The Auburn Journal noted that there will be 458 starters this year tackling the potentially record-high heat (see article here). Great quotes from Bev Abbs, Alan Abbs, Rena Schumann, and Mark Lantz. With Jurek sitting this one out, the top spot is up for grabs. Alan Abbs summed it up perfectly by saying "A lot of people are going to go out hard thinking this is going to be their year, but it's going to get hot, so we'll see what happens."
Be sure to say 'hi' to Meghan when she passes you at States!)
I would especially like to say "break a leg" to the following Western States athletes/volunteers whom I've met in the last couple of years - Tim Tweitmeyer (going for #25!), John Ticer, Craig Thornley (#5!), Annette Bednosky, Bev and Alan Abbs, Dean Karnazes (#11!), Rena Schumann (#9!), Rick Gaston (#1!), Mark Lantz, Chase Duarte, Gordy Ainsleigh (#21!), Marty and Karyn Hoffman, Andy Jones-Wilkins, Chikara Omine, Kami Semick, Julie Fingar, Eric Blumenau, Graham Cooper, Don Lundell and Gillian Robinson (Go Zombies!), Betsy Nye, Whit Rambach, Greg Soderlund, the Klein's, Simon Mtuy, Catra Corbett (first ever double-Western States!), and the many, many others.
You've clocked your miles - now go out there and have a great race!
May the trail spirits be with you,