2013 Western States 100 Results

Western States 100 logoThis year’s Western States 100 was the second-hottest race in its history, with a recorded temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit at the Auburn, California airport, the “official” temperature-record-keeping location for the race. It was definitely hotter in the canyons, though, and the hottest temperature I witnessed was 106F at Rucky Chucky, mile 78. But the heat didn’t seem to bother winners Timothy Olson (post-race interview and race report) and Pam Smith (post-race interview and race report).

In addition to this post, you can find our full play-by-play of the race as well as a collection of our pre-race interviews and preview on our 2013 Western States 100 Live Coverage page.

Injinji logo - horiztonalThanks to Injinji for sponsoring iRunFar’s coverage of the race.

Ps. To get all the latest ultra news from iRunFar.com, subscribe via RSS or email.

2013 Western States 100 Men’s Race

What starts overly fast never ends well when it comes to a 100-mile race, and a number of early male fasties ended up on the DNF list or way off pace by the 100.2-mile finish line. This included early leader Cameron Clayton, who was pushing course-record pace by several minutes as early as Red Star Ridge, mile 16, and Hal Koerner, who also took a turn leading when Cam dropped back.

The eventual men’s podium, Timothy Olson, Rob Krar, and Mike Morton played it cool even in the high country before the temperature got hot, sitting outside the top five. Somewhere in the canyons and before Devil’s Thumb, Olson assumed the lead and, while he may have done some looking back, he stayed strong and ahead of the rest of the men, the rest of the day. Krar and Morton used the 16 miles of descent down Cal Street between Foresthill at mile 62 and the Rucky Chucky river crossing at mile 78 to step into their relative positions, which they would hold to the finish. It should be noted that Krar is a 100-mile rookie! What a finish, what a rise to ultrarunning stardom for him. We should also note that Morton’s 15:45:21 is a new masters course record and an eight-ish-minute improvement over Dave Mackey’s 15:53:36 record last year.

While fourth through sixth men Ian Sharman, Dylan Bowman, and Nick Clark ran within the top-10 men all day, the balance of the men’s top-10 list were well outside of their final positions until carnage occurred and they slipped in. This included 10th place Karl Meltzer, the 100-Mile King, who made his first appearance at States.

Timothy Olson - 2013 Western States 100 - win

Timothy Olson wins the 2013 Western States 100. Photo: Meghan Hicks/iRunFar.com

Rob Krar - 2013 Western States 100 - second

Rob Krar is second man. Photo: Meghan Hicks/iRunFar.com

Mike Morton - 2013 Western States 100 - third

Mike Morton takes third. Photo: Meghan Hicks/iRunFar.com

2013 Western States 100 Men’s Results

  1. Timothy Olson (The North Face) – 15:17:27 (pre-race, finish line, and post-race interviews as well race report)
  2. Rob Krar – 15:22:05 (pre-race, finish line, and post-race interviews)
  3. Mike Morton (Allied Van Lines) – 15:45:21 (masters course record) (pre-race and post-race interviews)
  4. Ian Sharman (SCOTT Sports) – 16:20:25
  5. Dylan Bowman (Pearl Izumi) – 16:32:18 (pre-race interview)
  6. Nick Clark (Pearl Izumi) – 16:56:23 (pre-race interview)
  7. Jesse Haynes (INKnBURN) – 17:44:36
  8. Paul Terranova – 17:56:29
  9. Yassine Diboun (Inov-8) – 18:44:02
  10. Karl Meltzer (Hoka One One) – 18:51:55

2013 Western States 100 Women’s Race

Well, well, well, ultrarunning has a new star today in Pam Smith! Steady as she goes was Pam Smith’s motto, it seems. In the early miles, Pam ran among a train of women who filled out the back half of the women’s top five. She emerged into first position by Dusty Corners, mile 38. Over the course of the day, she built a bigger and more commanding lead over the rest of the women’s field. She proved herself a beast in the heat, running an 18:37 in near-heat-record conditions, which was more than 40 minutes faster than any other woman.

Pam Smith - 2013 Western States 100 - champ

Pam Smith on her way to championing the 2013 Western States 100. Photo: Marc Laveson/iRunFar.com

Nikki Kimball and Amy Sproston also ran in that early girl train. At Michigan Bluff and for a while after, Amy led Nikki. But Nikki’s always stellar when conditions are rough, and she assumed the second position in the last 20 miles. (After all, she was third overall in 2006, the most recent very hot year the race has experienced.) She was all smiles all day, her ninth Western States finish and her ninth finish in the women’s top five.

Nikki Kimball weighs in during her ninth WS100. Photo: Meghan Hicks/iRunFar.com

Nikki Kimball weighs in during her eighth WS100. Photo: Meghan Hicks/iRunFar.com

Amy Sproston keeping cool and hydrated on a hot day. Photo: Marc Laveson/iRunFar.com

Amy Sproston keeping cool and hydrated on a hot day. Photo: Marc Laveson/iRunFar.com

Fourth place Meghan Arbogast should certainly be noted, a bad-a#s run by a woman 52 years young. Rad! In the fifth and sixth slots were Rory Bosio and Aliza Lapierre who basically held these positions from nearly the start to the finish. Emily Harrison, in her debut hundred, was several positions out of the top-10 women early on, but she was not one of the day’s attrition victims, which brought down ladies like early leader and eventual DNF-er Joelle Vaught.

