2017 Western States 100 Lottery Results

Western States 100 logoThe lottery for the 2017 Western States 100 took place today, confirming the vast majority of next year’s field, including a few top runners. However, most top runners either secured entry prior to the lottery or will do so in the coming months.

A total of 4,248 runners entered the lottery for the 2017 edition, up from 3,510 applicants for the 2016 race and 2,566 for the 2015 edition. A total of 11,021 tickets went into today’s drawing representing those runners.

The starters list in June of 2017 will ultimately contain 369 runners, a number decided by the race’s permit through the Granite Chief Wilderness. Among this there will be 117 automatic entrants (some decided and some yet to be decided), 2 that were drawn from those who were in the audience for the lottery itself, and 250 runners who were chosen in today’s lottery.

An interesting change was announced to the WS100 entrance process this past July, and will be implemented for the first time this year, a 50-person ‘General Wait List.’ If a registered entrant decides not to race, members of the waitlist will move onto the entrants list. Today, that wait list was also filled from among the lottery entrants.

The WS100 website has an up-to-date list of the 2017 Western States 100 entrants as well as the wait listers.

Let’s take a look at the top runners who have made it into WS100 so far.

Women’s Top-10 Returnees

The women’s top 10 from this year are invited to return in 2017, and every woman has chosen to do so!

  1. Kaci Lickteig (Nike) — 17:57:59 (pre-racefinish-line, and post-race interviews)
  2. Amy Sproston (Montrail) — 18:54:44 (post-race interview)
  3. Devon Yanko (Oiselle) — 19:10:08 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
  4. Amanda Basham (Nike) — 20:11:39
  5. Alissa St. Laurent (Salomon) — 20:27:11
  6. Meghan Arbogast (Altra) — 20:30:11 (post-race interview)
  7. Bethany Patterson (Nathan) — 20:40:42 (pre-race Taproom interview)
  8. Maggie Guterl (Nathan) — 20:50:07
  9. Jodee Adams-Moore (7 Hills) — 20:54:54
  10. Erika Lindland — 21:07:40

Men’s Top-10 Returnees

The men’s top 10 from 2016 are also invited to return. The only man who has chosen not to return is Didrik Hermansen, who took second place.

  1. Andrew Miller (Salomon) — 15:39:36 (finish-line and post-race interviews)
  2. Didrik Hermansen (ASICS) — 16:16:08 (post-race interview)
  3. Jeff Browning (Patagonia) — 16:30:40 (post-race interview)
  4. Thomas Lorblanchet (Altra) — 16:39:55 (pre-race interview)
  5. Paul Giblin (Nathan) — 16:53:20
  6. Ian Sharman (Altra) — 16:55:11
  7. Chris Mocko — 17:01:47
  8. Kyle Pietari (Altra) — 17:05:01
  9. Christopher DeNucci (Hoka One One) — 17:07:57
  10. Jesse Haynes (Patagonia) — 17:12:30 (post-race interview)

This number of top-10 returnees (19 out of 20) is believed to be a record and is truly indicative of the prestige associated with a top-10 finish.

Other Fast Runners Who Achieved Entry Pre-Lottery

These are some speedy men and women who achieved entry to next year’s race via one of the other pre-lottery auto-entry methods. Here they are and how they obtained their entry:

  • Zach Bitter — Sponsor
  • Jonas Buud — Sponsor
  • Stephanie Case — Sponsor
  • Jamie Frink — Bonus Lottery
  • Lon Freeman — Sponsor
  • Mandie Holmes — Race Admin
  • Nate Jaqua — Sponsor
  • Sarah Keyes — Sponsor
  • Bree Lambert — Raffle
  • Jess Mullen — Sponsor
  • Ryan Sandes — Special Consideration
  • Michael Wardian — Sponsor

Top Lottery Entrants

A total of 250 names were drawn during today’s lottery, and among them were a small number of speedy and notable athletes.

  • Davide Grazielli — 4th place 2016 Rio del Lago 100
  • Mark Hammond — Winner 2016 Squaw Peak 50 Mile, 2nd 2016 Run Rabbit Run 100, winner 2016 Rio Del Lago 100
  • Jesse Lang — Winner 2015 and 2016 Cascade Crest 100
  • Dominick Layfield — Winner 2015 Rio del Lago 100, 2nd 2016 Angeles Crest 100
  • Maddy McCarthy — 2nd 2016 Rio del Lago 100
  • Mallory Richard — 3-time Superior 100 winner
  • Jay Smithberger — Winner 2014 Mohican 100
  • Steven Speirs — Winner 2016 Iron Horse 100
  • Rebecca Watters — 2nd 2015 Georgia Jewel 50 Mile, winner 2016 Yeti 100
  • Jeremy Wolf — 5th 2016 Chuckanut 50k, 9th 2016 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile

Top General Wait List Entrants

Here are the top entrants on the 50-person General Wait List:

  • John Fegyveresi — Finisher 2012 Barkley Marathon

Methods of Later Automatic Entry

Top runners still have three routes by which they can gain non-lottery entry into the 2016 WS100.

