Fast Times to Placer High: Western States 100 Results & Story Roundup

Western States 100 logoEllie Greenwood summed up the 2012 Western States 100 well when she said to fellow champion, Timothy Olson, at the finish, “It wasn’t good weather, it was fast weather.” Indeed, it was downright miserable for the first 40 or more miles with temperatures barely cracking 40F (4C), winds, and rain mixing with hail. Downright miserable.

That said, the weather allowed for three of four major Western States course records to be broken. Timothy Olson broke the Geoff Roes‘ men’s course record. Ellie Greenwood destroyed Ann Trason’s legendary women’s course record. Dave Mackey Montrail logobroke Tsuyoshi Kaburaki‘s men’s masters course record. In fact, the trio pulled a trifecta of lowering the three records sub-15, sub-16, and sub-17, respectively, any one of which would have been huge news on this, the “Real Course.” All four major course records are now “unified” with no dissent about fire or snow courses counting as “course records.”

Below we report on the top 10 men and top 10 women before our collection of articles, interviews, race reports, photos, and videos, which we’ll be updating throughout the week.

Many thanks to Montrail and Mountain Hardwear for sponsoring our coverage of the 2012 Western States 100.

Western States 100 Men’s Top 10 Results

In addition to “fast weather,” fast competitors led to a perfect storm for the men’s field. For more than 50 miles, a large group and then the still-far-from-small group of Timothy Olson (pre-race & finish line interviews), Dave Mackey, Mike Wolfe, Dylan Bowman, Nick Clark, and Ryan Sandes all hung within a minute of one another. Once that group splintered by Foresthill, Wolfe and Sandes and then finally just Sandes continued to push Olson. Throughout the day Olson displayed focused peace, never getting rattled and never backing off. Sandes hung onto second after pulling away from Wolfe after Foresthill, while Nick Clark came back from the dead multiple times. Dave Mackey added yet another feather to his ultrarunning cap in setting the Western States masters course record. Ian Sharman found himself in second in the high country’s early miles after being in tenth when the front of the back took a five-minute detour. The entire back half of the men’s top ten would fall into the relative “newcomer” or “surprise” category, at least on the Western States scene.

Timothy Olson - 2012 Western States 100 Champ

Timothy Olson winning the 2012 Western States 100 in course record time. Photo:

  1. Timothy Olson (Pearl Izumi) – 14:46:44 (Course Record)
  2. Ryan Sandes (Salomon) – 15:03:56
  3. Nick Clark (Pearl Izumi) – 15:44:09
  4. Dave Mackey (Hoka One One) – 15:53:36 (Masters Course Record)
  5. Ian Sharman (The North Face) – 15:54:38
  6. Zeke Tiernan – 15:57:59
  7. Dylan Bowman (Pearl Izumi) – 16:03:24
  8. Jorge Maravilla (Salomon) – 16:05:30
  9. Joe Uhan (Sunsweet) – 16:13:14
  10. Neal Gorman (Salomon) – 16:18:40

Full results

Western States 100 Women’s Top 10 Results

Lizzy Hawker led out the women’s field in typical fashion and built a double-digit lead, challenging the top men while leaving even Ellie Greenwood (pre-race & finish line interviews) far behind. By the time Hawker crested the Devils Thumb climb at mile 47, Greenwood was within striking distance. Once the pass was made, it was all over… even relative to the legendary Ann Trason. Greenwood avoided looking at her watch from mile 78 to 98 while she kept motoring on the way to taking 50 minutes off Trason’s course record.

Rory Bosio continues to show she’s no fluke at Western States. In fact, she’s turning into an institute with fourth, five, and, now, second place finishes at the race, along with her aid-station jokes. Aliza (Lapierre, that is) can no longer hide in East-Coast obscurity after adding a third-place finish to her sixth from last year… especially when that third came directly in front of Krissy, Nikki, and Lizzy. That’d be Krissy Moehl (smart, ever-improving race, as always), Nikki Kimball (running solid all day), and Lizzy Hawker (who hung tough after a fast start). Tina Lewis was the top women’s WS100 rookie, while Team Oregon took the final three spots in the women’s top 10 with Amy Sproston (8th for the second year in a row), Ashley Nordell, and Meghan Arbogast.