2013 Western States 100 Women’s Results

  1. Pam Smith (La Sportiva) – 18:37:21 (finish line and post-race interviews)
  2. Nikki Kimball (The North Face) – 19:21:43 (post-race interview)
  3. Amy Sproston (Montrail) – 19:25:11 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
  4. Meghan Arbogast (SCOTT Sports) – 19:30:50
  5. Rory Bosio (The North Face) – 19:52:09 (pre-race interview)
  6. Aliza Lapierre (Salomon) – 20:04:46 (pre-race interview)
  7. Emily Harrison (AdiUltra) – 20:28:40 (pre-race interview)
  8. Denise Bourassa (Patagonia) – 21:44:37
  9. Leila Degrave (Inov-8) – 21:59:26
  10. Abby McQueeney Penamonte – 22:36:29

Race Coverage Thanks

In addition to the support of Injinji, our coverage of this year’s WS100 was brought to you by a huge team of dedicated volunteers! iRunFar thanks our CoverItLive moderators/office team, Andrew “Stack” Swistak, Travis Liles, Travis Trampe, Tom Caughlin, Leon Lutz, David Boudreau, and “Slow Aaron Marks,” as well as our field team, Patrick McKenna, Mauri Pagliacci of Trail Running Argentina, Ellie Greenwood and her assistants, Marc Laveson, Nick Triolo, and Kirk Edgerton of Fleet Feet Fair Oaks.

Meghan Hicks

is iRunFar.com's Managing Editor, the author of 'Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running,' and a Contributing Editor at Trail Runner magazine. The converted road runner finished her first trail ultramarathon in 2006 and loves using running to visit the world's wildest places.

There are 111 comments

  1. Adam

    Agreed. She is not human. How many other 50+ year olds are there, either male or female, who are still competitive enough to beat the 28 year-old odds-on favorite for the win at 100 miles, in 100+ degree heat no less? Not to diminish the truly amazing talent of Olson, Krar, Morton, and all the other leading men, but I will be curious to see where they are at 52.

    1. Joel Wright

      Yeah, I think it is almost like boxing, where the top 5 racers aren't going to face off unless there is a lot of money and/or prestige on the line. Also, some courses clearly favor certain runners, so you can't entirely blame them for seeking out those races. Of course, there isn't much money in ultrarunning, which is why it is still so much fun. I mean, no one can make a living just from the prize money, they all need sponsors if they want to quit their jobs. And, many of them still keep jobs doing physical therapy or selling shoes.

      1. Speedgoatkarl

        All of them should run at the Run RAbbit Run 100 in September, 30k prize purse and growing. But for some reason many of these faster guys are going to UTMB, (not killian) to run for a cowbell. And maybe a little prestige. :-) I'll be in the STeamboat where the money is. I got lucky last year, it would be cool if elite 100 mile runners would show up there.

  2. John Andersen

    Mike, you are a very inspiring runner, and special forces no less! All the more impressive! That you won this race 15 (?) years ago, went off and served your country, and now come back and place third was just really, really great to see. You made our day! And your sponsors are awesome, a sponsor is a sponsor!

    1. Joel Wright

      If you lose more than 10% of your weight during the race, they pull your race number and you have to drop out of the race. Note that Killian came dangerously close to losing 10% of his body weight in the 2010 Western States 100, and ended up still finishing 3rd place after resting like 30 minutes at an aid station, after it became clear he was dehydrated. Note also that this practice of weighing the runners on a 100 mile race first began when it was a horse race – if you are racing a horse a long distance, they don't want you to abuse the animal, so if your horse loses too much weight, you also have to drop.

  3. Mo

    Olson and Morton are my inspirations, after seeing them dominate the race so well, I feel like putting in a 100 miles myself now…Great coverage irunfar!

    1. Joel Wright

      Do you think it is the Hoka shoes? I think it is more due to how smart of a runner Karl is, with runners like Cameron Clayton being the exact opposite of Karl. (Though, hopefully Cameron will get smarter as he gets older.) But I'm starting to believe the Hoka's have something to do with it. I'm 41, and I got a couple pairs of Hoka's earlier this year, and they definitely result in less wear and tear on the body. I don't think they slow me down on any distance of a 5K or more, and I definitely think they make me go faster down hill.

      1. Speedgoatkarl

        can't deny extra cushioning, especially at a race like WS. No I havent' done a techical "study", but for me, they are amazing and save my body over long runs. Not the shoe for a 5k, no way, but for long races….you can't beat them…In my opinion.

