Courtney crushes course record at Western States
People are calling Dauwalter's victory the greatest ultra trail performance ever, while Brit Tom Evans cruised to victory in the men's race
Imagine watching a race and the winner comes in. Then almost 1 hour and 20 minutes later, the next runner finishes. That’s a huge win. And that’s how far under the course record Courtney Dauwalter was at the Western States 100 this weekend. That far ahead of the fastest woman ever, in one of the most competitive, most iconic ultra marathons in the world. No wonder people are calling it possibly the greatest ultra marathon performance ever.
On Twitter, Kilian Jornet called it “probably the best female performance we’ve seen in Ultratrail”. He really should be impressed, since she ran the same course faster than both his two runs at Western States - in which he finished third and first. She also ran faster than all of Scott Jurek’s seven wins.
I must admit, half following the race online over the weekend, I was more focussed on the men’s race, since someone I’ve met and interviewed a number of times, and someone I had on my podcast recently, was one of the leading contenders. Tom Evans is a former soldier, and if you’ve listened to my podcast interview with him, you’ll know how meticulously and precisely he approaches running and training.
I’m generally more drawn to the maverick approach of someone like Zach Miller, who does his training runs without a watch, not even knowing where he’s going, or what time he’ll be back. Tom, on the other hand, measures, quantifies and tracks everything. Yet the guy has been almost faultless in his slow, steady, precise rise through the ranks of ultra running, from winning the CCC, to finishing second at Western States, third at UTMB, and now, on Saturday, to winning Western States, which is one of the ultra marathon majors, you might say.