Western States 100 gets underway | SierraSun.com

Western States 100 gets underway

Rob Krar raises his arms in celebration as he nears the finish line of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run in 2016. Krar won the race in back-to-back years.

Many of the world's top ultra-marathon runners left the starting line at Squaw Valley this morning to compete in the sport's original event, the Western States Endurance Run.

The iconic route takes athletes as high as 8,750 feet, following trails used by gold and silver miners during the 19th century toward the finish line in Auburn, Calif.

This year 369 athletes left Squaw Valley, including Jim Walmsley, who for the third year in a row will attempt to break the course record.

Walmsley, 28, of Flagstaff, Ariz., has been ahead of record pace deep into the race the last two years, but a wrong turn in 2016 and his body giving out late in the 2017 race, have derailed both attempts.

As of 8 a.m. Saturday, Walmsley is more than 5 miles ahead of second place.

The course record is 14 hours, 46 minutes, 44 seconds, set in 2012 by Oregon's Timothy Olson. Last year's race was won by South Africa's Ryan Sandes with a time of 16:19:37.

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On the women's side, one of the nation's top ultra runners, Courtney Dauwalter, is competing in her first Western States 100. Dauwalter made waves last fall when she won the outright championship at the Moab 240 Endurance Run, beating second place, Sean Nakamura, by more than 10 hours.

Also on course are local athletes, Adam Kimble, of Tahoe City; Peter Broomhall, of Truckee; Sean Flanagan, of Carnelian Bay; and Jenelle Potvin, of Truckee.

To see live results visit ultralive.net/ws100#tracking/overview.