Competing in a field of world-class ultrarunners, Rob Krar of Flagstaff, Ariz., won the 41st Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run on Saturday while posting the second fastest time in event history.
The historic ultramarathon began at 5 a.m. at the base of Squaw Valley and finished on the Placer High School track in Auburn.
Krar, who last year finished runner-up to Timothy Olson, crossed the finish line in 14 hours, 53 minutes, 22 seconds, which was less than 10 minutes off Olson’s 2012 course record of 14:46.
The 37-year-old Krar chased Max King of Bend, Ore., for much of the race before eventually taking over the lead for good at mile 71. King, 34, wound up fourth in 15:44:45.
In the end no one came close to Krar. Seth Swanson, 35, of Missoula, Mont., finished second with a time of 15:19:39, and Dylan Bowman, 28, of Mill Valley, Calif., was third in 15:36:41. Ryan Sandes, 32, of Cape Town, South Africa, rounded out the top five in 15:46:59.
In the women’s field, 30-year-old Stephanie Howe of Bend raced to victory in a time of 18:01:42, which marked the fourth fastest women’s time ever. She was 18th overall.
Larisa Dannis, 26, of Strafford, N.H., was the second woman across the line and 22nd overall in 18:29:18, and Mauclair Nathalie of France was the third woman 18:43:57.
Last year’s women’s champion, Pam Smith, 39, of Salem, Ore., placed fourth among women in 19:10:42. Western States veteran Nikki Kimball, 43, of Bozeman, Mont., rounded out the women’s top five in 19:51:31.
North Tahoe High School grad Rory Bosio, who has finished among the leaders each of the past several years, including a second-place finish in 2012, was not entered in the run.
Among Tahoe-area locals, Rachael Woods of Tahoe City reached the finish line in 26:11:20, Roger Pynappel of Truckee finished in 27:23:16 and Tattie Bailey of Truckee finished in 28:31:04. Michael Tebbutt of Kings Beach and Audrey Staples of Truckee dropped at miles 62 and 55, respectively.
With temperatures topping out in the 90s in Auburn, 296 runners out of the 376 who started reached the finish within the 30-hour cutoff.