Golden Ticket Races

The six-race Altra Golden Ticket Races offers up to 24 WS100 entries will be given to top finishers of these races. The series remains unchanged in the number of races participating, which races, and the system by which runners can gain WS100 entry. Basically, the top-2 men and top-2 women finishers of each race gain entry, and if they already have an entry or if they decline it, the entry rolls down as far as fifth place.

Ultra-Trail World Tour

For 2017, six slots are given to top international contenders via the WS100’s participation in the Ultra-Trail World Tour. Update, December 22: The race administration has announced the UTWT slots today. They are:

  • David Byrne
  • Tòfol Castanyer
  • Erik Clavery
  • Fiona Hayvice
  • Andrea Huser
  • Ildikó Wemescher

UltraRunning Race Series

The UltraRunning Race Series will award entry to the male and female runner at the top of its ranking on April 30, 2017.

One Other Noteworthy Entrant

For the first time, the Western States 100 granted entry to one runner over the age of 60 who has made outstanding contributions to ultra running in general and Western States in particular.  The first recipient of the ‘Silver Legend Award’ presented at the conclusion of the lottery was 17 time Western States finisher Scott Mills.

Call for Comments

  • Any contenders who are already in the race who we’ve not included above? Let us know who we missed!
  • Who can you see winning the women’s and men’s races in 2017?
  • Anyone you’re hoping will try to gain entry via the Ultra-Trail World Tour or Golden Ticket Races? If you’re a speedster and are trying to get in via either route, let us know!

There are 51 comments

      1. Mallory Richard

        Yeah, my credit card got stolen so I had to give UltraSignup a new one. But now my sob story has a happy ending: Western States!

  1. warren arthur

    What about Walmsley!!…this guy was set to CRUSH the record…this is very unfair…there have to be special exception for ELITE ATHLETES!

    1. Michael Owen

      Warren, WS100 makes no special exemptions for elite athletes except in that they have a chance to race into WS via a Golden Ticket Race, finishing top 10 at the previous year, or winning the UR Race Series points total.

      Unfortunately Jim didn’t do this, but can still race his way in at a Golden Ticket Race. This is one of the most fair way to do it.

  2. Jason Friedman

    Dominic Layfield and Jason Mintz could potentially make some noise. But, that’s a very small number of real contenders for top-10 spots via the lottery. And all due respect to John F., but this course is not exactly his cup of tea.

    Giving a free spot to someone who’s already finished 17 times seems a little odd. I’m sure he deserves it; I just wonder if that spot might be more meaningful to someone who has never had the opportunity to run before.

    1. Meghan Hicks

      I think ‘ignored’ is perhaps an inappropriate word. Kindly have a look at the entrants list and let us know if you think someone should be added–we appreciate and need the eyes and ears of the community to help us, as we can’t possibly know everyone! :)

      Yesterday was one of the busiest days for iRunFar, with covering a race live and producing articles on two lotteries–a day that followed four more crazy days of pre-race interviews and preparations for yesterday. The author created the article yesterday, and then yesterday late afternoon I added a few more names, edited and proofread it, and published it.

      When I woke up this morning, I re-read the entrants list and comments to this article, and added a few more names.

      Also, since we published the article yesterday evening, the race administration posted the names of runners who had gained entry via sponsors, race admin, raffle, the bonus lottery, and special consideration. Among those names are a number of fast runners, and so we’ve updated this article with those names, too.

      I would argue that our efforts are always our best and in good faith. We’d never ‘ignore’ entrants, especially based on their gender, as your comment suggests. Again, please feel free to add names to the comments section here if you think there’s a runner who will make noise and this race and who escaped our own eyes and ears. Thanks.

    2. Bryon Powell

      With the TNF50 this weekend, I’ve not had a chance to fully peruse this year’s WS100 lottery entrants, but for perspective I’d off that there was not a single lottery entrant in this year’s women’s top ten.

  3. Jamie

    I like Ryan Sandes just fine, and he obviously has the capacity to do really well at WS. But since he’s had entry in four of the last five years and finished only two of those times, I wonder why he’s being given special consideration entry for a fifth try.

  4. Rudy

    I feel the need to chime in on the “fairness” topic of the state’s selection process. The improbability of gaining entry is truly frustrating. I’m not obsessed with states, but heck yes I want to run it. After five unsuccessful years of trying, I feel like I NEED to run another 100 or 100k to maintain my tickets. I don’t like this obligatory feeling that I have to choose a race that’s on the qualifier list.

