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Everything You Need To Know About The 2024 Western States 100

Athletes will be vying for the coveted silver buckle in the world's oldest 100-mile race.

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This weekend, the stars of ultra trail running will gather in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the sunshine state of California for the world’s oldest 100-mile race: The Western States 100.

The race has become known as one of the most challenging tests of endurance in the sport with nearly 30,000 feet of elevation gain to be covered within the 30-hour time limit.

Everything You Need To Know About The 2024 Western States 100 1

When And How To Watch Western States 100

The race starts bright and early at 5 a.m. on Saturday, June 29th, 2024 at the base of Palisades Tahoe, and finish 30 hours later on Sunday, June 30th, 2024. Starting at 6,000 feet above sea level, the air will be thin from the start, and the temperatures can reach as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. 

If you’re keen to follow the athletes, you can catch all the action live on the Western States 100 Youtube. While the livestream is typically great, the service in the rural areas can be dodgy. However, you can also use the live tracker to follow your favorite athletes and keep up to date with important updates on X.

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What Is The Western States 100 Course?

The race traces the Western States Trail from Palisades Tahoe in Olympic Valley to Auburn. This trail was used by 20th-century horsemen, 1850s gold and silver miners, and Indigenous communities like the Nisenan and Washoe for millennia. 

Despite being net downhill, the course includes 18,000 feet of elevation gain, with the 23,000 feet of descent testing runners’ endurance before they even reach Auburn.

Starting at the crack of dawn at Palisades Tahoe at 6,000 feet above sea level, runners immediately face a 2,550-foot climb over the first 4.5 miles, reaching Emigrant Pass just in time for sunrise.

The next 25 miles on singletrack through the high country are the most technical, winding through the Granite Chief Wilderness. This section often features significant snow, though this year the course will be snow-free.

At Robinson Flat (mile 30.3), the high country gives way to the infamous canyons. Temperatures can reach 100 degrees on the exposed fire roads and singletrack, making heat management crucial, especially at Michigan Bluff (mile 55.7) and Forest Hill (mile 62) aid stations. Here, ice vests, bandanas, and other cooling methods are essential.

Runners can pick up pacers at Forest Hill, where they will tackle the next 16 miles, mostly downhill, to the Rocky Chucky aid station (mile 78) and the American River crossing. Depending on water levels, runners may wade through hip-deep water or take a brief raft ride.

After crossing the river, a two-mile climb leads to Green Gate (mile 79.8), marking the start of the most runnable section. The course continues on rolling singletrack and fire roads until No Hands Bridge (mile 97), followed by a final climb to Robie Point (mile 99). The race concludes with a mile downhill to the Placer High School track, where runners complete the last 250 meters on the track to the finish line.

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What’s The Weather Going To Be Like?

The name ‘Sunshine State’ will ring true this weekend.

Saturday afternoon will be the hottest period of the race, with temperatures reaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

The afternoons and evenings won’t be too much cooler wither. Saturday morning, when the runners take off, will be around 72 degrees Fahrenheit, while the evening will be around 82.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Overnight, runners can expect some reprieve from the heat, with temperatures of around 64.5 degrees Farenheit.

Sunday morning will heat up again, with temperatures of around 73.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

The forecast is not currently indicating any rain, storms, or strong winds, which is a good thing for athletes as course times rely heavily on weather conditions on the day.

Is There Prize Money?

Wester States 100 is operated by a non-profit organization and race director Craig Thornley says that offering prize money goes against the mission of the race.

Instead of prize money, the race offers iconic belt buckles for all participants in addition to the coveted Wendell Robi Cup and Western States Cougar Trophy, and other awards for certain results.

