Auburn, California, June 28. Hal Koerner successfully defended his championship and Anita Ortiz won her first 100-miler under blistering conditions at the Western States Endurance Run which finished here today. Koerner dueled with Dave Mackey for most of the first 55 miles before pulling away in Volcano Canyon, stretched his lead down an oven-like California Street loop, and won the race by nearly half an hour over a spate of challengers.
Ortiz, a mother of four running her first 100-miler, lead most of the way, holding small leads over Beverly Anderson-Abbs until Devils Thumb (mile 47.8). Ortiz stretched her lead to twenty minutes on the trip through rugged Eldorado Canyon and was never seriously threatened thereafter. Krissy Moehl overtook Anderson-Abbs around mile 83 and finished second. Three-time winner Nikki Kimball struggled most of the day, but toughed it out to take fourth.
The race for second among the men was spectacular, with three runners leaving the Highway 49 aid station (mile 93.3) within seconds of each other and a fourth runner departing four minutes later. Eventually, Tsuyoshi Kaburagi of Japan won the epic battle, nudging Jez Bragg of Great Britain for runner-up honors, with Jasper Halekas of Oakland garnering fourth and Kevin Sullivan of Andover, Massachusetts fifth. All five runners were under 17 hours, the most ever in the 36 years of this event. Kaburagi’s time of 16:52:06 set a new masters course record. Seven-time champion Scott Jurek ran third for much of the first 40 miles, but was 10-20 minutes behind and never really in the mix. Jurek dropped from third to seventh by Devils Thumb aid station (mile 47.8) and dropped out there. Early leader Mackey also dropped, at the Rucky Chucky River Crossing aid station (mile 78.0).
The race was held under extremely hot conditions, with temperatures peaking at 99F on Saturday. For the later finishers, Sunday was even hotter, with Auburn reaching 103F. The heat had a deleterious effect on both times and finishing rate; only 238 of the 399 starters (59.6%) finished the race within the 30-hour time limit.
1. Hal Koerner, 33, Ashland, OR, 16:24:55
2. Tsuyoshi Kaburagi, 40, Takasaki, JPN, 16:52:06
3. Jez Bragg, 28, Warwick, GBR, 16:54:26
4. Jasper Halekas, 33, Oakland, CA, 16:56:26
5. Kevin Sullivan, 38, Andover, MA, 16:59:33
6. Zachariah Miller, 33, Ann Arbor, MI, 17:34:12
7. Leigh Schmitt, 36, Conway, MA, 17:49:37
8. Eric Skaden, 37, Folsom, CA, 18:22:44
9. Mark Lantz, 43, Gold River, CA, 18:45:56
10. Andy Jones-Wilkins, 41, Ketchum, ID, 18:46:52
1. Anita Ortiz, 45, Eagle, CO, 18:24:17
2. Krissy Moehl, 31, Seattle, WA, 19:26:02
3. Beverly Anderson-Abbs, 45, Red Bluff, CA, 19:53:14
4. Nikki Kimball, 38, Bozeman, MT, 20:55:43
5. Caren Spore, 41, Davis, CA, 21:17:22
6. Meghan Arbogast, 48, Corvallis, OR, 21:33:36
7. Elizabeth Vitalis, Livermore, CA, 23:11:31
8. Jamie Frink, 36, Folsom, CA, 23:37:15
9. Jenny Capel, 36, Reno, NV, 23:49:27
10. Connie Gardner, 45, Medina, OH, 25:34:16