The last weekend in June is always a big one in the ultra running world, as the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Trail Run begins Saturday morning at 5am sharp from the base of Squaw Valley. The “Super Bowl” of ultra running follows a 100-mile route over rugged Sierra Nevada footpaths, and generally features over 18,000 feet of cumulative climbing (The course can change slightly in heavy snowfall years) as the race makes its way down to the foothills town of Auburn, CA.
This is an exciting year for us here in Team Clif Bar land as we have an unprecedented number of TCB athletes starting the race. The Clif and Shot-powered Montrail team brings 2010 winner Geoff Roes, Ellie Greenwood, Joelle Vaught, Amy Sproston, Erik Skaden and a host of others, all of whom will most definitely be looking for podium finishes. TCB running legend Dave Mackey and local wunderkind Eric Johnson will also be in the hunt for top spots.
One thing is sure: The runner who wins the overall will need to slog through 25 miles of snow without exhausting himself, since you could probably still ski Squaw top-to-bottom if you picked the right line. It’s deep.