Here’s a list of the awards available at Western States 100:

  1. The first official male and female runner to cross the finish line within 24 hours will be the winner of the Wendell Robie Cup, a perpetual trophy on which the victor’s name will be engraved.
  2. The first male and female finishers will each be awarded the bronze Western States Cougar Trophy.
  3. Additional age-group awards will be given to the top three men and women in the following categories: 39 and under; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69, and 70 and over.
  4. All finishers in under 24:00:00 hours will receive the hand-made silver Western States Endurance Run belt buckle.
  5. All finishers who finish in a time of 24:00:00 but under 30 hours will receive the hand-made bronze Western States Endurance Run belt buckle to commemorate their achievement.
  6. All official finishers will receive an attractive finisher’s medallion.
  7. The oldest male and female finishers will receive special awards presented by Dr. Walter and Ruth Ann Bortz.

Out of all the awards available, the silver buckle is likely one of the most iconic in the world of ultrarunning.

“The Silver Buckle is perhaps the most coveted award in ultrarunning. With roots going back to the award given out to finishers of the Tevis Ride, the belt buckle has now become the standard for 100 mile races in the US. Some shorter races even award buckles to finishers. The Western States Silver Buckle has been hand crafted by the family run business Comstock Heritage in Carson City, NV since the beginning. Below is a picture of the buckle given to the winner. All sub-24 hour finishers receive a similar buckle. Note that because these are handcrafted, no two buckles will look exactly alike.”

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Who To Watch?

Jim Walmsley

Jim Walmsley returns to Western States after two years in France focusing on UTMB. He’s aiming for a fourth title. As the course record-holder, Walmsley is the one to watch. Katie Schide, last year’s runner-up to Courtney Dauwalter, also returns. Both Schide and Dauwalter broke Ellie Greenwood’s women’s course record of 16:47:19 set in 2012. With six of last year’s top 10 men and women returning and a strong field of Golden Ticket winners, this year’s race is more competitive than ever.

Men’s Race Contenders

  • Returning Top Finishers: Jiasheng Shen (fourth), Dan Jones (fifth), Ryan Montgomery (eighth), Jeff Colt (ninth), and Cole Watson (tenth) are all back with more experience.
  • Hayden Hawks: After a knee injury forced him to DNF last year, Hawks is back in peak form, having won the Black Canyons 100K in February. He’s looking for redemption.
  • Tyler Green: With finishes of second, fourth, and second in the last three races, Green is increasingly confident. This could be his year.
  • Dakota Jones: Last year, Jones led early but faded to 17th. He rebounded with a third-place finish at CCC and earned a Golden Ticket.
  • Jonathan Albon: Last year’s CCC winner, if healthy, will be a strong contender.
  • Petter Engel: The Swedish runner earned his spot with a third-place finish at the Canyons 100K in April and could surprise if he handles the heat well.
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Katie Schide

Katie Schide returns as the top women’s contender with the second-fastest time ever. She finished second behind Dauwalter in her debut at Western States in 2023, clocking in at 16:43:45, which is one of the fastest times in the race’s history. Schide has an impressive track record in ultra running, including winning the 2022 UTMB. Her experience and previous performance make her a favorite in this year’s race.

Women’s Race Contenders

  • Eszter Csillag: Last year’s third-place finisher aims to improve her standing.
  • Emily Hawgood and Leah Yingling: Both have consistently placed in the top 10 and are looking to build on their performances.
  • Ida Nilsson and Priscilla Forgie: Returning for a second attempt, they aim to better their seventh and eighth-place finishes.
  • Heather Jackson: After stomach issues led to a DNF last year, Jackson is back for redemption.
  • Yngvild Kaspersen and Fu-Zhao Xiang: Both are making their States debuts after earning Golden Tickets.
  • Rachel Drake: Making her debut with experience as crew and pacer for her partner Tyler Green, Drake has been performing well since recovering from childbirth less than two years ago.
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Men’s And Women’s Startlists