Ellie Greenwood - 2012 Western States 100 Champ

Ellie Greenwood leading the 2012 Western States 100 at Foresthill en route to a course record. Photo:

  1. Ellie Greenwood (Montrail) – 16:47:19 (Course Record)
  2. Rory Bosio (The North Face) – 18:08:06
  3. Aliza Lapierre (Salomon) – 18:18:29
  4. Krissy Moehl (Patagonia/UltrAspire) – 18:29:15
  5. Nikki Kimball (The North Face) – 18:31:39
  6. Lizzy Hawker (The North Face) – 18:32:20
  7. Tina Lewis – 19:09:49
  8. Amy Sproston (Montrail) – 19:11:02
  9. Ashley Nordell (Pearl Izumi) – 19:26:30
  10. Meghan Arbogast (Sunsweet) – 19:45:24

Full results

General Overview Articles


Race Reports


Photos and Videos

Call for Comments
Please let us know about any other great resources you’ve found about the race.

Last updated February 20, 2018

There are 43 comments

  1. Dan Afshar

    What awesome coverage from the irunfar team. Thanks to Bryon, Meghan & AJW

    Staggering times all the way down the field. Will take one hell of a race to top that.

    Looking forward to seeing what Ellie can do on the UTMB course now

  2. Roger

    Pearl Izumi take the men's team bragging rights?

    Great coverage Bryon et al. even though it kept me

    up most of the night.

  3. chalky

    Watching Tim Olson set a new course record, amazing.

    Watching Ellie Greenwood crush Ann Trason's long standing record, inspiring.

    Hearing Rory Bosio busting out a joke on request at the finish line — a great one at that — priceless!

    Thanks for all the coverage today. Enjoy the ZzZz.

  4. StumpWater

    Absolutely loved the realy-timey-ness of the Twitter coverage! … snuck several peaks at the feed on my smartphone while at a movie with my family. Shhhhhhhhhh.

  5. Sabine Heiland

    Thanks for the great coverage! As Ellie said, it was fast weather. But the ultrafast times that we saw this year cannot just be attributed to the weather. In the women's race, the field was stacked with a lot of fast and strong ultrarunners – in this respect, the field might have been the strongest yet. If you look to the time differences between 1st and 10th women, however, this time difference is even lager this year than in the previous years. This is one (of several) indications of Ellies outstanding achievement!

  6. Dean G

    I think it is safe to say what most have suspected… Ultra running has reached its tipping point… And the performances and level of athleticism we are seeing now is truly at another level.

    Blown away by Tim… But completely agog at Ellie's time. I mean, Ann Trason is on the Mount Rushmore of this sport. So to improve the time that much, even with the rare "fast" weather… Amazing.

    Oh. And in case anyone wasn't sure. We know now that temps impact Ultras even more than the lay people thought.

    In hindsight, given the massive impact heat has on a race as short as a Marathon, it should come as no shock. If 30 degrees temp difference means 30 seconds a mile… That's 50 minutes right there.

  7. Anonymous

    Congratualtions to all the amazing performances….. On a side note I wonder what killian would have done on a day like yesterday…..

  8. Anonymous

    Astonishingly impressive new course records!!!! Congratulations to all and thank you so much for keeping us posted as to the race happenings and results!!

  9. nwgdc

    Truly amazing coverage. While watching the ustream of the finish line, I saw the PR guy announce that Timmy was at Robie…then I saw Bryon walk through the view texting…then, moments later, the twitter feed updated.

    Thanks Bryon for all you do. Despite the fact I was up late last night following along (Tim Olson is a WI native, like me!), I PR'd in the marathon I ran this morning!

    1. nwgdc

      Hearing Tim talk about what Fatherhood meant to him in a previous interview had me running harder than ever. My best splits (6:35 miles) were miles 21, 23, and 26!

  10. STKretzmann

    A big thanks to the heroes of the race (at least for all those of us unable to be on hand to witness the event unfold), Bryon, AJW and Meghan. Bryan especially, the work you've done in the past has inspired others and the coverage of the race has become unbelievable. I don't think I've ever spent as much time in one day looking at my phone, but w/ updates coming in so fast and great pics and vid, it was tremendously engaging.

    Huge congrats to Timmy, Dave and Ellie as well on some phenomenal efforts!