    I do think the lottery is as fair as possible, and realize that fairness is a touchy subject. My qualm with the selection process is the exceedingly large number of 100+ special slots. The majority of ultrarunners are not elite and are not affiliated with sponsors. We’re not fast enough or self-promotion-savvy enough to have sponsors. Maybe we don’t care about being fast or having a sock sponsor. We just want to run, and our chances of running states are diminished bcause we don’t have a shot at the other 100+ slots. I venture to say that most runners would rather pay $750 to race states and have the increased odds of selection than pay $350 or however much and see a bunch of sponsor selected athletes run.

    I’m obviously irked by not getting selected again. I only feel the need to voice my opinion because there are hundreds of others in my same boat. Of course, I will try again next year.

    1. WeiDe

      Nicely put Rudy. What i dislike too is having to run a qualifier each year. Those are not races i would usually pick. And it looks like i will need to do that for half a decade or longer…

      1. Rudy

        Thanks WeiDe. I agree, I only want to race 2-4 ultras a year, and one of them has to be a states qualifier. There are loads of cool courses I want to run which aren’t qualifiers. The fact that I have to plan my year out 6+ months in advance is also difficult.

        Another interesting point is that LS50 is a golden ticket race but is not a qualifier. I love Lake Sonoma, but having that inconsistency is also frustrating.

        1. Steve

          At least being in the states you have a multitude of races to choose from. Here in Australia there is one race which counts. And thats 5000k away from me!

    2. Jamie

      I’m not sure it would be more “fair” to raise the price further. It is already borderline inaccessible to anyone who is not quite well off, particularly anyone who has to travel. I know not every ultra can be a $20 fat ass, but we shouldn’t assume that $400 or especially $750 is within “most runner’s” means. (And even if they turned over those 100 spots to the lottery, odds of getting in would still be low in the first few years of trying.)

      For fairness sake, I would like to see them do away with losing your tickets if you don’t keep trying every year. If you try three years in a row, but get hurt or have other priorities during year 4, why shouldn’t you still be counted as a three time loser when you come back to the lottery after a gap year or two? I think that would take care of some of the frustration you feel at having to keep doing a qualifier each and every year.

      1. Michael Owen

        All good points Rudy and all. It at least keeps a healthy discussion. I ultimately think the Western States “system” is about as fair as it gets while keeping the race at the same field size. I’ve now been in the lottery 6 years and haven’t been selected. I’ve also narrowly missed a Golden Ticket 3 times so I feel the pain of everyone else who has not been selected. It gets a little tougher each year.

        It is tough trying to build a year of racing around running a qualifying race. There are less opportunities in the Midwest but I’ve made it work. Like someone said, I’d love to run some other races but end up going back to the same races in order to qualify. HRH is the same way, with even fewer Q races, but you have two years to finish one. Not sure if or what WS could do to make it different but will be interesting to see if the board does anything in the future.

        The amount of entrants in the lottery is huge! Crazy that there was such a large jump from last year to this year, especially after making it 100k+. How many would be able to enter the lottery if it was 100 mile only, but you have a 2 year window to qualify?

      2. Mike

        Actually the WS process is pretty darn fair when compared to Hardrock (HR gives substantial preferential treatment to those who have run before). It’s just unfortunate WS can only handle so many runners thru the wilderness section.

        The crazy part from my perspective is the refund component for the WS waitlist. WS has definitely moved in the right direction with the wait list with an incentive for those who want to give up their spot in return for the entry fee. I think most people that can’t race for some reason or another would rather keep their tickets for a future lottery than have their $350 back. The tickets are worth way more than $350 especially if you have multiple tickets when you factor in the prior race fees, time away from work, time away from family and travel expenses.

        On a side note the memorial day training runs are probably just as much fun as WS and accessible sans lottery. So if you didn’t get into the race go for the training runs – lower key, less stressful and good times during/afterward.

        1. WeiDe

          We have two qualifiers in my area, one is a tough 100k course with 5700m vert and the other a relatively easy 100k course with 2.000m vert. Cut off 22hrs and 16hrs respectively.

          Both are on the same day…I ran the easier one this year, because i wanted to save my legs for a Prio A race. I met many people that never ran a 100k and all wanted to qualify for WS100.

          The cut off times are too easy i think. Three years ago there was a different mountain 100k qualifier in Germany. You needed to go sub 15hrs. That was ridiculous. I still think i could hardly hit that time. Very technical and lots of vert.

          The 100k i did this year was easily jogged in 13,5hrs. I think the times required for registration should be lowered. Otherwise you have too many people signing up.