First NameLast NameAgeCountryWS Finished
KatieSchide32USA1
EszterCsillag39HUN1
EmilyHawgood29ZWE3
IdaNilsson43SWE1
PriscillaForgie33CAN1
LeahYingling33USA2
TylerGreen40USA4
JiashengShen29CHN1
DanielJones33NZL1
RyanMontgomery30USA1
JeffreyColt33USA2
ColeWatson32USA2
YngvildKaspersen29NOR0
EmilySchmitz43USA0
JonathanAlbon35NOR0
DakotaJones33USA1
LottiBrinks28USA0
CalebOlson28USA0
CalebBowen30USA0
EleanorDavis35GBR0
GiuliaVinco33ITA0
JimWalmsley34USA4
SimonGosselin28FRA0
HeatherJackson40USA0
RagnaDebats45ESP1
JonathanRea32USA2
BlakeSlattengren28USA0
LinChen33CHN0
AnnaLi30CHN0
JiDuo31CHN0
RobertHajnal34ROU0
RachelDrake33USA0
BeccaWindell38USA0
LaurenPuretz41USA0
HaydenHawks33USA2
JupiterCarera Casas30MEX0
ChrisMyers28USA0
CarethArnold34USA0
AnnaLouden31USA0
RodFarvard28USA2
PetterEngdahl29NOR0
KellieAngel38AUS0
SallyMcRae45USA3
KaciLickteig37USA9
HarveyLewis48USA0
NickCoury36USA0
FuzhaoXiang32CHN0
NobuyoriTakeda44USA0
SamFiandaca52USA2
ErnestMlynarczyk53POL0
WillRivera53USA0
TakeshiNoda39JPN0
ToddLaw56USA3
HeidiRounds43USA0
DanBarger58USA15
RudyWedlarski44FRA0
CaolanMacMahon60USA0
PhillipNigh61USA0
KenWeiblen52USA0
LuannePark63USA10
ShaunDaylor45USA0
MansourMonem65USA2
KenWard67USA9
WilliamAbel51USA1
VinceMolosky44USA0
OlovBerg53USA0
CarlosOsollo52USA0
XavierBerruel51CAN0
MarkStugard50USA0
FrancescoRiccadonna49CAN0
JamesPoole48GBR1
EricSpector77USA0
JeffRowthorn46CAN0
KarelBaloun52USA0
BrentonSwyers36USA0
WilliamBarkan40USA0
JoeBarnard44USA0
AlisonBassett47USA1
JoshuaNichols36USA1
JerryPi47USA0
RochelleGamette50USA0
JackDavis47ZAF0
MarcyBeard55USA0
SeanBelling39USA0
VincentPelisson30FRA0
RussDresher42USA0
JoannEllero55USA0
YukaAtsumi60JPN0
JeffBoutte61USA4
NadineBennett40GBR0
MichaelDaly48USA1
HebahHefzy41USA0
CheriWinter51USA0
PaulGarner55GBR0
CarolYoungblood46USA0
PaulBerquam51USA1
DebbieBooth51USA1
CraigBetz40USA0
MarianVasile47NLD0
BruceNguyen49USA0
KimPenzone53USA0
ChristopherHarrington40USA0
JeffBlack53USA0
AmyMcDowell38USA0
ChandlerBlake48USA0
JunichiHashimoto46JPN0
JohnBruno38USA0
StephenBlea38USA0
IrisCooper65CAN1
ThorstenPreiss47DEU0
JimBledsoe44USA0
JacobRydman39USA0
HerbertKrabel59USA0
BrianMulholand41USA1
AndrewZapor36USA0
DennisBoic48USA1
AlinaEdwards44USA0
CharKuperstein42USA0
RyanBolton32AUS0
JoshRutowski28USA0
TimWeber61USA0
KevinCannaday45USA1
JonathanBretan41USA0
KenBrook37USA0
BruceKeele57USA0
ChloeBrooks29GBR0
MattWhalen45USA0
BurkhardMünchow57DEU0
EliBurakian46USA0
JacobBurnett40USA0
