Walmsley 3-peats at Western States, women make history
Arizona runner wins 100-mile race for third straight time
Arizona resident Jim Walmsley made history on a suffocating day in Northern California, pulling off the third three-peat ever at the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run.
After leaving the start at Squaw Valley, Walmsley was ahead of the record time he set in 2019 as he reached Foresthill. With temperatures climbing into the triple digits, reportedly hitting 106 at the American River crossing — 78 miles into the race — Walmsley’s time began to fall off. Still, the 31-year-old Arizonan, whose training consists of seeking out high temperatures for runs in Arizona, managed to post the third fastest time in course history.
“What a privilege. What an honor. What a race,” Walmsley posted to his Instagram account following the event.
Walmsley reached the finish line in Auburn in 14 hours, 46 minutes, 1 second. He left Squaw Valley at 5 a.m. and made it to Placer High School at 7:46 p.m. Walmsley holds the course record time of 14:09:28, and now owns three of the four fastest times in course history.
WOMEN MAKE HISTORY
For the first time in Western States’ history three women finished in the top 10.
Great Britain’s Beth Pascall, 33, captured first place with a time of 17:10:42.
“I can’t put into words how much this means,” said Pascall in an Instagram post. “What a year it was for the women here (15 women in the top 30!). It was an honour to be part of it.”
Pascall said the first 30 miles of the race went smoothly as she hovered around the pace of the women’s record, but as temperatures climbed she was forced to back off.
“After Robinson it really started to heat up and inevitably things got tough,” added Pascall. “I was still pushing when I felt I could push and backing off when I felt I was on the brink of getting into trouble. And that’s how it continued for the next 70 miles. Yo-yoing between comfortably uncomfortable and a full on flame-out.”
Pascall’s time was good enough for seventh overall.
Ruth Croft, 32, of New Zealand, was second with a time of 17:33:48, which was good enough for ninth place overall. Ragna Debats, 42, of Spain, took third place with a time of 17:41:13. Debats, who finished 10th overall, set a course record for the Masters Female category.
The women’s course record is 16:47:19, and was set by Ellie Greenwood in 2012.
Women racing last weekend accounted for 15 of the top 30 finishes. Of 315 entrants, 208 reached the finish line. The 66% finishing rate is the lowest since 2009. Additionally, 57 runners received the Silver Buckle award — given to racers that finish under 24 hours — the lowest amount since 2006. The 101 degrees recorded in Auburn on Saturday tied for the fourth hottest day in event history.
A trio of Truckee-Tahoe locals ran in this year’s event as well.
Truckee’s Jaclyn Foroughi, 41, finished the race with a time of 27:33:01 to claim 96th overall. She was 27th place among women runners.
Another Truckee runner, Abram Haen, 39, took 152nd place overall with a time of 29:00:23.
Across the lake, South Tahoe’s Ryan Weibel, 48, had the best time among the area’s runners, reaching the finish line with a time of 22:32:16 to claim 33rd overall. Fellow South Lake Tahoe runner, Alexander Larson, 43, finished with a time of 29:43:10 to take 187th place overall.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun, a sister publication of the Tribune. Contact him at email@example.com or 530-550-2643
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