Dylan Bowman had a great run at last year’s Western States 100… despite a pretty rough crash and burn in the late miles. This year, he’s back with another year of experience and the best fitness of his life. In the following interview, Dylan talks about what went wrong in 2012, what he’s learned from that experience, and who he thinks from his new NorCal home could have a standout race in 2013.
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Dylan Bowman Pre-2013 Western States 100 Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Dylan Bowman before the 2013 Western States 100. How are you doing D-Bo?
Dylan Bowman: Excellent.
iRF: You had a good run here last year most of the way. When did the wheels come off in 2012?
Bowman: The wheels came off right around Green Gate. I took a little walk break and figured I was going to be able to get through it. Turned out that it was just the beginning of the end. My condition basically regressed there for the remainder of the race. I ended up gaining eight pounds and not really having a lot of memories of the last several hours.
iRF: Were you third or fourth there?
Bowman: Let’s see, I was fourthand then got passed by three people there in the last 10 miles and finished seventh.
iRF: Do you think you have a handle on what went wrong?
Bowman: Yes. I think for the most part the genesis of most of my issues was going too hard too early and not replenishing myself like I should have been given my effort. I have a much better plan this year; I have a much better attitude. I was definitely humbled by the experience. I remembered what it means to go 100 miles. I think that experience will allow me to do better on Saturday.
iRF: Not only do you learn more, but you have additional challenge this weekend—the heat. How are you going to approach that?
Bowman: I guess I’m just going to deal with it. I’ve had a few hot runs this spring. I went to the Grand Canyon on a really hot day. Jake Rydman and I did the last 20 miles from Green Gate to the finish three weeks ago when another crazy heat wave came through. It was probably 100 degrees that day. I’ve had a few runs where I felt like I dealt with the heat okay. But this is 100 miles, so you know, you just drink a lot of water, eat a lot, take the electrolytes, and try to win the mind game. Then the race will take care of itself.
iRF: Do you plan to push a little harder maybe when it’s cool or would you rather just be in really good condition when the heat does hit?
Bowman: That’s a good question. I think I’ll basically start slow and evaluate how I’m feeling on the fly. If I feel like it might be a good idea for me to push a little bit on some of the downhills, I’ll probably do that. Overall, I’ll be focused on being conservative and smart at least through Foresthill.
iRF: Talking to you over the past couple of weeks, you’re in the best shape of your life, right? Your best training?
Bowman: I’d say so. Since I moved out to the Bay Area, my training has been super strong and better than I’ve ever been training in my history. I feel super fit. My move has sort of given me a new enthusiasm to my training. That’s all been good. It’s good to be back in the mountains after my move to the West Coast. I feel like if I’ve ever been prepared for 100 miles, this is my time. I’m hoping for a good day.
iRF: Now that you are in the Bay Area and there’s a ton of great talent in the Bay Area. Any insight on how Ian Sharman or Jorge Maravilla might be looking?
Bowman: Well, I haven’t run with Ian yet since I’ve been out there. I can tell you that Jorge is in silly shape right now. People aren’t talking about him and in my opinion, especially coming off fourthplace at Sonoma in one of the deepest fields of the season, I just saw him today again and he looks really fit. He’s got a good strategy, I think, lined up for himself. I’m expecting good things from Jorge. Obviously Ian has a good track record, so I expect the same from him.
iRF: Jake Rydman? Nobody is talking about Jake.
Bowman: Yes, he’s super fit, too. He’s definitely flying under the radar. He’s a local kid. When we were running the last 20, he knows the course inside and out. He’s got everything dialed. He’s focused. I would expect him to have a good race as well.
iRF: I hope you have a good race out there, D-Bo.
Bowman: You, too, Bryon. I’ll be cheering for you.