Timothy Olson and Ellie Greenwood interviewed at the finish of the 2012 Western States 100, where they both broke their respective gender’s course record.
Timothy Olson 2012 Western States 100 Finish Line Interview
[Jump down to the full transcript of Timothy Olson’s finish line interview.]
Ellie Greenwood 2012 Western States 100 Finish Line Interview
[Jump down to the full transcript of Ellie Greenwood’s finish line interview.]
Timothy Olson 2012 Western States 100 Finish Line Interview Transcript
Andy Jones-Wilkins: Timothy Olson, your the Western States 100 mile champion! Good evening, everyone. I’m Andy Jones-Wilkins, and I’m thrilled to spend a little time chatting with Timothy. First of all, congratulations! That was amazing! Watching you out there throughout the day was incredible. I just want to ask you a couple things, and I know it’s kind of on the spot here. I saw you and Dave Mackey and Mike Wolfe cresting the hill at Devil’s Thumb and you guys were working it. Talk to me a little about that first half of the race, how you guys worked together as a group, and how things felt when you got there at that sort of halfway point.
Timothy Olson: First, it was cold, really cold. First, thank you all for coming out and cheering me. I appreciate it. Moving on with the race—it was pretty cloudy. We had a group of us, five of us or so, running together. We were waiting to get to the canyons hopefully to warm up a little bit. I guess we just pushed it up there. I felt good on the climbs. I lost them for a little bit, but caught back up there. I wanted more climbing, but this race apparently keeps going down, so that was rough. But yeah, I had a really wonderful time out there. It’s all good.
AJW: So then about between Michigan Bluff and Forest Hill, I don’t know if you made a move, but you got a gap on those guys. Did you intentionally get the gap or were you just moving a little bit faster first through El Dorado and then through Volcano Canyon and into Foresthill?
Olson: I guess on that last climb out of the canyons, they were hiking up it and I just wanted to keep running. So I kind of pushed it there and all the sudden I realized I kind of had a little gap and it was a good moment to go with it. I rode that wave for a little while and eventually Sandes caught me running through. We just kind of traded back and forth for awhile through Cal Street. I think right before the river crossing I kind of had a rush of… I could move a little bit, so I wanted to use that. I kind of took off and kept it rolling from there.
AJW: Well, you ran the fastest ever split from Foresthill to the river. Was the course record coming into your mind at that point?
Olson: No, no, I didn’t even look at my watch. That was too much work. I just kept going. At Highway 49, a couple people told me if I kicked it in gear I could get under it, so me and Hal-Daddy took it in and got in under the record which is nice. It was a little bit cooler day, but I’ll take it.
AJW: Well, Tim, on behalf of the whole Western States family, congratulations! This is obviously particularly special with a young boy on the way in a couple of months, and as a dad myself, bring him out here! If you need some instructions on how to have your kids turn into your crew, let me know. Enjoy the spoils of your victory and congratulations!
Ellie Greenwood 2012 Western States 100 Finish Line Interview Transcript
Andy Jones-Wilkins: Ladies and Gentlemen, 2012 Western States Endurance Run women’s champion and new course record holder, Ellie Greenwood! Ellie, amazing, amazing out there! Talk a little about the first 30 miles and your ability to control yourself and seeming to run your race when one of the other best ultrarunners in the world is running off the front.
Ellie Greenwood: Well, I’ve raced Lizzy before and I saw her race in about 2006 and finished a race narrowly behind her and I was in awe of this British woman. So she’s been an inspiration from the start. But I know that Lizzy goes out fast as I’ve raced her before, so I knew I had to run my own pace. I had to just bide my time.
AJW: You were behind by 16 minutes, then 8 minutes, then 2 minutes, and as you rolled out of Devil’s Thumb, the next thing you know you were in the lead and the rest of us, our mouths started to hang open in awe. When did you get to a point where you thought, “Okay, this is a pretty good day.”
Greenwood: I knew I was gaining on Lizzy, and in decent increments, once I got half way; but then you never know who’s behind you, too. I figured Lizzy might be taken, but I didn’t know who else might be coming from behind, so you kind of have to go with that, but then also not go too crazy too early on.
AJW: Yes. I have to ask, but I think everyone here knows you just broke an 18-year-old course record that was perhaps the most storied course record in our sport. It was a record of a 14-time winner of this race, who is an icon to many of us. When in the course of this race today were you thinking about that record?
Greenwood: Not too early. My main focus had to be on the ladies that were out there today and actually waiting and not chasing down the course record and making you go too fast and then actually not even winning at all. So I last looked at my watch at Rucky Chucky [mile 78], and then I looked at it at Robie Point [Mile 98.5]. So I didn’t look at it at all between those two points and I was telling everyone, “Don’t tell me the time! Don’t tell me the time.” I just didn’t want to know as yet.
AJW: Talk to us a bit about how Western States stacks up against the other events you’ve done and how you feel if this race is something you may return to.
Greenwood: It’s just the level of competition. It’s great to see the women’s field is getting just as competitive as the men’s field. I like the trails and the fact that it’s technical enough and steep enough and yet still runnable. So it’s somewhere in the middle and able to appeal to a lot of runners and even the playing field. It’s just an amazing organization, volunteers, a good buzz at all the aid stations; it makes it a fun day.
AJW: Well, Ellie, thank you very much. You’re an inspiration to us all. Everybody give it up one more time for Ellie Greenwood, your new Western States course record holder!