        I got lucky on my prediction at 10th. Since the Sonoma 50 on April 13, my average weekly miles were a whopping 33…..I was "hoping" to run 10th to slip in for 2014…moving up to 7th at one point even encouraged me, until my quads decided to not run downhill anymore. I'm just happy I came out of it without getting hurt. Injuries are overrated.

        1. Jacko

          Karl, I was wondering, what is your height and weight? I know your light and the Hokas work for you by keeping your body from wear and tear. I thought for heavier runners ( like myself) Hokas might help as well.

  4. Mic

    And please, do use a moving company like Allied for your next move, professionals.

    In college, I visited a friend weekly and I could never sit at a real Dining Room table because some Moving Company made up of college kids broke the table while "moving" it. You could place your cell phone on it or a Backpack but outside of that the Table top would fall off. : )

    I did not like visiting that house. :)

  5. Ken Letterle

    Yeah – that was me – #263

    Talk about LUCK. I had finally come back to life at Foresthill after about 14hours of not being able to eat/drink – when a peanut of a lady asked me if I needed a pacer. I politely declined as I do not normally run with a pacer (most of my training is on a treadmill in a secure compound in Saudi Arabia – not many running partners – much less many women to run with). Then a tall dude standing beside me looks up and says – Do you know who this is??? Ignorant as could be – I had no idea – then she introduced herself.

    2 minutes later we were in the river and I was like a giddy schoolgirl bouncing over the trail – completely psyched to be running with Ann! We tore it up from there to the finish.

    Honored, Grateful, and still smiling!

    1. Dan T

      Mystery solved! Awesome job Ken! I was sitting there on a rock watching this all unfold and thought I might have been a little delusional due to my lack of sleep. Amazing story and congratulations on your achievement.

  6. Scott

    Unless you consider the money/opportunity these guys make after "winning" these big races. They can ,after winning a reputable race, begin "coaching" others for money, garner sponsorship's, product endorsements,etc. These guys have plenty of reason to cheat. Especially these guys that want to make a living through running.

    This sport is just like any other involving human beings. Humans seek advantage and will cheat when/where they can. This perception that runners/ultra runners/mountain runners/etc are "above" cheating is total nonsense and merely another case of imagined exceptional-ism.

      1. Scott

        This sounds nice but this bible like book my friend read called Born to Run said Nike is the devil and that all theirs shoes destroy people's legs,feet,knees,back and running form. We all know there is no way anyone can run in nikes.

  7. Rob M

    He is new to the 100 mile distance and that is interesting. I believe Pam Smith's win this year is the bigger story – she was a long shot but put together a perfect race on an intensely hot day to come out the winner!

  8. Rob M

    Same goes for weight gain – too much can be signs of distress (hyptranemia, etc) and will also get you delayed or yanked.

  9. Justin

    Hey Karl, I'll be in Steamboat too…trying to improve on my 32+ hours from last year, and also trying to go as long as possible without you passing this turtle!

    1. MS

      Karl … I think you are right. I'm 6-2 and weigh 180. I ran WS100 this year just under 24 with a pair of Hoka Stinsons from Start to Foresthill (mile 62), then switched to a pair of Cascadias because I needed to dry out since my feet had been pruny wet since mile 15 and were starting to blister. I ran in the Brooks Cascadias to the river and I can tell you that the run down Cal Street really sucked due to the lack of cushion. Once I got back on dirt they felt ok but just not quite the same. The Cascadias were basically new with less than 50 miles on them. I had another pair of Stinsons at the river (mile 78) and changed back after crossing and it felt like I was running on the beach they were soft (this pair of shoes is over a year old with probably 1k trail miles on them) … Lets just say my legs were still fine at the finish (could run the flats, ups and downs) and 2 days after the race I had no muscle soreness/stiffness just some blisters to deal with.

      I used to run exclusively in Cascadias and still love them for shorter runs but have found that on runs 50k+ the cushioning in the Hokas make the ride and recovery much better/quicker. No need for pain meds anymore due to cushioning … No ibuprofen at WS100 this year or for any of the training leading up to it.

      The only thing I wish Hoka would do is open the toe box a little or soften the point of the shoe. I have to wear 1 size larger shoe to account for the point of the shoe … Essentially I have to size up to push the point forward so my little toe doesn't rub.

  10. Sage Canaday

    don't forget UROC is also in September…not quite as much prize money as Run Rabbit but Sky running final. Not that I could even finish any 100-miler (yet) but getting lost at Run Rabbit would be a very serious concern for me (As with any race). Hope speedgoat is marked well!

    1. Speedgoatkarl

      You won't get lost at Speedgoat Sage, our course is marked so well with marshall at any point in question. But I wouldn't necessarily listen to Bryon, there is some nice nasty descending too. See ya in a few weeks.

      Getting lost at Run Rabbit Run would be tough too, this is the second year, and a few details have been cleared up in those regards. UROC will be a super competitive race, but a dissapointing course (for me that is). It's way too much smooth terrain, and it's not far enough. :-) I'll be there but only for fun.

      Those who got lost last year didn't really study the course, it's actually quite easy to follow.

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