Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kilian Jornet, Ellie Greenwood Triumphant at Fast Western States 100

The 2011 Western States 100 turned out to be a barn-burner, with enough close finishes and sprints to make it as exciting as the USA Track & Field Championships. In the end, it was 23-year-old Killian Jornet from Spain who led an international top 5 with his 15:34 finish, just four minutes ahead of 2nd place finisher Mike Wolfe.

(Kilian Jornet hydrates after his 15:34 win, photo courtesy of Clynton)

 The first 14 men finished under 17 hours, with a stellar Top 10:

1 Kilian Jornet 15:34:00 (Spain)
2 Mike Wolfe 15:38:00
3 Nick Clark 15:50:00
4 Jez Bragg 15:55:00 (UK)
5 Tsuyoshi Kaburaki 16:04:00 (Japan, new masters record)
6 Timothy Olson 16:18:00
7 Graham Cooper 16:34:00
8 Dave Mackey 16:36:00 (Montrail UltraCup winner)
9 Andy Jones-Wilkins 16:39:00 (M9 again!)
10 Ian Sharman 16:40:00

The top six finishers, along with Geoff Roes, Hal Koerner, and Korea's Sim Jaeduk, stayed close to each other all the way through Michigan Bluff (mile 55), making their way through an altered course with 15 miles of snow and a relatively cool trip through the canyons. Mike Wolfe, Killian Jornet, Nick Clark, Dave Mackey, Timothy Olson, and Hal Koerner had taken a wrong turn early in the race, adding a few miles to the trip (~12 minutes). Geoff Roes dropped at Michigan Bluff, citing that he "didn't have it" and "had been faking it for miles".

Kilian Jornet and Nick Clark took the lead from Foresthill (mile 62), on a blistering course record pace. The "closers" (Cooper, Mackey, AJW, and Sharman) were all on sub-17 hour pace and very close to each other, so there was no time to lose for the Top 10. Hal Koerner dropped at Cal 2 (mile 70) with beat up quads, the same place where Mike Wolfe moved into 2nd place. Kilian had no more than a four minute lead for the final 30 miles, but kept a strong pace for the win. Ian Sharman picked off Dan Olmstead in the final miles to get the coveted M10 slot.

The Women's race was also very exciting, with Ellie Greenwood coming from behind in the final eight miles for the win. Defending champion Tracy Garneau led for most of the race, building a lead of nearly 25 minutes by the halfway point. Kami Semick, fresh off her 2nd place finish at Comrades, began closing in after Michigan Bluff (mile 55) and passed Tracy around mile 90. Ellie Greenwood passed them both, and soon afterwards Kami had a chance encounter with a bear and her cub allowing Ellis to put some time between them and finish in 17:55. Three-time winner Nikki Kimball also had a fast finish, coming within 100 yards of Kami and forcing a sprint to the line for second. Nikki would later say Kami's road speed made the difference.

(Ellie Greenwood wins)

(Kami and Nikki battle it out for second)

Here's the Top 10:

1 Ellie Greenwood 17:55:00
2 Kami Semick 18:17:00 (read her account of the bear story here)
3 Nikki Kimball 18:17:00
4 Tracy Garneau 18:22:00
5 Rory Bosio 18:37:00
6 Aliza Lapierre 18:45:00
7 Meghan Arbogast 18:50:00 (new 50+ age group record by 3+ hours, Montrail UltraCup winner)
8 Amy Sproston 19:36:00
9 Becky Wheeler 19:46:00
10 Pam Smith 20:40:00

Congrats to all finishers!!! (Check live feed here)

- SD


  1. Ellie didn't fly by, from what I understand Kami was stopped on her tracks by a bear and a cub on a trail, stood there for 7 minutes, when the 3 other girls caught up, and together they sheeshed the bear off, then Ellie took the lead, and Kami couldn't respond (between standing, building lactic acid, adrenalin rush and being ovetaken so close to the finish, dude, who could respond!)
    Either way, a spectacular race to watch for sure.

  2. I want to see a video of the sprint for #2 female. Know if there is one?

  3. Thanks, Olga. I just read the full report and corrected above. How crazy to run into a bear at No Hands!

    Brett - haven't found one yet, but keep checking YouTube. I'm sure one will be posted tonight.

  4. olga,
    ellie passed kami between hwy 49 and no hands... a couple miles before the bear ordeal (between no hands and robie point). not to take anything away from the amazing race that kami had, but the bear situation didn't by any stretch cost her the win. it did cost her several minutes of time, but she wasn't going to catch ellie, bear or no bear.

  5. Roess congratulating Killian just before the track, and Kilian actually stopping to high-five him...that was pure class.

  6. There would have been no sprint for 2nd female if Kami hadn't been stopped.

  7. It's Kilian *Jornet*, without U at the title of your post. Nice report, thanks from Barcelona.

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  9. These racing competences are pretty exciting and I enjoy every one of it. I have to tell this anecdote because I see you can be interested. When I travelled to Argentina, I was staying in one of those apartments in Buenos Aires in the neighbourhood of Palermo (which is full of parks and places to run) and I saw there was a racing competition being held and organized by this local beer company and I felt like joining them. It turnes out they do that very often!

  10. Kami Semick's recap of the bear incident is on her blog
    Nikki was at least 7 minutes back when she hit the bear so good thing the sprint came out in the way it did.

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  13. Thank you for sharing these short pieces of this amazing event and finish, Scott!
    See you in 2 weeks in Sac,

  14. I love coming to your blog to read about these amazing races. Someday I hope to do a 50 mile ultra, but I think I will wait to do that until I get a couple of marathons under my belt. Running at that kind of pace for 100 miles is just insane, congrats to all of the finishers though!

  15. Very wonderful sports of run, see this blog making me excited.

  16. he is very great athletic i personally know him he is awesome .. .. ..
    Vertical Jump Bible


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