course record. Jim Walmsley ran the brutal course in 14 hours, 30 minutes, and 4 seconds.
14:30:04. It took three swings but @Walmsleyruns finally did what we all believed he was capable of, setting a new bar with a CR at the #ws100 and inspiring those around him to chase ambitious goals and pursue the limits of what they’re capable of. 💥💥🤠 #runwithoutlimits pic.twitter.com/XBAaYX1J2c
— Coconino Cowboys (@CoconinoCowboy) June 24, 2018
On June 23, temperatures climbed to 100 degrees in northern California for the 45th annual Western States 100 race. More than 300 runners attempted the grueling 100.2-mile course with more than 18,000 feet of ascent and 23,000 feet of descent.
In the men’s field, Jim Walmsley finished the race first with a time of 14 hours, 30 minutes, and 4 seconds. He broke the previous record of 14 hours, 46 minutes, and 44 seconds set by Timothy Olson in 2012.
The 28-year-old runner from Flagstaff, Ariz., had yet to win a 100-mile race, with two previous attempts at the Western States. With this year’s win, he solidified his place in the 100-mile ultrarunning world as one of the best.
In the women’s field, Courtney Dauwalter, 33, won the race in 17:27:00, becoming the second-fastest women’s time in Western States history.
Jim Walmsley Wins Western States 100
Walmsley set his sights on a race win and possible course record from the start. With 16 trail race course records and blazingly fast times in the 50- to 100-km distance range, he had yet to prove himself at 100 miles.
In 2016, Walmsley gunned for a Western States record, running ahead of pace for most of the race. But at mile 92, he took a wrong turn and wasted nearly an hour of time. That year he finished 20th.
In 2017, Walmsley once again attempted the Western States 100 but was unable to cross the finish line. He dropped out of the race at mile 78 after an upset stomach and vomiting.
Clearly, 2018 was Walmsley’s year. For the entire second half of the race, Walmsley checked in at aid stations well under the course record. And when he neared the end, this time he didn’t make a wrong turn.
Walmsley beat second-place finisher François D’haene, the 2017 Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc winner, whose time was 15:54:53.