The Western States 100 is an epic 100-mile trail run from Olympic Valley to Auburn, CA, in one day on the last weekend of June. It is the world’s oldest 100 trail race, starting in 1974 as one of the ultimate endurance tests the world over. Over the course, runners will climb more than 18,000 feet and descend 23,000 feet. The race’s highest elevation crosses Emigrant Pass and Granite Chief Wilderness before ending in the quaint California town of Auburn. At the finish line, participants will be celebrated with awards, including the Wendell Robie Cup, which goes to the first male and female runner to cross the finish line within 24 hours; their name will be engraved. Awards are also given to the top 3 male and female runners of the five age categories. Finishers under 24 hours receive the hand-made silver Western States Endurance Run belt buckle. All other finishers will receive the finisher’s medallion. Runners must complete the course within 30 hours to be considered official finishers.
The Western States 100 starts early on Saturday, and participants must finish by Sunday morning, a little more than 24 hours to complete the 100 miles. The course includes the middle portion of the well-known recreational trail, the Western States Trail. Starting in Olympic Valley at a location near the 1960 Winter Olympic Games. Runners ascend immediately for the first 4.5 miles; then, the course continues along the trails used in the 1850s by gold and silver miners. The terrain includes a mix of wide dirt roads and remote, rugged territory. It is important to know that most of this area is only accessible by foot, horse, or helicopter. Half the race is through the night, so runners should remember their flashlights. Please plan accordingly! A river crossing at mile 78 is dangerous but will be roped off on race day with volunteers available to help. There are over 1500 volunteers involved, and most participants will remember their support and the aid stations, which are fully stocked with water, soda, energy drinks, and plenty of snacks to keep runners fueled. The night aid stations include soup, coffee, and hot chocolate in addition to the standard snacks and energy gels. Of the 21 aid stations, medical care is available in 10 of them. The medical staff will provide the best care possible; physicians, nurses, podiatrists, EMTs, and massage therapists. Safety is valued, and you are covered!
See the dedicated Western States Endurance Run website for details on the lottery process, training, support, and volunteer opportunities. Participants must qualify for the race within two years and enter the lottery. If you are selected as part of the lottery, you are officially sent details to register within two weeks. If not completed in time, the registration will be available to runners on the waitlist of 50-75 people. Nearby qualifying races include Black Canyon Trail Run, Moab Trail Marathon & Half Marathon, and Canyon Endurance Runs. Strambecco rates many of the Best Qualifying Events Nationally. Register and plan for the ultimate experience that will challenge your endurance.
Although the Western States 100 stands alone in terms of prestige, the added benefit of completing the race is a qualification for the UTMB World Series, the ultimate global trail running series uniting the sport’s biggest stars and amateur runners through a leading international event series in the most stunning locations. The UTMB World Series gives all trail runners a chance to experience UTMB events worldwide, with 25 events taking place across Asia, Oceania, Europe, and the Americas in 2022. It is the only place runners can begin their quest to UTMB Mont-Blanc, home of the prestigious UTMB World Series Finals. The UTMB World Series integrates three levels of events:
- UTMB World Series Finals
- UTMB World Series Majors
- UTMB World Series Events
To qualify to enter the lottery for Finals or Major events, you must collect a “Running Stone” by finishing qualifier events in the 20k, 50k, 100k, or 100M categories. Only 1 Running Stone acquired in the past two years is mandatory to enter the lottery. Running Stones are cumulative, have no expiration date, and each Running Stone gives you an additional chance to be drawn. Collecting Running Stones is the only way to access regular runners’ UTMB World Series Finals. Discover the 25 events that will allow you to collect Running Stones to enter the UTMB Mont-Blanc lottery here.
Finally, the Western States 100 is a Grand Slam of Ultra-Running event, a series of five races representing the oldest and most prestigious 100-mile races contested in the US. The series includes the Old Dominion 100 in Virginia, Western States 100 in California, the Vermont 100, Leadville Trail 100 in Colorado, and the Wasatch Front 100 in Utah. To be eligible for the award, participants must officially complete three of the four first Grand Slam Series races and then complete the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run, all in the same summer. The Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run is the series’ final race and is mandatory. You must apply for all the races you plan to run during their open registration period.