The 2024 Hardrock 100 is history! Check out our in-depth results article for the full race story, as well as our interviews with champions Courtney Dauwalter and Ludovic Pommeret.

Arlen Glick Pre-2023 Western States 100 Interview

A video interview (with transcript) with Arlen Glick before the 2023 Western States 100.

By on June 22, 2023 | Comments

After taking third at last year’s race, Arlen Glick is back at the 2023 Western States 100. In the following interview, Arlen talks about what he learned in last year’s race that he’s bringing with him to this event, why he’s drawn to long races of many kinds, and his very lucky double at this event and the Hardrock 100 just three weeks later.

For more on who’s racing, check out our in-depth men’s and women’s previews. Follow along with our WS 100 live race coverage on Saturday.

Arlen Glick Pre-2023 Western States 100 Interview Transcript

iRunFar: Meghan Hicks of iRunFar. I’m with Arlen Glick. It’s a couple of days before the 2023 Western States Endurance Run. Arlen, hello.

Arlen Glick: Hi. It’s good to be here.

iRunFar: We find ourselves back in the Olympic Valley a year later.

Glick: Yeah, it’s fun to be back.

iRunFar: You seem like a different runner and a different person than the Arlen Glick we all got to know so, so well, at this race last year. Do you feel like a different runner?

Glick: I do. I mean, I’m assuming you’re referring to the fact that I’m sponsored now. Thankfully, Craft picked me up. And yeah, it feels very different doing this professionally now, as opposed to the approach I took last year.

iRunFar: Yeah. You ran this race for the first time in 2022, took the podium spot, third place. I think you were just under 16 hours, is that correct?

Glick: Yes.

iRunFar: Yeah, I mean, that’s a pretty darn good debut Western States. Once you got the 20/20 view behind that race a month later, or two months later, what’s your synthesis of how that day went for you?

Glick: Yeah, I mean, mid-race, I thought it was going horribly.

iRunFar: Okay.

Glick: But then when I got to the finish line, I kind of had to fake a victory, like this is pretty awesome. I got on the podium. I was very excited when I got to the finish line, and realized like, Hey, I ran under 16 hours. But for about 12 hours leading up to it I was not having those wonderful thoughts.

iRunFar: Okay. What did you take away from that race that you’re bringing back with you this year — like successes, failures, things that you felt you nailed, stuff you’re working on? Anything you want to share there?

Glick: Yeah, I mean, if I were to dive into what went wrong, it would be you know, the mechanics were not working properly last year. Of course, I don’t beat myself up over that because I took the approach that I thought was smart. And I think it wasn’t bad, but it just, honestly just didn’t work very good. The body wasn’t cooperating with me on race day. Also, nutritionally I had a pretty poor strategy. Just like simply based on calorie consumption, I miscalculated some of the sections and how long it might take me.

iRunFar: So too few calories.

Glick: Yeah, too few in certain sections. And it wasn’t like my stomach turned sideways on me, just poor planning on my part and not knowing how long it takes. I was thinking more in miles, instead of really analyzing — How long is it going to take me? How big is this climb? So, I screwed up the nutrition a little bit. But fortunately, my stomach was fine and I came back fine with it, once I learned that I just needed to take in a little bit more fuel.

iRunFar: Got it. Undo the bonk.

Glick: Yeah, kind of undo the bonk. And when I’m in shape, I don’t feel a bonk as much. Like, I didn’t feel that trashed. I was just like, Why can’t I climb? And then my, you know, the mechanics went south and I started cramping really bad. Compensation for my injury previously, and whatever. But yeah, so like going into it this year, nutrition is a lot better. Still working on getting the mechanics worked out. Like I think I have a really good plan. I think my strength training structure is going to shoot me towards a really nice race. But I won’t, like, you’ll have to ask me that at 60 miles. I’ll tell you if it’s working or not.

iRunFar: Okay, so when I see you at Foresthill, can I ask?

Glick: You can ask.

iRunFar: Okay. How are the mechanics?

Glick: I’ll be like, well, yeah. I can give you, yea or nay. It’s either working or it’s not.

iRunFar: Okay. So, it struck me the other day — when is the last time you didn’t race 100 miles? Like, have you decided to be a 100-mile runner?

Glick: Boy, I feel like that question should be so much easier to answer. Honestly…

iRunFar: It’s been a couple years, has it?

Glick: I should look at the list of races I did. I honestly can’t remember the last time I raced.

iRunFar: It’s been at least a couple of years.

Glick: Yeah, it has. Yeah, so I am clearly a 100-mile specialist.

iRunFar: So that’s not intentional. That’s just random. You’ve been picking races that you’re drawn to, and it just turns out it’s a bunch of 100 milers?

Glick: I would say it’s somewhat intentional.

iRunFar: Okay.