          Just my thought though

    3. SteveM

      What is with all of the whining about fairness in these lotteries?! None of us are entitled to gain entry into WS no matter how many times we’ve applied. The reality is that there are way more people that want to race than the race can accommodate. The organizers have to make qualifying difficult or the number of applicants would be even higher! Hopefully nobody tries to sue WS like HR is dealing with now.

  5. John Vanderpot

    I would like to publicly applaud the Committee’s decision to allow Scotty Mills entry by way of the “Silver Legend Award,” surely he is probably as deserving as anyone, and those of us who know him are well aware of just how much this course means to him…

    Best of luck to you, Scotty,


  6. Stephen

    I really feel for the guy or gal that has tried to get in for 6 years and failed to gain entry. I think there were 13 of 31 people this drawing.

    As we get older the clock is ticking on our bucket list. Many former runners probably shouldn’t apply and let others enjoy the experience. I see people that have a buckle (or several) putting their name in the hat. Sure if you’re a Top 10, or have a chance to be Top 10, you should race it. Enter if you are going for some age record like youngest or oldest finisher. I also have no argument with the WS Committee awarding spots for “special consideration”.

    I’m going to run this race in 2018 because I luckily won a spot with a raffle ticket. Yes I wanted to run more than anything, but I also wanted to give back something to this sport that has given so much to me. I will not run it again after 2018, but I will volunteer or pace, and still get an awesome experience.

    1. old dude

      I’m one of the 13 that didn’t make it and it’s really frustrating. I really just want to get it over with at this point, and the associated feeling I have with this race is really heading down hill. Story after story of people who have run multiple times, going for their 5th, 10th+ finish etc. and to still be on the “outside” hoping year after year for an entry and then having to cram another qualifier in… I realize I will likely get in for 2018, get it over with, and never go back. But who knows if an injury pops up, a family emergency, etc. Someone said we are in the golden age of ultra right now – maybe for a lot of races, but not this one.

  7. Trevor

    Well I of course would one day want to run either of these races (ahem should I get it together to accomplish such distance+ terrain), for some of us younger runners can’t there be a bit of owning some ‘future classics’? Tradition is a lot of things but it can’t be everything– why not try to keep the 70s ultra spirit alive– support a new 100, coordinate a fatass run, start a running club, etc etc. The elites are great and inspiring and the races they get in are great too, but if its why you run or pegging hopes and dreams on just so you can say you did it you’re doing ultrarunning wrong imho…

    Besides, if ultrarunning continues to get popular (seems to be no indicator its not), its only going to get worse. If this was 1974 people would miss the forest for the trees and say “The tevis cup, that’s for horses!” and miss out on something when its just coming together….it doesn’t have to be so institutionalized and reified. anyways, you get my point…

  8. MtUnpaved

    4 year loser here, and I agree its frustrating to not get picked but I don’t hold it against anyone for trying to get in. If you love this race and its your thing then go For it! Good Luck to all of those who made it and to those of us that did not, well I hope to see you at the drawing next year!

    Also Thanks to all the people involved in the WS100 race and lottery. I think given what you have to work with your doing an awesome job and that includes the lottery.


  9. Malcolm

    I believe you are overlooking Cat Bradley (Women’s win and CR at RDL 100), looks like she got in off the lottery with only 1 ticket! She’s got a ninja’s worth of Wooohooos to throw down in June.

  10. jd

    Here’s an idea: How about WS sponsors give their spots to people in their local community that support the trail running scene? Maybe to those that do a lot of trail work. Maybe to those that organize and fund fat asses out of their own pocket. Maybe to someone who hasn’t had a lot of luck getting in via the lottery.

    I’d rather see this than a sponsor slot go to an ‘elite’ or to the wife of a company founder, etc. If you’re that good, you can race your way in. If you’re not, take your chances in the lottery like the rest of us.

    I personally don’t care about ‘elite’ runners or who runs for what company. It has no effect on my shoe choice. Actually it’s the other way around. I don’t agree with sponsor slots at WS and avoid those sponsors when I have to make a choice about a shoe or gel. A shoe is a shoe is a shoe. Same materials.

    How about it sponsors? Why don’t you step up and give your slots to people who might actually deserve it.


    1. Sniff

      see above post.

      a shoe is not a shoe that is a shoe. Go run in a 12mm drop for a year then do a 50mi run in a 0mm drop…

      “people who might actually deserve it” on the condition that you get to choose who’s deserving and who isn’t?

      Go run the course on your own, make your own buckle, make your own 100mi event with your own rules. It sounds like even if you got a chance to run WS your experience would not live up to your expectations. No one wants to run a race and listen to others talk about how this or that “should” be fixed. What about sayings thanks for the event and experience and being thankful for what is, not for what you want.

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