The 2014 Western States 100 put on a fierce fireworks show, and it was Rob Krar and Stephanie Howe whose performances burned brighter than anyone else’s, allowing them to become this year’s champions.
In addition to this article, you can find our full play-by-play of the race as well as a collection of our pre-race interviews and previews on our Western States 100 Live Coverage page.
Here are a couple more post-race resources:
- iRunFar’s roundup of the best articles, photo galleries, and race reports;
- iRunFar’s interviews with Stephanie Howe, Rob Krar, Larisa Dannis, Seth Swanson, Nathalie Mauclair, Dylan Bowman, Brett Rivers, and Andy Jones-Wilkins;
- Finish-line interviews with Stephanie Howe and Rob Krar;
- Stephanie Howe’s race report;
- Our best of Western States photo album;
- TraiLive Episode 3, featuring Western States 2014; and
- Videos of the men’s-podium finishes and women’s-podium finishes.
Thanks to Inov-8 for sponsoring iRunFar’s coverage of the race.
2014 Western States 100 Men’s Race
What a fun race to watch unfold. In the earliest part of the race, Nick Clark pace set, though his leading effort soon gave way to the forces of Max King, who would lead for the majority of the race’s first two thirds. This is what was the most fun to watch: Max would roll through aid stations literally saying, “I’m going to pay for this later.” Perhaps half joking, half serious, he’d proceed on the same way!
Rob Krar was like a predator in wait, however; it appeared that he pounced on a tiring Max on the approach to Foresthill at mile 62 through sometime before mile 71 on California Street. (Emphasis on appeared as it was actually a case of Rob accelerating past a still-speedy King. Rob’s move was just that fast.) When Rob did assume the lead, he did so, according to Max, by flying right along by. From Cal Street to the finish, Rob flirted with Timothy Olson’s course record, getting within one to three minutes of it at times. In the end, he would run the second-fastest effort in the race’s history and finish looking equally surprised and expectant of the race’s outcome.
Seth Swanson earned the award for the the day’s biggest surprise. Seth is a guy who wins about every race he enters around his home state of Montana, but this was by far his greatest ultrarunning stage. He ran with seeming confidence all day, staying in the top five from nearly the start through the finish. When you nail a run, you nail a run, and this is exactly what Seth did.
It was hard not to get behind Dylan Bowman’s effort. Twice he’s finished Western States saying those races nearly killed him, running what we know was not his absolute potential. And he’s publicly said that a States podium would pretty much mean the world to him. He ran in the back half of the men’s top 10 for much of the day, assuming first fourth place and then, at the last minute, third position. A podium it is!
Max King, after his hot early pace, did not completely melt down. Though he lost several places, a 15:44 Western States to take fourth is an impressive showing. Ryan Sandes, who started the day somewhere at the end of the top 20, slowly picked his way forward. He would tap out his day’s abilities, however, with a fifth place calling it a rough day on the job for him.
Ian Sharman, Alex Varner, Brendan Davies, Brett Rivers, and Jesse Haynes filled out the rest of the men’s top 10. Each of these men ran remarkably strong races, though Brett Rivers’s was the one who moved up the most as the day went on. From outside the top 20 to inside the top 10, he just kept moving up. Consider this a big breakout race for a guy who’s had plenty of success in his home region of the San Francisco Bay Area.
2014 Western States 100 Men’s Results
- Rob Krar (The North Face) – 14:53:22 (finish-line and post-race interviews)
- Seth Swanson (Pearl Izumi) – 15:19:39 (post-race interview)
- Dylan Bowman (Pearl Izumi) – 15:36:41 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
- Max King (Montrail) – 15:44:45 (pre-race interview)
- Ryan Sandes (Salomon) – 15:46:59 (pre-race interview)
- Ian Sharman (SCOTT) – 15:47:50 (pre-race profile)
- Alex Varner (Nike) – 15:53:42 (pre-race interview)
- Brendan Davies (Inov-8) – 15:56:49
- Brett Rivers (San Francisco Running Company) – 16:20:06
- Jesse Haynes – 16:36:42
2014 Western States 100 Women’s Race
Stephanie Howe was like a machine in this race. The end. While we have a few more words to say about her, that about well enough tells her story, doesn’t it? Early in the morning, she was chill, hanging back and letting other women lead the way. The early pace pusher among the women was Emily Harrison, who would succumbed to physical issues somewhere around the halfway point. When she faltered, Stephanie stepped forward, rolling into Dusty Corners, mile 38, in the lead. For a long time, she built and then maintained a 20-minute lead on the rest of the field that would grow in the final miles to about 30 minutes. She came to States a 100-mile rookie. A rookie no more, talk about a textbook race!
Larisa Dannis might have been the female version of Seth Swanson. She just ran confident, not afraid to put herself among and stay with the race’s top women from the get go. Additionally, she was a positive force, bringing a smile wherever she ran.
Nathalie Mauclair has, in her career as a trail runner, earned a reputation for starting her races really fast. Today, it seemed like she had moments where she pushed a little bit among more moments where she tempered her pace. It looked like she was, at times, having an internal struggle–go fast, go smart, go fast, go smart. In the end, running smart payed off and she found herself on the Western States podium.
Oh Pam, talk about a race of ups and downs. At first she looked great, until she didn’t, at mile 38. There she told her crew her legs felt really bad. But then her pace and demeanor pepped up again I suppose that was until her quads totally went out on her and she was forced to bully her body to the finish in fourth place. Nikki Kimball also, by her own reckoning, had a bit of a difficult day. She was emotionally happy throughout the day though her body didn’t fully comply. No matter, a ‘tough’ day for Nikki yielded fifth place and her ninth WS 100 finish.
Kaci Lickteig, Denise Bourassa, Meghan Arbogast, Shaheen Sattar, and Sally McRae made up the rest of the women’s top 10.
2014 Western States 100 Women’s Results
- Stephanie Howe (The North Face) – 18:01:42 (pre-race, finish-line, and post-race interviews as well as race report)
- Larisa Dannis (Altra/INKnBURN) – 18:29:18 (post-race interview)
- Nathalie Mauclair (La Fuma) – 18:43:57 (post-race interview)
- Pam Smith (La Sportiva) – 19:10:42 (pre-race interview)
- Nikki Kimball (Hoka One One) – 19:51:31 (pre-race interview)
- Kaci Lickteig (Pearl Izumi) – 20:07:10 (pre-race profile)
- Denise Bourassa (Patagonia) – 20:19:30
- Meghan Arbogast (Scott) – 21:14:48 (pre-race interview)
- Shaheen Sattar – 21:20:49
- Sally McRae (Nike) – 21:24:43
Our coverage was made possible by a large group of people. Thank you to our in-person helpers Travis Trampe, Kim Wrinkle, Sarah Bradham, Adam Nawrot, Alvin Lubrino, Gretchen Brugman, and Jamie Frink. Thanks also to our online helpers Mauri Pagliacci, Aaron Marks, Tom Caughlin, Nick Pedatella, Aliza Lapierre, Dave Bourdreau, Jon Allen, Travis Liles, and Ellie Greenwood. There is no way to do this without so much help!