COURTNEYT DAUWALTER SMASHES WESTERN STATES 100 RECORD
COURTNEYT DAUWALTER SMASHES WESTERN STATES 100 RECORD. Our TRAIL RUNNING USA section celebrates than Courtney Dauwalter destroys the Western States 100 course record to win all time performance.
Courtney adds to her legendary status at the famed 100-mile race, smashing the course record by more than one hour and finishing 6th overall. Dauwalter now the record-holder at Western States 100, UTMB®, and the Hardrock 100 clockwise course.
WESTERN STATES 100 MILES 2023:
COURTNEYT DAUWALTER SMASHES WESTERN STATES 100 RECORD
When she took to the starting line of the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run on Saturday morning in California, Salomon ultra-trail running athlete Courtney Dauwalter was already considered by most to be the greatest female ultra-runner in history. Fifteen hours, 29 minutes and 33 seconds later, the American had removed all doubt, smashing the women’s course record by 78 minutes on the way to her second Western States 100 win.
Running in her trademark long Salomon shorts—now affectionately known as “Shortneys”—the Colorado-based runner and Minnesota native led from the start and ran with a smile on her face for all 161 kilometers. She topped 2nd place finisher Katie Schide (USA) by 1 hour and 13 minutes. Schide was also under the previous course record set in 2012 by Ellie Greenwood. The usual scorching weather of Western States stayed away this year, making for ideal running conditions in the Sierra Mountains and surrounding lower canyons, where temperatures have crept to 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the race in years past.
Running without a pacer, Dauwalter’s winning time of 15 hours, 29 minutes and 33 seconds made her the 6th place overall finisher, topping some of the sport’s elite male runners. Her winning time would have given her 2nd place overall a year ago and was faster than two of the last seven winning times on the men’s side. The staggering win at Western States makes Dauwalter the current women’s course record holder at the sport’s three most iconic races: Western States 100, UTMB®, and the clockwise course at Hardrock 100.
“The day was so fun,” Dauwalter said at the finish line. “I’m so thankful for all the volunteers on course today and all the people who got the trails ready. It was beautiful and also very difficult, so I’m happy to be here at the track with all of you.”
Dauwalter used the Salomon S/LAB Genesis shoes, as well as the S/LAB Pulsar hydration vest (along with a Salomon handheld hydration system). She wore the Salomon Shortneys as well as the Shortney T-shirt.
The Western States 100 Endurance run features more than 18,000-feet (5,500 meters) of elevation gain. It begins in Olympic Valley, California near Lake Tahoe and ends on the Placer High School track in Auburn. Dauwalter won the race in 2018 but was forced to retire from the race in 2019. Since then, she has been a machine, winning UTMB® in 2019 and 2021, and the Hardrock 100 in 2022, among a host of others. She will turn her attention to the Hardrock 100 in Colorado on July 14, attempting to win the two races that are just three weeks apart. On Saturday, her overall performance, and especially her split times over the back half of the race, left veterans of the sport shaking their heads in disbelief.
“It was cool to be back here and to make it to the finish line after dropping out in 2019,” added Dauwalter. “The gear was all top-notch. I was wearing the new Shortney shorts and the Genesis shoes were perfect through the snow and through all the trail sections. I didn’t need to rely much on the ice gear because it was cooler than normal.”
WESTERN STATES ENDURANCE RACE: THE COURSE
The Western States Endurance Run is conducted along the Western States Trail starting at Squaw Valley, California, and ending in Auburn, California, covering a total of 162k/D+5370m. The Run begins at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday of the last full weekend in June at the west end of Squaw Valley. Runners must reach the finish line no later than 10:59:59 a.m. on the following day in order to be eligible for an award. All entrants must strictly adhere to the Performance Rules, Rules for Pacers, Rules for Crews and to the pre-event briefing by Run Management to avoid disqualification and to remain eligible for an award.
The Western States Endurance Run follows the middle portion of the famous Western States Trail, a nationally dedicated recreational trail that stretches from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Sacramento, California. One of the most arduous organized running events in the U.S., the Western States 100 is truly the “Ultimate Challenge” for the long distance runner. Entry in this event should not be taken lightly!
Beginning in Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games, the trail ascends from the valley floor (elevation 6,200 feet) to Emigrant Pass (elevation 8,750 feet), a climb of 2,550 vertical feet in the first 4½ miles. From the pass, following the original trails used by the gold and silver miners of the 1850’s, runners travel west, climbing another 15,540 feet and descending 22,970 feet before reaching Auburn, a small town in the heart of California’s historic gold country. Most of the trail passes through remote and rugged territory.
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