After winning many flat and fast 100 milers, Arlen Glick heads to the mountains for the 2022 Western States 100. In the following interview, our first with Arlen, he talks about how the addition of 100-mile Golden Ticket races helped him get into Western States quicker, how the Western States Training Camp showed him he overshot on vert training, and what his heat protocol will be in the dry heat of the course.
Arlen Glick Pre-2022 Western States 100 Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Arlen Glick before the 2022 Western States 100. How are you?
Arlen Glick: I’m doing good. Doing good. Excited to be here.
iRunFar: Yeah? It’s an exciting setup and situation. What are you excited about here at Western States?
Glick: Well, you know, I’ve seen 85 miles of the course, but I want to see it all in one day. I just, yeah, I can’t wait to experience it. All the, you know, with the training camp I got to see it, but I want to see it with the people there. Yeah, I just can’t wait to take it in.
iRunFar: Right on. This is our first time chatting. So, I’d love to hear a little bit more about your background in sports or in running in particular. Have you been a runner your whole life?
Glick: No, no. Like, I got in after school or whatever, never wanted to do it competitively, but just started doing it and always was hungry for longer distances.
Glick: Until I got to the 100-mile distance, and I was like, this is where I belong.
iRunFar: So far at least it seems that you’ve either been drawn to the flat and fast 100 milers or you live in kind of flat and fast 100-mile country. What draws you to those races or what do you enjoy about them?
Glick: Yeah, well, I mean, it’s easy you know, because they’re local for me. But we have some really bad races in the East. The Eastern trails are really tough. They’re, they’re hard. But yeah, I’ve always kind of wanted to get into the mountain scene a little more but just lacked opportunity. And so, I finally got a Golden Ticket, like, I’ve got to make this happen, so.
iRunFar: So, this has been on your radar for a little while, running Western States?
Glick: Yeah. Yeah, a little while. I guess I thought, yeah, before they had 100-mile Golden Ticket races, I kind of figured I’d never be able to get one. So, I was going to start applying. But then I was like, you know what, Javelina Jundred, maybe now that they have 100-mile Golden Ticket race, maybe I would stand a chance at it. So yeah, that went well. So, it’s a dream come true, but a very short dream.
iRunFar: Yeah. Nice. You got to get right in and get here to Olympic Valley. So, you did come out for the training camp over Memorial Day weekend and you spent a whole week out here. What did you learn? What did you take away from that experience?
Glick: Yeah, it would be really hard to see all that on race day, especially coming from the East. I guess I over-thought or overshot big vert in my training. I thought, you know, I’ve got to get this number in or whatever, get this done. But after seeing it with the net downhill and everything and the long climbs, the long descents, are just a lot easier than the short, punchy climbs I guess that I’m used to.
And so, it was a sigh of relief to actually see it and see what’s out there. But I mean, you can’t undershoot places like Devil’s Thumb, you know the descent out of Robinson Flat. I can’t wait. It just looks like so much fun.
iRunFar: Yeah. And you’re in Ohio, and you deal with heat and humidity. You’re going to deal with heat this weekend. What do you expect to happen with that?
Glick: Yeah, I definitely thrive in the heat. I run a lot cooler than most, so I thrive in the heat. I’m excited about it. I think Javelina was the test where I could try out some cooling strategies. Because running in the humidity, cooling strategies don’t work.
iRunFar: You’re just wet. [laughs]
Glick: Yeah. You’re soaked all the time. The evaporation’s not happening. So, it’s a lot easier to deal with it out here, but it’s still going to be a factor. Still going to have to take all the protocol just like I did at Javelina.
iRunFar: What’s worked for you?
Glick: Just staying wet. Even though you dry off. So, I usually carry two handhelds and one is specifically for just soaking myself down.
iRunFar: Just become a giant swamp cooler.
Glick: Yes, yes. And it works. It’s just so effective. Like when I ran Javelina I really didn’t overheat at all. It was just amazing, I could just run in full sun, 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It was just … it was very different than anything I experienced in the East. I’m excited about it.
iRunFar: Western States, like is there anything you’re particularly excited about this weekend?
Glick: Just the whole experience. Like, after seeing a lot of the course and trying to envision all the people and all the hype, like, no one part in particular. The whole thing looks like so much fun.
iRunFar: You talk about the hype, and aside from Javelina, a lot of the East Coast or Midwest 100 milers are a little more chill setting. How are you going to stay calm and like grounded going into this weekend?
Glick: Oh, I think it’ll be pretty easy because of, you know, the first 24 miles not seeing anybody. Usually after I’m into a race a couple of hours, no matter what hype’s there, it doesn’t really affect me too much. So that element will be fine. I think it’ll be very neat to have some people, like when we get to Foresthill and some of those places deep into the race to like wow, see some people. And it’ll help bring that mental reminder that we’re actually here. We’re doing this. This is real.
iRunFar: So, in comparison to some of those other 100 milers you’ve run, like, there’s a big climb getting out of the gate here. And back in the day people always said if you’re the first to the top of the climb you’re not winning, basically. How are you going to compose yourself in that very early going where it’s going to feel easy?
Glick: Yeah, so I definitely am not much of a goal setter. So, when I … I mean I eat 100 milers for breakfast is kind of my motto, so I usually go off of effort. So, therefore, when I run up that hill or walk or whatever I decide to do in the moment, it’s going to be based all on, “Am I running within myself?” I have no idea if I’m going to be the first guy at the top or the last. I mean that’s just, I’m prepared for anything.
iRunFar: Nice. What kind of crew/pacer setup do you have out here?
Glick: We got the best. My sisters are usually chief of crew. You’ll see them out there. My parents are also here. They’ll be crewing on the, should we say, the Foresthill side of the canyon, Robinson Flat side. And then I have my pacers, Derek Miller and Owen Thornton, as well as a couple more crew from the local area. And these guys have been with me the whole time. They know me better than anybody else. Yeah, and you’ll see some efficient crewing going on out there.
iRunFar: That’s awesome. Can’t wait to see it. And I want to see you have a good time out there.
Glick: All right.
iRunFar: Good luck.
Glick: Thanks a lot.