MichaelBusada34USA0
JaredByrd40USA1
ChrisCalimano42USA0
KarenEllis44USA0
SamanthaCarney48USA0
BogieDumitrescu49USA1
StevenWright65USA0
StevenCarr57USA0
MeganCarroll38USA0
IainJones47USA0
GiuseppeCavallo45USA0
WayneChan47USA0
Jean-MathieuChenier39CAN0
Yung HaeCho49USA0
LaurenCiccomascolo34USA0
GregCizio34USA0
EmilyClay34USA1
TabathaCollins51USA0
RandyDuncan62CAN1
BrianCompagnone50USA0
KellyCook41USA0
BrandonCrews41USA0
ChrisCulpepper59USA0
ToddCurtis51USA0
SeanDanaher34USA0
MadelineHirschfeld31USA0
GillesDavery47USA0
RomainDemare38CHE0
GuominDeng34CHN0
CarsonGalloway33USA0
AdamDickerson38USA0
JosephDorph30AUS0
BrianHill50USA1
TomDownes53IRL0
WilliamSheehan47GBR0
KuwannaDyer-Pietras48USA0
SteveRowbury56USA1
JurisDzenis43LVA0
JoshuaEddy43USA0
DavidPeppelman48USA0
TaylorEdwards33USA0
MattElam32USA0
AnthonyRusso47USA0
RachelElliott43USA0
MikeFakler36USA0
JoshWelch41USA0
NicholasFerdinand43USA0
LisaGesualdo54USA0
SaschaFersch46DEU0
GordonFreeman39USA0
MattiaFrigeri43ITA0
JustinGalbraith37USA0
JoshGall33USA0
ColtonGerhart31USA0
DanBaxley53USA0
BaldwynChieh55USA0
AndrewMcDowall46NZL0
DominicGrossman37USA1
MaeBarker47USA0
PaulJacobs46USA0
MariannaGrudziak37USA0
RosaliaGuarischi45BRA0
ForbesGuthrie51USA0
KlausHaake54DEU0
MatthewHagenah51USA0
MalloryHam67USA0
PaulaHamilton61USA0
CynthiaHeady62USA2
PatrickHeine35USA0
BrennanHenning25USA0
AndresHernandez54USA0
RickHohman41USA0
SeanHoover41USA0
TedJamieson36USA0
TravisLiles45USA0
ColleenJay48USA0
BobLuther48USA0
JeffreyJordan61USA1
JakeThornton34USA0
EricJohnson43USA0
BetsyKalmeyer63USA0
TakashiTerabayashi54JPN0
BabanKenkre48USA0
NgugiKihara38USA0
AshleyGramza38USA0
NoelKingston59USA0
SuzyKisylia55USA0
ZelkoKrajcar52SWE0
LisaKravetz61USA0
ShannonKrogsrud35USA0
NathanKurz41USA0
ShermanLam44CAN0
JoshuaLandvatter40USA0
PeterLawson60USA0
HélèneLéger41FRA0
LorenLewis52USA2
KeshiaHeggie-Street57USA0
ToddLogan41USA0
KhrisVickroy48USA0
AnthonyLounsbery46USA0
ZacLundgren34USA0
TinLuu43USA0
JeremyLyons37USA0
CharlesMacNulty50USA0
Jean-FrancoisDelbecq43FRA0
JeffMandrell38USA0
BrandonMathews48USA0
RachelShebert29USA0
PeteMcHugh47USA0
JeffMcpherson49USA0
JoMeek47GBR0
GeromeFernandez33FRA0
AndreasKohlhund41DEU0
RyanMiller43USA0
CalMitchell63CAN1
EricMoe55USA0
CharleyJones52USA15
JuliaMoffitt57USA0
Soren HadsundMortensen57DNK0
RickertMulder36ZAF0
MarkusMüller59AUT0
RyanMylymuk30CAN0
JohnMcKune48USA2
SteveNagayama49USA0
YukiNaotori51JPN0
JosephSmail50USA0
TomasNordlöf38SWE0
ToddNott60USA1
