In California, South African Ryan Sandes came from behind to win his first Western States 100-mile race on 25 June with a measured approach on a course that involved snow running in the early stages and scorching temperatures as they day wore on. After trailing the leader by nearly one hour at the halfway point of the esteemed race, Sandes closed fiercely in the latter stages to win by 28 minutes in 16:19:37.
“For me, Western States is my dream race to win,” Sandes said after the victory. “I’ve got my wife, my baby, my mom and some really good friends here, so it couldn’t be better. For me, it’s one of the greatest days of my life.”
On the women’s side, 25-year-old American Cat Bradley won her first Western States 100 in her first attempt. The Boulder, Colorado-based schoolteacher is making good use of her summer holiday. Like Sandes, she battled through the snow in the early stages and then grabbed the lead in the second half of the race, finishing in 19:31:30.
“I didn’t know what was going on up front for most of the day, but I was sick of getting passed in the snow, so I told myself I’m not going to let anyone pass me until the finish,” Bradley said in her finish line interview. “I didn’t even know what place I was in for most of the race. This race is so crazy because it has so many different elements to it. It’s unique in that way.”
ON THEIR FEET:
Ryan Sandes: Salmomon S/LAB Sense Ultras
Cat Bradley: Salomon Sense Pro Max shoes