  11. Ben Nephew

    I don't know if that was a guess, Dean, but you are just about right on Jack Daniel's estimates on the effects of heat. Plug in Ellie's time at 60F.

    Both Tim and Ellie had incredible races on a day when those performances were least affected by heat. Reminds me of Boston last year with the wind. It'll be interesting to see how long the CR's last at both races. If Jack's estimates are accurate, in a typical WS someone would have to run the equilavent of 14 flat in cool conditions like this year to break Tim's record?

  12. Aaon Sorensen

    Add 10,000' of climbing and Kilian would crush it. Tim's time was just fast. Kilian is amazing and a beast in the super technical stuff. If I ever see him run a low 13 on an easy course, then well see. For now Tim's the man.

    1. Russell

      Unbelievable performance by the winners (and iRunFar). Wow!!!

      I too was wondering about the impact Kilian's presence would have had on the race. Especially with the unseasonably low WS temperatures, where he's completely in his element.

      Is Ellie being touted as the next Ann Trason? Ann Trason was unbelievable but Ellie seems to be more versatile, if I'm not mistaken. Chuckanut, Comrades, Western States….

      1. Alex from New Haven

        I'm pretty sure Trason won Comrades twice and then doubled back for States and she had/has about 10 road world and American records. Remember Ann ran 7:00 for 100k… 30+ minutes faster than the last few world 100k Champs…

        I'm sure Ellie will continue to have an amazing career… we'll know 20 years from now where they stack up to one another…

  13. dogrunner

    Unbreakable is broken ;)

    Great race and exemplary coverage from iRF! So many good story lines. Better than Tour de France coverage (we know how WS ends the same day it begins :), but takes a while to unfold ).

  14. marco

    to speculate about how Killian would have done is nonsense. It's like trying to take away from Tim's excellent performance. I was there and I ran 27:24 and to read about how fast Tim ran it just makes me think about all the sections of the race and the pace he had to maintain on each including the climb up Devil's thumb and the technical downhills. Hi race was amazing!

  15. AJW

    I agree with each of the last two commenters:

    Ann: she was extraordinarily versatile. Trails, roads, fixed distance, timed events, all of the Grand Slam 100's, she did it all. And, thing is, she didn't race with any concern about gender. She raced to win outright and came close several times. This is not, by any means, to take anything away from Ellie's incredible race on Saturday. Rather, it's just my opinion that the "next Trason" suggestion is, perhaps, premature.

    Kilian: it was, of course, really unfortunate that Kilian could not come to WS but we all understand and respect his decision. That said, to wonder what the race would have been like if Kilian had been at the race is, in my opinion, unnecessary. Timothy Olson ran faster than anybody has ever run at WS. To tell the truth, I wonder what it would have been like if King, Howard, Johnson, Morton, and Jurek had all been there. Like comparing Ruth, Aaron, Bonds, etc…

  16. Russell

    I'm sorry I'm not taking away from Tim's performance. It was truly phenomenal. And I'm not for one moment assuming Kilian would have beaten him. I'm just wondering if he might have pushed Tim even more, like he pushed Anton. Maybe not. Sorry, never mean to start an argument.

  17. Scott Weber

    Congratulations to everyone … and a special one to 63 year old Barbara Ashe for her 29:16 finish and to 65 year old Mark Olson for his 29:27 … the most senior female and male of all finishers. I marvel at your toughness and longevity!


    1. matt

      Add to Barb's performance that she suffered a fracture to her second metatarsal on the course before hwy 49. Barb is phenomenal.


      (a Barbara Ashe fan from Auburn)

  18. Kevin in Tucson

    Many thanks iRunFar for the excellent coverage and updates. WS100 has really been inspiring. Makes me wanna run all the time. I appreciate iRunFar for being a big part of that. Happy trails!

  19. Ian Sharman

    Out of interest, how did people do with the prediction contest? Kami's DNF must have hurt a lot of scores (like mine). Am guessing we'll need to wait til after the Skygames, Bryon – enjoy yourself.

  20. Danny

    You could probably add to the results parenthetical mentions of M30-39 and W29&U CR's for Ryan and Rory in addition to the CR's of Timmy, Dave, and Ellie. I know that age group records aren't exactly hallowed or revered at WS, but still impressive.

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