PaulOlson49USA0
ElizabethOmodt47USA0
JonParadowski47CAN0
YuryPark41USA0
BryonPaulazzo34USA0
DavePayne62USA0
MelissaO’Connell33USA0
AndyPearson39USA1
JoelPennington43USA0
MaximePetazzoni37USA0
GlennRichardson48USA0
JamieRickard44USA0
AbbyMcKee54USA1
StacieRiddle44USA0
AngelaRitchie54USA0
JocelynRivas27USA0
RileyRobertson34USA0
WilliamRobinson56USA1
TylerRogers37CAN0
CesareRotundo59USA1
CarolinaRubio- Macwright42USA0
AndrewRuthenbeck40USA0
StefanoRuzza42ITA0
WaelSammur61USA0
PhilipSanderson56USA9
JeremyScanlan41USA0
MikeSchmitt47USA0
EdwardScott30GBR0
FrancescoSgarlata35ITA0
WilliamShaw52USA0
JohnSherback44USA0
MikalaShremshock41USA0
NoahSimcoff36USA0
ShavinderSingh46USA4
GregSisengrath48USA0
SarahSlater46USA0
NateSmith48USA0
EmilSoderlund48FIN0
MatthewNewton42USA0
BrianMiller48USA3
WhitneySolomon42USA0
FlemmingSondergaard46CAN0
KedricOsborne47USA0
FrancoSoriano53USA1
SaraLewis47USA0
AlainaStar35USA0
AlexStaten33USA0
BrianSteinberg45USA1
AustonSterling31USA0
BryanStevens46USA0
JonathanStrong41GBR0
ScottStruck58USA0
JonathanTanner37USA1
AndrewTaylor40USA1
David ErnestTaylor63AUS0
RandyTaylor42USA0
ShimpeiOishi34JPN0
CatherineTetreault56CAN0
MathiasThenaisie34FRA0
JonathanThrone37USA0
JohnTidd60ESP2
AdamTremblay47CAN0
TonyTrundley58GBR0
RobinUcelli43FRA0
MatthewUrbanski43USA1
JanaVeliskova39CZE0
DevinVennard31USA0
CarolVillegas48USA0
JonathanWalker55GBR0
MikeWallin40USA0
ChelseaWard-Waller34USA0
BrantWarner46USA0
ErichWashausen34USA0
ShingoWatanabe40JPN0
BryanWeathers44USA0
HenrikWesterlin49CHE1
MadelineWighardt23CAN0
BrentWilliams42USA0
Sarah KirstyWilliams50GBR1
RebekahWinter35USA0
JayWnuk56USA0
LyndseyYang43USA0
KevinYoung48USA0
TeonnaZaragoza36USA0
JoshAmato50USA0
DavidKung52USA0
LisaMcFadden50USA1
SlawomirMichalak56POL0
NobuyasuTajime41JPN0
RandyTroyer59USA1
MartinUrbanik47SVK0
StefanieBernosky42USA0
KashingCheung44HKG0
KatherineWebb34USA0
LukeMatjas49USA0
GaëlNinot46FRA0
JuanParra58USA1
JeffMcLaughlin41USA0
JohanEdenteg47SWE0
YukiOhama41JPN0
HansVan Horn40USA0
FranciscoPorto50BRA0
ShawnMcDermott44USA0
Hian LimSoh58MYS0
WendyClark53USA0
EricThorne52USA0
MicaAnderson31USA0
ChristianLandresse54LUX0
TjDavid37USA0
JohnBaughman47USA0
JessePeragine35USA0
Yong ChuangChen51CAN0
EddLigsay64USA0
RyanThrower37USA0
JasonMidlock40USA0
JeffreyAdams46USA0
DrewDinan44USA0
AndrewBarrett57USA1
Photo of author
Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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