If you have read the book of Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man, you would know that on the last Saturday of June of every year, the prestigious Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run from Squaw Valley, California near Lake Tahoe to Auburn, California is being conducted and lots of ultra trail running enthusiasts and runners are glued on the webcast and latest running news sources just to be able to know the activities before, during and after the run.
A final count of 415 participants will be at the starting line as the race would start at 5:00 AM of Saturday. These participants had been picked up/selected through lottery as applicants should be qualified from their past ultra trail races in 100K, 50-mile, and 100-mile races. To give you an example of one of the qualifying standards to apply in this race, you must be able to finish a 50-mile trail run in less than 11 hours! However, if you are qualified in one of the qualifying races, it does not mean that you will be accepted as you have to go through the selection process which is called lottery.
The race has an international flavor and coverage as 52 of the runners are represented from 25 countries. It is worthy to note that there are 2 from China; 2 from Japan; 1 from South Korea and another 1 from Singapore. I would say that in two to three years, a local Filipino ultra runner would be able to qualify and participate in this prestigious 100-mile ultra trail race.
The race’s prestige goes with the price of joining it. The registration fee is $ 375.00 which is paid up front when you apply. However, if you are not selected in the lottery, your payment will not be charged in your credit card. Coming from the Philippines to join this race will entail a lot of fortune! I just hope that one of the outdoor brands or sports stores in the country would be able to sponsor one runner to represent the country in this prestigious trail running event.
So, if you browse the internet on the different blogs of ultra runners and other ultra running resources online, you would feel the hype and concentrated interest on this race. Foremost topic now is to who will win the men’s and/or women’s race. The 2010 edition of the race is still the “most talked” about event in the ultra trail running history as three of the top ultra trail runners in the world (Kilian Jornet of Spain, Anton Krupicka, and Geoff Roes) battled it out for the top finisher in the race. The race resulted in the breaking of the previous record time by Geoff Roes (Champion) and Anton Krupicka with a time of 15:07:04 hours and 15:13:52 hours, respectively.
My prediction is that Geoff Roes will get the top honors, followed by Kilian Jornet of Spain, Ian Sharman of Great Britain, Nick Clark of Great Britain, Hal Koerner (WS 2009 & 2007 Champion), Dave Mackey, and Mike Wolfe, in that order.
As for the ladies, I am predicting Ellie Greenwood for the Lady Champion, followed by Nikki Kimball, Anita Ortiz, Aliza Lapierre, Pam Smith (2011 Miwok 100 Champion), and the following lady runners—Tracy Garneau, Amy Sproston, Meghan Arbogast, and ARC’s Maggie Beach.
As for most of the runners, their aim is to get the Western States 100-Mile Silver Belt Buckle for finishing in 24 hours or less. And the rest would aim to finish the race within the cut-off time of 30 hours and bring home the Bronze Belt Buckle.
You can google the names of the above elite runners to find out their training, strategy, and expectations on the said race. If you want to know more about the activities in this race, you can visit the event’s website at http://ws100.com
In a related ultra running event, there is a multi-day stage “Run Across America Race” that started last Sunday, June 19, 2011 in Huntington Beach, Los Angeles, California and it will end in New York in 70 days, covering a distance of 3,200+ miles. There are 16 participants in this race and I am reading the blog of one of the participants, James Adams from Great Britain, about his daily experiences along the route and the race. If you are interested to read his blog, you can click Running And Stuff (RAM) on my Blogroll.
I am surprised that this Race is very organized and well-planned. There is a Race Organizer Group that really administer and supervise the runners as they progress through the race. I am going to attach this year’s LA-NY Roadbook to prove that a registration fee of $ 6,500 is worth the experience if you are interested in this kind of road race. However, the race’s Racebook compilation of detailed directions and maps is already a treasure to keep! I hope my Pinoy Ultra Runners who have plans of doing their Run Across America would be happy to have a copy of this Roadbook as their reference.
If ever some of the Pinoys who pronounced and relayed to us that they ran across America (in the past) would read this post, I would ask them (again!) to show us their detailed directions, maps of route they have taken, and their daily stories and experiences on the road. If you happen to know them, please relay this information.