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Chris Benchetler getting it good. photo - Peter Morning
Team Clif Bar Blog
Jun 27, 2011
Ellie Greenwood Wins Western States 100!

In her first-ever attempt at the 100-mile distance, Montrail’s Ellie Greenwood won the Western States 100 on Saturday, setting the second-fastest women’s time in race history, and treeing a bear in the process.


Conditions for the 2011 edition of the most famous trail run in the US were ideal, as temperatures rarely spiked over 80 degrees. Although late snowfall in the Sierra forced a course change and had the competitors running in snow for the first 13 miles, the pace was still generally high, and Ellie found herself in 6th place and suffering from leg pain early on.

She was able to hang tough, though, and reminiscent of Geoff Roes’s victory last year, slowly began to real in the runners ahead of her in the last 25 miles. Amazingly, Ellie did not take the lead until the 94 mile mark.  

And, somewhat even more amazingly, after sprinting past Kami Semick in the dark with just 6 miles to go, Ellie came face-to-face with a rather aggressive bear. Knowing that her lead was in jeopardy, Ellie evaluated the level of danger and then began yelling at the bear, which immediately climbed a tree, allowing her to pass. Ellie’s competitors didn’t have as much luck, as the bear jumped from the tree as they were passing, forcing them to stop for several minutes.
Despite some pain, lots of snow, a random bear scare, and more mileage than she is used to, Ellie Greenwood finished strong with a time of 17:55. Congrats on a tremendous race, Ellie!
See Ellie’s post-race interview right here, or in the player above!

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