Tyler Green Post-2023 Western States 100 Interview

A video interview (with transcript) with Tyler Green after his second-place finish at the 2023 Western States 100.

By on June 25, 2023 | Comments

Tyler Green placed second in the 2023 Western States 100, his fourth run at the event. In this interview he talks about the decision to race more aggressively than before, sharing miles with Anthony Costales, and how special it was to have his family present at the race.

For more on how the race played out, read our in-depth Western States 100 results article.

Tyler Green Post-2023 Western States 100 Interview Transcript

iRunFar: Sarah Brady of iRunFar. I’m here the day after the 2023 Western States 100 with second-place man Tyler Green. Congratulations, Tyler, how are you feeling?

Tyler Green: I’m feeling pretty great. This is a special day to just be able to celebrate a great race.

iRunFar: Brilliant. This is not your first time here. So, this is your fourth Western States. So, you were 14th and then you’ve been kind of creeping up the field ever since. You were second in 2021, fourth last year, second again here, but timewise this is a personal best by how much?

Green: I think it’s 53 minutes total, which is a big one.

iRunFar: Okay, that’s amazing. Do you think it’s some changes you’ve made in your life? I believe you were stepping back from your teaching job. Has that helped to make room for you to train a little bit better?

Green: I think that was the initial intention, and then we had a kid. So that’s changed that around a little bit. So, I don’t know if we have necessarily more time or not. I think some other aspects of just, the approach to the race. Just experience is one thing. But then the training that we put in, and just the, sorry, I’m losing my train of thought right now. Sorry.

iRunFar: You’re okay. Just the training was different this year?

Green: Training was different. Oh, and then it was just, it being in a cooler year was just an opportunity.

iRunFar: Of course.

Green: In 2019 it was a cool year, and I really felt like I held back way, way too much. And this was a chance for me to rectify that and be aggressive from the start. And plus, my wife was very, very adamant about like, most people know me as a conservative from the start runner. But there have been some times when I have gone out a little bit harder. Transgrancanaria was one of those this February, and it turned out well. And I need to remember that I can go both ways.

iRunFar: Okay. And having completed the course so many times already, does that give you more confidence to know how far you could push it without pushing too far?

Green: Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely a new territory that I was in, having gone a little bit harder at the start. And you know, by Michigan Bluff and Foresthill, knowing that I want to feel pretty good at that time. I was kind of doing some, I don’t know, scans of myself and seeing how I was feeling. I was like, I don’t know if I can make it to the finish. But Anthony [Costales] and I chatted about this, like, as we were running. We were like, “This is our move. We’re going to go for it. And maybe it fizzles out, but we’re going to go for it.”

iRunFar: Okay, and how much of the course did you share with Anthony?

Green: We were together or close together for pretty much the entire time, I would say. I think I had eight minutes on him at one point. Let’s see. I mean Foresthill all the way, or sorry, from the start all the way to Foresthill I would probably say like a minute or two minutes the entire time. And then I didn’t end up seeing him after Foresthill. But he was always close.

iRunFar: Okay, good. So, you kept each other moving anyway.

Green: Yeah, it was fun to spend some time with him.

iRunFar: Okay, brilliant. And at what point then did you find yourself in second? Because there was a lot of movement in front of you.

Green: Yeah, that was going into its Ford’s Bar is the third Cal. Is that called Cal Three as well?

iRunFar: Yeah.

Green: So, I think it was going into there that we made the pass on him. Knew that the split or the gap was coming down, and that we might be seeing him soon. Surpassed him there, and then never felt like it was locked up, because by the time we got to Pointed Rocks, I heard that it was three minutes. And then I was like, Okay, we’ve got to go.

iRunFar: Yeah, that’s pretty anxious. But it was nice that when you go to the track, you didn’t have to sprint finish like last year.

Green: Yeah, that was my big mantra throughout that last climb was No regrets. No regrets. No regrets. And it’s always been a goal of mine to run all the way up to Robie Point. And besides, there’s like those few like, railroad ties that just, you can’t really run I would say. Besides that, I ran the whole thing, and I’m really proud of that.

iRunFar: Yeah. Okay, that’s great. And you had a lovely finish line moment as well with your family.

Green: Yeah, that was really special. We’ve had some different iterations. My first time, Rachel [Drake] and I were married for a month. And we’d been married for a month when we crossed the finish line together. And then the next year, it was the two of us with her running in with me. And then she was pregnant last year. And now we have the baby to come along with us.

iRunFar: Brilliant. And what about next year then? Do you think you’re going to come back? Or are you going to pass the torch?

Green: Yeah, I’d really like to see Rachel run this. And so, that’s my hope, is that she has an opportunity to. I’m not going to totally say no to it just yet, but it’s hard. This place feels like a family, and I think in one way or another will be here, to celebrate with everyone. It’s just an amazing event.

iRunFar: Okay, you need some time to digest this one first, I’m sure. So, in terms of this season then, are you taking some time right now or have you any more goals?

Green: The big plan over the year was not just Western States, but Western States/UTMB double. I think David Laney was the last man to go top 10 in both of them, so I’m halfway there. But there’s a very big challenge ahead with UTMB.

iRunFar: For sure.

Green: So, I’d like to go for that, and see if I can get in the top 10 in both in one year.

iRunFar: Okay. And would you have to like, switch up your training now massively to get more into the mountains, pick up a pair of hiking poles, and stop the speedwork?

Green: Yeah, definitely getting out the poles. I think the speed is there. So, just maintaining that and then spending a lot of time in the mountains. So this is, I should say, giving us an opportunity to get out in the mountains. Rachel and I will be, and the baby will be, heading out to Chamonix in a couple of weeks. And we’ll spend our time there getting our training in. And then I think that should be one little, one extra piece of the puzzle to help set us up for success out there.

iRunFar: Okay, brilliant. It sounds like you’re all in for a fun summer anyway.

Green: Yeah.

iRunFar: Congratulations again. And thanks very much.

Green: Thank you so much.

Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is Managing Editor at iRunFar. She’s been working in an editorial capacity for ten years and has been a trail runner for almost as long. Aside from iRunFar, she’s worked as an editor for various educational publishers and written race previews for Apex Running, UK, and RAW Ultra, Ireland. Based in Belfast, Ireland, Sarah is an avid mountain runner and ultrarunner and competes at distances from under 10k to over 100k. When not running, she enjoys reading, socializing, and hanging out with her dog, Angie, and cat, Judy.