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The Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run

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Event summary

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the world. Following the historic Western States Trail, runners climb more than 18,000 feet and descend nearly 23,000 feet before they reach the finish line at Placer High School in Auburn. In the miles between Squaw Valley and Auburn, runners experience the majestic high country beauty of Emigrant Pass and the Granite Chief Wilderness, the crucible of the canyons of the California gold country, a memorable crossing of the ice-cold waters of the main stem of the Middle Fork of the American River, and, during the latter stages, the historic reddish-brown-colored trails that led gold-seeking prospectors and homesteading pilgrims alike to the welcoming arms of Auburn. With more than 1,500 dedicated volunteers, offering the sport’s oldest and most prized possession – a sub-30-hour finisher’s bronze belt buckle or a sub-24-hour finisher’s silver belt buckle – and owning 100-mile racing’s richest and most compelling history, Western States remains one of the undisputed crown jewels of human endurance.

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How to enter

What's included:

All Western States entrants who finish the Run in full accordance with the rules qualify for one or more awards given in recognition of their achievement:

  • The first official male and female runner to cross the finish line within 24 hours will be the winner of the Wendell Robie Cup, a perpetual trophy on which the victor’s name will be engraved.
  • The first male and female finishers will each be awarded the bronze Western States Cougar Trophy.
  • Additional age-group awards will be given to the top three men and women in the following categories: 39 and under; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69, and 70 and over.
  • All finishers in under 24:00:00 hours will receive the hand-made silver Western States Endurance Run belt buckle.
  • All finishers who finish in a time of 24:00:00 but under 30 hours will receive the hand-made bronze Western States Endurance Run belt buckle to commemorate their achievement.
  • All official finishers will receive an attractive finisher’s medallion.
  • The oldest male and female finishers will receive special awards presented by Dr. Walter and Ruth Ann Bortz.
  • Runners crossing the finish line after the 30-hour cutoff will not be listed as official finishers.
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Running Events in the United States
Running Events in the United States
Route description
Route description

The Western States Endurance Run is conducted along the Western States Trail starting at Squaw Valley, California, and ending in Auburn, California. 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. People who are unfamiliar with the area should use caution when planning training runs, especially in the high country. Before leaving, let someone know where you will be running and when you will return. REMEMBER THAT MUCH OF THIS TERRITORY IS ACCESSIBLE ONLY BY FOOT, HORSE OR HELICOPTER.

How to get there

2630 Croydon Drive, Sanger, CA 93657, USA

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