Western States 100 Cancelled

Wow, the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run was cancelled for the first time in its 35 year history. The announcement about the 2008 edition came in a press release today. The cause: unprecedented wildfires in Northern California. I was tipped off by the RSS feed that I get from speedgoat Karl’s blog. What a total bummer for all the runners and an even bigger bummer for the race organizers and volunteers. We have many friends that were already out there getting ready for the big event this weekend.  I just talked to three-time women’s champ, Nikki Kimball, last week. She was primed. 

WS100 is the gold standard of US ultra running events. Both the men’s and women’s races were shaping up to be epic battles with many of the top US based ultra-marathon trail runners lining up for the point to point run. Debbie scouted parts of the course when we traveled to CA last year for the Way Too Cool 50k. At that time, we had talked about her attempting to either 1) qualify for WS100 or 2) enter the lottery to gain a race entry for 2008. Thankfully, she opted not to pursue this goal. She felt that the WS100 course isn’t suited to her style of trail running and that she wasn’t too keen on the 100 mile distance at this time. 

A race of this stature will recover from the cancellation, but it is a blow. At 35 years old, it is 10 years older than the Nipmuck Trail Marathon, the grandaddy of New England trail races, which is remarkable. Someday, I hope to see the spectacle. Maybe I can convince Debbie to train more and do more speed work, because I’m sure not running it!

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