As difficult as it is to believe, given how competitive both the Western States 100 and Hardrock 100 lotteries are, every year a small group of athletes manage to gain entry into both races. In fact, this happened to me once back in 2009 and I ran both races a mere 13 days apart (these days, the races are 20 days apart). Doing the double was one of the more difficult things I’ve done in my running career, but also one of the most fulfilling summers of my life. This year, there are a handful of potential Western States 100/Hardrock 100 “doublers” on both entrants lists. I won’t try to fit all of their stories into one column, but three of those names in particular stand out to me.
First, there is 29-year-old Ohio runner Arlen Glick. Glick, who burst onto the elite ultra scene in 2021 with wins at Umstead 100 Mile, Mohican 100 Mile, Burning River 100 Mile, and Javelina 100 Mile, parlayed that success into a third-place finish at the 2022 Western States 100. Generally thought of as a flatland runner, based on those 2021 results, Glick’s Western States finish — combined with his second-place finish at his first real mountain race, the 2022 Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile this past September — proved that he has versatility beyond the flat and fast courses. With his 2023 entry secured at Western States by his top-10 finish in 2022, Glick now finds himself facing the double, as he was one of the few one-ticket runners picked for this year’s Hardrock. Assuming his training goes well, Glick could take a shot at Jeff Browning’s Western States/Hardrock record.
Next is Flagstaff, Arizona’s 46-year-old John Fegyveresi. “Feggy,” as he is commonly known, is one of only three people ever — Mark Williams and David Horton being the others — to finish Western States, Hardrock, and the Barkley Marathons. With his Barkley finish in 2012, Feggy proved that one doesn’t need elite speed or high mountain pedigree to complete the Barkley. Having finished Western States in 2017 in 27:51 — after being pulled off the waitlist the day before the race — and then Hardrock in 2018 in 39:59, Feggy now has the chance to complete both races in one year. Nobody doubts Feggy’s toughness. The challenge for him will be to run controlled enough at Western States to have enough in the tank to complete the loop at Hardrock.
Finally, there is Wyoming’s 61-year-old ultrarunning legend, Pam Reed. Reed, who ran her first ultra over 30 years ago at the 1992 Wasatch Front 100 Mile, is going for her second Western States/Hardrock double. Back in 2015, Reed ran a 26:39 Western States and followed it up with a 39:25 Hardrock. I first met Reed back in 2000, at the now defunct Phoenix National Trail 50 Mile, and have followed her career ever since. With two Hardrock finishes and seven Western States finishes, she is far and away the most experienced of this year’s doublers. I have to assume, that provided she manages to finish her eighth Western States in 2023, she will be in hot pursuit of the ever elusive 1,000 mile buckle in the next few years. Knowing how tough Pam is, I would not bet against it.
Going into the 2023 ultrarunning season, there are many exciting stories to follow. For me, the stories of these three doublers are at the top of the list. While most people feel lucky to just get into one of these races, Glick, Feggy, and Reed now get the chance to enjoy both. It will be fun to watch!
AJW’s Beer of the Week
This week’s beer of the week comes from AJW’s Taproom favorite Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro Bend, Vermont. Each autumn since 2009, the Hill brothers have released Twilight of the Idols, a winter porter brewed in classic Danish style. I was given a bottle as a gift recently and the coffee, chocolate bittersweet concoction simply melted in my mouth. Notoriously difficult to get, Twilight of the Idols is well worth the effort.
Call for Comments
- Do you know anyone else who is entered for the Western States 100/Hardrock 100 double this year?
- What are your predictions for how these doublers will fare?!