Glick: Like I really enjoy it. I was talking with Cole Watson about this, and he was just, you know, he’s super-fast on the flat marathon scene, as well as super good at running mountains, too. And like distance variation, too. And he was just saying how hard it was for him last year, getting back in marathon shape after running Western States. And I’ve — after doing a bunch of 100s consecutively — I’ve learned it’s just so much easier coming off of one race and going back into the same… You know, obviously the races are very different. I run flat ones, I run mountains, I run a lot of variations within that distance, but it’s so much smoother transitioning from one race. And then I think you can really get dialed in on that specific distance, too. And like, really get good at that race. Just like it takes a long time to figure out any distance, whether short or long.

iRunFar: You have segued yourself into my next question. You’re one of the couple of very lucky people who are doing a very interesting double — in that three weeks after the finish of Western States, you’ll be finishing the Hardrock 100.

Glick: Okay, I was going to correct you and say two weeks, and then like six days, but then you said “finishing.”

iRunFar: [laughs]

Glick: But I liked the confidence there. So, I guess I will be finishing three weeks exactly from Western States. [crosses fingers]

iRunFar: [crosses fingers]

Glick: Yeah. I think it’s so exciting, because when I applied for Hardrock, I was just like, There’s not a chance. And I had a qualifier, and so I have to apply, right? If I want to run it before I’m in old age.

iRunFar: Start putting in.

Glick: So, I was like, okay, let’s start putting in for Hardrock, and then I got drawn. And I’m like, I better check the date of this race.

iRunFar: Stop. You didn’t look before you put in. You were planning for 2030 on that.

Glick: Yeah. I was planning for 2030. And then I’m like, and I already had UTMB on the calendar. And I’m like, Okay, something’s got to give here. But then, at first, it was like a knot in my stomach, and then the more I thought about it, I’m like, you know what, I didn’t pick this. I tried it, but I didn’t pick it.

iRunFar: It picked you.

Glick: It picked me. And then I got really excited when I realized that this was going to be the first time in a while that I have challenged my crazy. Because, like I do crazy things all the time, and I’ve been for a long time, and like, I’m a cautious guy. So, I take incremental steps.

iRunFar: Risk averse.

Glick: Yeah, so my first mountain race was Western States a year ago. And then I went to Run Rabbit Run [100 Mile], which was slightly more crazy and at altitude and everything. And then like, Hardrock would be the next step, right? Well, Merry Christmas, I get a trashed body to take to Hardrock, so it’s going to be fun to challenge my crazy.

iRunFar: So, I asked Courtney Dauwalter — who is also running the Western States/Hardrock double — this same question yesterday when I interviewed her. Are you racing Western States this week like there is or is not a 100-mile race three weeks in the future? Or two weeks and six days.

Glick: Yeah, I’m definitely racing like there’s not.

iRunFar: Okay.

Glick: I feel like, I don’t want to have two half decent races. I would way rather put all my eggs in one basket. And then I view Hardrock like my vacation after it. I hope to go into that celebrating. If I’m having a pity party, then we’ll just deal with that when we get there.

iRunFar: It is more common as our sport grows that people start to specialize. Be it distance or specific terrain. While you seem to trend towards 100 milers, it seems like you like all of them. Like all the 100 milers all the time for Arlen. Are you finding a type of terrain out there that you like more than others or is it really like — you like it all?

Glick: Yeah, I definitely am liking it all. And that’s why I haven’t given up… Like, you know, I chose Umstead 100 Mile this year as like, kind of like a race that I’ve done before. I am loving the mountain scene, but our mountain running season is unfortunately very short.

iRunFar: So, you have to find a way to occupy yourself the other nine months of the year.

Glick: You nailed it.

iRunFar: Okay. Fair enough. Fast and flat.

Glick: Yeah, so it’s flat and fast, and then when I get to run mountains, then there it is.

iRunFar: Awesome. Best of luck to you on your adventure from Olympic Valley to Placer High. But then also best of luck on a very quick recovery and turnaround to the next one.

Glick: Thank you. I’m going to need all the luck I can get.

iRunFar: [laughs] Nah, you’re ready.

Glick: Thank you very much.

iRunFar: Yeah, thank you.

Meghan Hicks

Meghan Hicks is the Editor-in-Chief of iRunFar. She’s been running since she was 13 years old, and writing and editing about the sport for around 15 years. She served as iRunFar’s Managing Editor from 2013 through mid-2023, when she stepped into the role of Editor-in-Chief. Aside from iRunFar, Meghan has worked in communications and education in several of America’s national parks, was a contributing editor for Trail Runner magazine, and served as a columnist at Marathon & Beyond. She’s the co-author of Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running with Bryon Powell. She won the 2013 Marathon des Sables, finished on the podium of the Hardrock 100 Mile in 2021, and has previously set fastest known times on the Nolan’s 14 mountain running route in 2016 and 2020. Based part-time in Moab, Utah and Silverton, Colorado, Meghan also enjoys reading, biking, backpacking, and watching sunsets.