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Western States 100-mile Endurance Run men’s results: Another Walmsley masterclass for win number four

Jonathan Turner
News Director
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Jim Walmsley claimed his fourth win at the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run with another imperious display in California – though he was pushed like never before.

The ultrarunning legend last raced what is the oldest and most iconic 100-mile trail race in the world back in 2021 for what was his third win.

Since then of course he had decamped from the United States to France to help him achieve his lifetime ambition of winning the Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc, which happened last year.

But now back on home soil he returned to the event where he set the course record of 14 hours, nine minutes and 28 seconds in 2019 and threatened those splits for much of what was a baking hot day before eventually crossing the line on the track at Placer High School in Auburn in 14:13:45, the second-fastest time ever.

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Farvard holds off Hawks in sprint for second

It’s hard to compare times from year to year but this was another one for the ages and for much of the race he had been pushed by youngster Rod Farvard (USA) before asserting in the last 20 miles.

Farvard had been to the fore from the outset after the race set off at 5am in Olympic Valley.

Indeed the 28-year-old was first to crest the very first climb as the sun rose, but Walmsley was right on his tail and would take over at the front of the race soon afterwards.

Walmsley stayed at the head of the field pretty much throughout from then on – though for an absorbing section of the race he and Farvard were running shoulder to shoulder and swapping the lead.

Farvard actually opened up a near three-minute lead soon leaving the Green Gate aid station with 20 miles to go but Walmsley then went into overdrive.

He got stronger and stronger from that point onwards but such was the quality of the performances just behind him, he only really looked certain of the victory in the final 10 miles.

It was a brilliant display too from Farvard and though he suffered late on, this was a huge run on what was his fourth attempt at the race, with his previous best an 11th-place finish.

The contrast between Walmsley and Farvard at the final aid station of Pointed Rocks, five miles from the finish, was obvious but Farvard lost nothing in defeat – indeed he had to dig incredibly deep to ensure he maintained second place, just holding off Hayden Hawks (USA) by 16 seconds!

2023 UTMB champion Jim Walmsley after winning
Jim Walmsley is now a four-time Western States winner [Photo credit: UTMB]

Hawks rounds out the podium

Conditions had been pretty much perfect underfoot – there was no snow to deal with in the High Country for the first third of the race – but the rising temperatures did pose a real challenge for all.

Long-time training partners Hawks and Dan Jones (NZL) came next after Walmsley and Farvard and – in what was a theme for the day – stayed in those positions for much of the 100 miles, eventually coming home third and fourth respectively despite the former getting within touching distance of Farvard late on.

Norway-based Brit Jon Albon, winner of CCC at UTMB last year, produced a remarkable performance of his own on what was his 100-mile debut. And though he was overtaken late on for fifth by fellow Western States first-timer Caleb Olson (USA) it’s not unrealistic to think he could one day emulate last year’s winner Tom Evans and become the second British winner of Western States in the future.

And just to put Olson’s display – and those ahead of him – into context, his time of 14:29:47 was more than 10 minutes quicker than Evans’ winning time last year. It was also the fastest ever by a debutant and he was followed across the line a few minutes later by Albon.

Schide just spectacular

While Walmsley was incredible, something very special also happened in the women’s race where Katie Schide, runner-up last year, powered clear of her rivals early on and never looked back.

For a long time she was even ahead of last year’s astonishing course record splits of the great Courtney Dauwalter but eventually crossed the line in 15:46:57, just 17 minutes back, and only the second woman to smash the 16-hour barrier. Full report here.

2024 Western States 100 Race results

Men

Saturday June 29, 2024 – 100.2 miles

  1. Jim Walmsley (USA) – 14:13:45
  2. Rod Farvard (USA) – 14:24:15
  3. Hayden Hawks (USA) – 14:24:31
  4. Daniel Jones (NZL) – 14:32:59
  5. Caleb Olson (USA) – 14:29:47
Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  

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