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Jim Walmsley and Katie Schide win Western States

Katie Schide and Jim Walmsley (both USA) have won Western States 2024, part of the UTMB World Series. Walmsley had to put up a hell of a fight to keep Rod Farvard behind him. Schide gave a masterclass and led from start to finish.

Last year Schide was already on fire, by breaking the course record of Ellie Greenwood, and putting down a super fast 16:43:45. That was, in 2023, good for second place, because Courtney Dauwalter won in a smashing time of 15:29:33.

Schide delivers

This year, without Dauwalter, all eyes were on Schide. And the big question was, could she even be faster than last year? Schide delivered, and she didn’t only do that. For a long time, it looked like she would break Dauwalter’s course record. At the end, the heat – last year was cooler – got the best of her. Yet, with 15:46:57 she did break the 16 hour barrier. Together with Dauwalter she is now the only woman who has done that.

RELATED: Western States; Jim Walmsley versus Jon Albon

Behind Schide the battle for second place looked to be a battle between Emily Hawgood (Zimbabwe), the number five of last year, and Heather Jackson (USA), but halfway the race the Chinese duo Fuzhao Xiang and Lin Chen moved into second and third. At Rucky Chucky Aid station Chen stepped out of the race. An ankle injury prevented her from running the last 22 miles.

Fuzhou Xiang ran on fast and stopped the clock at 16:20:03; 23 minutes faster than Schide’s time of last year, making her the third-fastest woman in the history of Western States. Eszter Csillag (Hungary) finished third in 16:42:17, which is also a minute faster than Schide last year.

Farvard makes it a fight

Where the women’s race was a battle against time, the men’s race was a battle between some of the best ultra runners of this moment. The winner: Jim Walmsley. His fourth at Western States, but probably the one he had to fight for hardest.

From the start it was clear nobody was planning to let Walmsley go out on his own. Hayden Hawks, Rod Farvard (both USA), Dan Jones (New Zealand), Jon Albon (Great-Britain), Jia-Sheng Shen (China) and a whole bunch of other runners all stayed close to him.

Walmsley trailing

Farvard, who took the lead at the start, was the boldest of them all. After Walmsley had overtaken him, he fought back and ran for a long time shoulder to shoulder with the three times champion. Around Green Gate aid station Farvard even took the lead, but Walmsley had more in the tank. Where the UTMB winner looked strong in the last couple of miles, Farvard had to look over his shoulder to hold off Hayden Hawks. In the end he managed, by just 16 seconds.

Walmsley crossed the line in 14:13:45, the second fastest time ever and only 4 minutes above his own course record. Behind him Rod Farvard followed in 14:24:15. Hayden Hawks took third in 14:24:31.

Jon Albon, the UTMB CCC’s winner of last year who struggled with Covid only a few weeks ago, finished sixth in 14:57:01, behind Caleb Olson (USA), fifth in 14:40:12 and Dan Jones, fourth in 14:32:29.

Archive photo

All results Western States 2024

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