Western States Race Report (Part 3 of 3)

“Sometimes when you are not careful trying to set off fireworks, you light yourself on fire.” – Jim Walmsley, after he dropped at Western States

I was never going to run 14 hours or break any records. That is a fact. However, in a way, everyone that toes the line at a race is Jim Walmsley. We are all trying to get as close to the edge as we can without going over.

At Western States, I danced along the edge for over 70 miles. I was that close. And that far away. In some ways, I’m happy, because the first 70 went better than I expected. In other ways, I’m disappointed, because the last 30 was more of a train wreck than I could have anticipated. With that being said, I didn’t go to Western States to run 23:59. I went to run as fast as I could run on that day in those conditions. It didn’t work out. With that being said, I have no regrets about the way I approached the race, and I will be back.

10 Things About Western States:

1) The elites are so approachable and supportive. Ryan Sandes. Hal Koerner (working the aid station at mile 91). Stephanie Howe Violett. Meghan Arbogast. The list goes on.

2) For a downhill course, there sure are a lot of uphills.

3) The views from in the canyons – miles 45 and 50 – wow!

4) It’s worth it. BUT – so are other races. Venture out. It’s a pain in the ass to get into Western. See what else is out there.

5) If you watch one thing today, watch this.

6) The volunteers at Western are amazing. For those 30 hours, they truly care about you and treat you like family.

7) The swag is impressive. The race is expensive but you get a historic course, unbelievable volunteers, a shirt, socks, a hat, a buckle (if you finish), a buff, gaiters, etc.


8) It is what it is. If you’ve seen Unbreakable, Life in a Day, etc., you have some idea what it’s all about. I think those movies are pretty authentic.

9) You have to want it. Just like any hundred, if you are just doing it to do it, you will not make it to the finish line.

10) When people say “See you in squaw,” sometimes they mean it! I ran (no pun intended) into friends Ralph and Charles, and Charles captured some great video of me at the race! Check it out here and here.

Here are some splits from the race:



Full results from Western States are available here.

Any questions about Western States?

That’s it! Have a great week!

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4 Responses to Western States Race Report (Part 3 of 3)

  1. Tim Rizzo says:

    Congrats! And lots of respect, Jason, that sounds brutal. I don’t really have any sense of what 100 miles is like (yet), but if I have a question I guess it’d be this: I can think of a lot of ways it must’ve been different from Oil Creek. Were there similarities? Did you learn something about the distance or do you feel like the course looms so large that it eclipses any of that?

    • Jason says:

      I know runners tend to have amnesia about these things, but I thought it was much harder than Oil Creek – mostly because of the heat.

      My main issue during WS was my feet turned into a mess. I’m not sure what I’d do differently in the future, but definitely something.

  2. Sam says:

    Awesome dude, you’re a beast!!!

  3. Amy says:

    I know it wasn’t what you were hoping for, but awesome job! Especially coming off an injury. Way to go!

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