Jim Walmsley breaks Western States record for second year in a row, taking 20 minutes off former best time
Jim Walmsley has just shattered his own course record at the 2019 Western States Endurance Run. The old course record of 14:30:04 which he set just last year has fallen by a shocking 21 minutes. Walmsley came across the line in 14:09:28.
“I made up a lot of time pushing pretty good up Robinson, Devil’s Thumb as well, then things began to relax,” he said on the finish line, adding there were a few aid stations when he was not so fresh. “Things started rolling again when I crossed the river.”
“It was a big goal just to come here and try and win. It’s one thing to win at Western States, it’s a once in a lifetime thing, but to do it twice, puts you a bit more ‘two time guy right here’.”
The American runner took the lead between the first and second aid station then motored on to a monumental finish
Walmsley typically has a very aggressive race strategy, but it looked like a change of tactic when he was in fifth place at checkpoint one, Lyon Ridge, after 16km. However, by the next checkpoint, Red Star Ridge, he had taken a lead he would never relinquish.
As he reached Forrest Hill, at 99km, he was 19 minutes ahead of the course record that he set last yearwhen he finished in 14 hours, 30 minutes and four seconds.
Jim Walmsley (@HokaOneOne) wins the 2019 Western States 100 in a course record 14:09:28, breaking his own course record of 14:30:04 set last year. Our pre-race chat: https://t.co/JbbWkPYwjL #WS100 pic.twitter.com/MmptursJpA— iRunFar (@iRunFar) June 30, 2019
Walmsley famously had had his eye on the WSER 100 record for some time. When he first attempted the race in 2016, he was on record pace before he took a wrong turn. The victory was still within his sights, but the mental angst of the mistake drained him. Walmsley went on to finish outside the top 10.