Truckee athletes hold their own in Western States Endurance Run
Years from now, Truckee ultrarunners Rory Bosio and Gretchen Brugman may still talk about participating in what was perhaps the most competitive Western States Endurance Run in event history.
They can include the fact that they more than held their own in the 100-mile trail run from Squaw Valley to Auburn.
In a race highlighted by a deep field of world-class ultrarunners this past Saturday, a total of 14 men eclipsed the 17-hour mark while seven women finished in less than 19 hours and#8212; including the 26-year-old Bosio.
and#8220;That’s just unheard of. We’ve never had that before,and#8221; said Western States President John Trent. and#8220;It was just an amazing day.and#8221;
Kilian Jornet, a 23-year-old trail-running phenom from Spain, outdistanced the lead pack to the finish line, where he posted a winning time of 15 hours and 34 minutes and#8212; about 27 minutes shy of the record. Ellie Greenwood of Canada, meanwhile, captured the win on the women’s side in 17 hours and 55 minutes.
It marked the first time that international runners won both the men’s and women’s titles in the same year.
Mike Wolfe was runner-up overall, finishing four minutes behind Jornet in 15:38. Nick Clark (15:50) was third, Jez Bragg (15:55) fourth and Tsuyoshi Kaburaki (16:04) fifth. Last year’s champ and course record-holder, Geoff Roes, dropped out at mile 55 while Hal Koerner, who won Western States in 2007 and 2009, also dropped out at mile 70.
Trailing Greenwood in the women’s field was Kami Semick (18:17), Nikki Kimball (18:17) and Tracy Garneau (18:22) and#8212; and then Bosio, who, despite almost dropping out near the midway point, caught a second wind late to finish fifth among women and 25th overall with a time of 18:37.
and#8220;It was definitely kind of a roller coaster,and#8221; said Bosio, who placed fourth at Western States in 2010 in her first-ever 100-mile race, although about 55 minutes slower than on Saturday. and#8220;I had some health issues this spring, so I didn’t really have a ton of training and#8212; or pretty much no training and#8212; going into it. And this year the women’s field was super deep. Just incredible. So I had very different expectations. In the back of my mind I didn’t really think I would finish.and#8221;
Brugman, 37, who was competing in her first Western States Endurance Run and third-ever 100-miler, finished 13th among women and 79th overall in 22:30.
and#8220;Gretchen, for her first Western States, just did outstanding,and#8221; Trent said. and#8220;And Rory, again, golly, every year she improves by an hour, so she might be running in 14 hours here pretty soon. The women’s field was just stacked, and Rory was right in the mix with everybody. She ran a phenomenal race.and#8221;
Both Bosio and Brugman said they fared better than most when running on the snow, which coated the trail for the better part of the first 15 miles. Many athletes had a tough time with their footing, they said, particularly when running on the side-slopes on the backside of Squaw.
and#8220;It was challenging, but I thought it was good conditions for snow running. It was firm instead of being sloppy,and#8221; Brugman said. and#8220;I think some people who were not comfortable in the snow found it to be icy and scary, but I thought it was perfect because you weren’t punching through too much. You were staying on top. It took a lot of focus and it was slow, but it wasn’t that bad.and#8221;
Nevertheless, Brugman said she twisted her ankle and#8220;pretty goodand#8221; just before breaking out of the snow. It didn’t hurt too badly at the time, but she believes it led to another ailment as she neared the finish line.
and#8220;I think it caused residual issues, because I felt a strained quad muscle in same leg later. That was kind of my downfall in the last 7 or 8 miles,and#8221; she said. and#8220;I did fine with it all day, and then all of the sudden at that point I couldn’t run at all on the downhills. So that was kind of a drag. But all things considered, it could have been way worse.and#8221;
Bosio negotiated the tricky, snow-covered terrain before bonking on the second major climb at around mile 40, she said. She was dizzy and nauseous, and her legs felt like lead. But then, just when she considered throwing in the towel, she found the motivation to power through the pain.
and#8220;I wanted to get to Michigan Bluff at mile 55 or so to see my friends (and pacers), and when I saw them I got a little more energized. And then once I got to Foresthill and picked up my pacer, he totally revved me up and I kind of got a second wind,and#8221; Bosio said. and#8220;And then the last 30 or 40 miles were great for me. I finished the last 25 miles way stronger and felt great. I even dropped my pacer.and#8221;
Bosio said she was hanging onto about 15th place while struggling. Once she recovered, however, she quickly gained ground on her competition, picking off women one by one until reaching the finish in fifth place.
Now that it’s all said and done, both Bosio and Brugman said they are nursing their sore bodies from the run.
and#8220;I’m pretty sore, but I definitely feel better than last year after the race,and#8221; Bosio said. and#8220;I lost fewer toenails this year. But I’m definitely sore and hobbling around.and#8221;
Said Brugman: and#8220;My ankle feels pretty good, but my quad is sore. I’m walking funny. But that’s to be expected at this point.and#8221;