American runner retains his title as Britain’s Tom Evans and Beth Pascall were third and fourth respectively
Jim Walmsey won the Western States Endurance Run overnight, taking a massive 21 minutes off the course record, while Clare Gallagher won the women’s race.
Pre-race favourite Walmsley took the honours in one of the world’s most prestigious trail races for the second year in succession, clocking 14 hours nine minutes 28 seconds for the 100.2 miles.
After the runners left the start at Squaw Valley , California, the American held off the early pace but soon established a lead at record tempo.
Walmsley, who recently set a world record for 50 miles on the road, was 10 minutes clear at El Dorado Creek, roughly the halfway point at 52 miles into the race.
By the time he had reached the finish at Auburn and taken on the 18,000ft of ascent and 23,000ft of descent, he was 17 minutes clear. Runner-up Jared Hazen, who with 14:26:46 was also under the course record set by Walmsley 12 months ago.
Britain’s Evans, winner of the UTMB CCC race last year, moved up from fifth at El Dorado Creek to place third. His time of 14:59:44 would have been good enough to win most years and is the quickest ever by a non-American.
In 15th, GB’s Ian Sharman completed his 10th consecutive WSER, his first time outside the top 10. He was one place ahead of compatriot Paul Giblin.
Gallagher’s time of 17:23:25 was the second quickest women’s clocking in the history of the race.
Courtney Dauwalter led for three quarters of the race before dropping out, leaving Gallagher to fight out the lead with fellow American Brittany Peterson.
However, Gallagher pulled away over the last eight miles and eventually was 17th overall, 11 minutes clear of Peterson.
Behind American Kaci Lickteig, Britain’s Beth Pascall was fourth in 18:06:51. As in last year’s UTMB, she moved up through the field. She was just 12th at 38 miles.
1 Jim Walmsley (USA) 14:09:28 (course record)
2 Jared Hazen (USA) 14:26:46
3 Tom Evans (GBR) 14:59:44
1 Clare Gallagher (USA) 17:23:25
2 Brittany Peterson (USA) 17:34:29
3 Kaci Lickteig (USA) 17:55:55
4 Beth Pascall (GBR) 18:06:51