It was a weekend of big racing with the likes of Western States 100, Ultra Trail Lavaredo and if you didn’t know, the 20-year-old men’s 100km world record was broken in Japan this weekend as well!
Starting off with the big dance, Western States brought with it the usual high drama we’ve come to expect from the world’s most prestigious 100 miler. In both races, we had some phenomenal performances which saw Jim Walmsley make it third time lucky (although luck plays no part in it), and on a baking hot day, not only win, but beat the record held by Timothy Olsen by 16 minutes.
Jim finished in a time of 14hrs 30mins, with France’s François D’haene showing what a versatile and true all round runner he is to secure second in 15hrs 54mins. Last year’s third place man, Mark Hammond did it again this year finishing just 14 minutes behind François in 16hrs 8mins.
In the ladies, Courtney Dauwalter ran a blinder too, finishing way ahead of the field in a time of 17hrs 27mins. Courtney played the patience game superbly, overtaking Lucy Bartholomew just after halfway and never looked back. A solid favourite before the race, Courtney proved her credentials as one of the standout female performers in the world currently with this win.
In second was Kaytlyn Gerbin in 18hrs 40mins and Australia’s Lucy Bartholomew third in 18hrs 59mins, to finish the highest placed Australian in the history of Western States. This was a superb result for Lucy in her first 100 miler. She took it out hard, leading the race for over half the distance and when Courtney overtook her, I’m sure many of us wondered if Lucy had cooked herself somewhat and would slip further back. But her ability to hold strong and maintain a podium place shows you the resilience of this extremely level-headed 22-year-old. A podium in the biggest miler in the world at your first go is no mean feat. With the experience under her belt, many fine performances at this race beckon for Lucy in the future.
Other notable performances include Cecilia Flori’s outstanding fifth place, finishing in a time of 19hrs 42mins and also Kathy Macmillan securing 16th place in a time of 21hrs 30mins. Finally, Stephen Redfern finished in 24th place in 20hrs 17mins, and this after only finding out he was racing Western States two weeks ago post a massive performance in a 24hr track race.
Over at Lavaredo there was further Aussie and Kiwi interest with Lou Clifton and Scotty Hawker to name but a few racing. In the ladies event, Lou continued her ever-consistent results by bagging 11th place, while Scotty grabbed 19th.
World 100km record smashed
And finally, at the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon, Nao Kazami beat a very deep and competitive field to win a world record time of 6:09:14, beating the 20-year-old former record by over four minutes. In the process of beating the 100km road world record, Kazami also beat the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978, by the late Don Ritchie who passed away last week. Congratulations Nao!