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Walmsley and Schide favourites as Western States line-ups are finalised

Jonathan Turner
News Director
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Americans Jim Walmsley and Katie Schide, both UTMB winners, will head the finalised fields for the 51st edition of Western States 100 Endurance Run at the end of this month.

Western States is the oldest and arguably the most iconic 100-mile trail run in the world and the stars are again out in force Auburn on June 29-30.

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Can Walmsley make it four?

Last year Walmsley memorably ended his quest to finally add a UTMB title in Chamonix to his CV and he’s the current course record holder at Western States, which he’s already won three times.

His time of 14:09:28 from 2019 hasn’t been bettered since and he’s the highest-ranked runner in terms of the UTMB index at 934 (Kilian Jornet is top on 941).

2023 UTMB champion Jim Walmsley after winning
2023 UTMB champion Jim Walmsley [Photo credit: UTMB]

But he’ll face a raft of strong rivals including the 2023 runner-up Tyler Green (USA, UTMB Index 880) and several other top finishers from 2023, including fourth-placed Jiasheng Shen (CHN, UTMB Index 906).

Dakota Jones (USA, UTMB Index 902), Ji Duo (CHN, UTMB Index 889) and Hayden Hawks (USA, UTMB Index 910) booked their spots alongside Walmsley via Golden Tickets from top-three performances at other big events.

Schide the one to beat

And on the women’s side the 2022 UTMB winner Katie Schide (UTMB Index 825) will be looking to go one better than last year’s second place at Western States.

Only superstar Courtney Dauwalter on 847 is ahead of Schide on the UTMB Index but the reigning Western States champion (who smashed the course record time when beating Schide) won’t be back to defend her title.

That means that Schide, who underlined her form with victory at the Canyons Endurance Runs by UTMB at the end of April, starts as the clear favourite.

Katie Schide wins Canyons Endurance Runs 2024 photo credit UTMB
Canyons Endurance Runs winner Katie Schide [Photo credit: UTMB]

But she too will face tough opposition from the likes of Eszter Csillag (HUN, UTMB Index 768), who finished third 12 months ago, and three-time finisher Emily Hawgood (ZWE, UTMB Index 757).

Other big names lining up include former professional IRONMAN athlete Heather Jackson (USA, UTMB Index 764), Eleanor Davis (GBR, UTMB Index 753) and Emily Schmitz (USA, UTMB Index 736).

Jackson recently advertised her gravel racing prowess in a thrilling sprint finish at the famed Unbound event.

We’ll build up to the big event over the next couple of weeks here at RUN247.

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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