This past weekend I followed live on Twitter and on Ultra Sports Live the 2015 Western States 100 Endurance Run! And it was awesome. I woke up early to go on my own run so I was able to see the feed almost right from the start. Watching Chris Varner, Francois D'Haene, Rob Krar, Dylan Bowman, and Seth Swanson lead the pack and Joelle Vaught, Michelle Yates, Stephanie Howe and Magdalena Boulet leading the women. After a quick 10 miles of my own I came back to see that Varner had dropped at Robinson Flat (mile 30). I was shocked, he said "early heat." Following along for the rest of the day was amazing. I couldn't believe Magda went off course by two whole miles, because although I'm not familiar with every single part of the course I am pretty sure that it's very, very, very hard to get off course. Then watching the women battle it out and Rob Krar's awesome time at the river (mile 78) at 8 minutes under course record pace was great, too. I followed along with the race mainly watching the leaders till Rob Krar finished in 14 hours 48 minutes! I watched his finish live and heard his great post race interview. Well-said Rob! Then Seth Swanson finished second and Jared Hazen finished third. To me the women's race was almost more interesting than the men's. Seeing them battle it out the entire race and masters Magdalena Boulet's finish 19 hours 5 minutes was absolutely inspiring. This year's Western States 100 was beautiful and inspiring. Rob Krar and his focus, strength, determination, and commitment and the women, especially Magda, with their fight, speed, and power was seriously a great story to see.
And of course Gunhild Swanson's 29 hours 59 minutes and 54 second finish! Because this whole race just reminds me of all the reasons I love to run and to be out there.