Considered ‘The Grandfather of Trail Races’, this year it took place on June 29-30.
The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the world.
Following the historic Western States Trail, runners climb more than 6kms and descend nearly 7kms before they reach the finish line at Placer High School in Auburn. In the miles between Squaw Valley and Auburn, runners experience the majestic high country beauty of Emigrant Pass and the Granite Chief Wilderness, the crucible of the canyons of the California gold country, a memorable crossing of the ice-cold waters of the main stem of the Middle Fork of the American River, and, during the latter stages, the historic reddish-brown-coloured trails that led gold-seeking prospectors and homesteading pilgrims alike to the welcoming arms of Auburn. Source
A patient of ours Doug Richardson completed this event and his blog of his prep and the race is breathtaking.
To even get into the event sounds like nearly an impossible feat. Doug Richardson explains, “It is fair to say that I was surprised to the maximum to get selected to run this race. Firstly, in Australia there were only 2 races each year to qualify for WSER. Now that has been elevated to 3. I did UTA100 in 2017 and Blackall 100 last year. You have time cut-offs in those qualifiers in order to gain your selection points or lottery tickets as the WSER system goes. One lottery ticket per person per year and you can only accumulate those tickets if you keep running an eligible qualifier each year.
So, I had 2 tickets. 2 tickets competing against 20,000 tickets in a barrel.” And just like that, his ticket was pulled out and his journey began to the start line.
However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing, he presented to us with Achilles tendonitis when his ticket was pulled out of that barrel. Doug said, “The entry process was all happening when my Achilles on my left leg had caused some major concerns in the past 8 weeks and I was not really running. I had gone to see the physio (initially Campbell Hanson then Chris Beckmans at SquareOne Physio Mosman). They identified the Achilles tendonitis and had me on the straight and narrow early with no initial running and simply strength drills like calf raises, heel drops with weights, hopping, etc, until I could start some minor running. I had plenty of time (6 months) up my sleeve so it was great to get the issues out of the way.”
Doug went onto achieving the prized Sub 24 hour Silver Buckle!!
Well done on an extraordinary effort. We are very pleased that you were able to sort out your Achilles issue and achieve an amazing result.
Here is a link to Doug’s blog and some great pictures to go with it.