After the COVID-19-pandemic-year cancellation of 2020, followed by a year of travel restrictions, which reduced the numbers of overseas runners, the 2022 Western States 100 was back to being a truly international celebration of ultrarunning. Roughly 380 runners from 32 countries began their journey from Olympic Valley to Auburn, California, at 5 a.m. on Saturday, June 25, 2022.
After unusually chilly and wet weather in the days beforehand, normal service resumed on race day with another scorcher of a day for this year’s race. The heat wasn’t enough to slow down Adam Peterman, who decisively won his first 100 miler in a superb 15:13:48, or Ruth Croft, who returned following a second-place finish last year to take the win in 17:21:30, shaving 12 minutes off her previous time. In doing so, she ran the third-best time in the race’s 49-year history.
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2022 Western States 100 Women’s Race
Last year’s winner Beth Pascall was absent from the start list for 2022, but there was still plenty of talent toeing the line. Six of last year’s top 10 made the final starting list, including hot favorite and previous second-place finisher, New Zealand’s Ruth Croft (pre-race interview) and last year’s seventh-place woman Emily Hawgood (pre-race interview), a Zimbabwean living in the U.S., who was believed to be capable of ruffling some feathers on her second attempt.
Outside of the returning top runners, this year’s start list also featured 100-mile world record holder Camille Herron, former podium finisher Lucy Bartholomew of Australia, and second-place woman at last year’s UTMB, France’s Camille Bruyas (pre-race interview).
Herron was first to the top of the Escarpment, the race’s high point at mile 3.5, with Ellie Pell hot on her heels. They were followed by Keely Henninger, Poland’s Dominika Stelmach, Katie Asmuth (pre-race interview), Canada’s Marianne Hogan (pre-race interview), Lindsey Hagen, and Bruyas, all within a couple of seconds of each other. Hawgood followed along in ninth position, followed by Switzerland’s Luzia Buehler (pre-race interview) in 10th.
The race had yet to space out at Lyon Ridge at mile 10, with Stelmach, Herron, and Hogan coming in together, closely followed by Henninger, Hawgood, Asmuth, and Pell.
By Red Star Ridge at mile 15, Croft had begun to make her presence felt and climbed up the field to fourth position. Hogan led the field into Duncan Canyon, mile 24, just 20 seconds clear of Stelmach in second, then Hawgood, Henninger, and Croft.
By Robinson Flat, mile 30, Hawgood and Croft had moved up to share the lead, and they continued to run together through mile 38, which they passed just under course record pace. At the finish line, Hawgood remarked that she and Croft ran together for so long that they felt like it was a weekend long run and not a race, a great experience for her. Stelmach followed about 90 seconds back in third, a minute clear of Henninger in fourth. Herron had moved back to seventh position but still looked good.
The two leaders were still together at Devil’s Thumb, mile 47, but shortly after Croft managed to break away and ran through Deadwood Cemetery, mile 49.5, seven minutes back of course record pace. Hawgood came through just 30 seconds later, still looking happy and fresh and Henninger looked strong in third, 1:15 back from Croft.
The top two remained the same through mile 62, Foresthill, but Herron had begun to fight back and moved up to third position, about 18 minutes back from the leader and four minutes clear of Canada’s Ailsa Macdonald who had moved into fourth after running the first half of the race right outside the top five looking steady.
By Cal 2 at mile 70, Croft maintained an 11-minute lead on Hawgood, who was continuing to apply pressure, and Macdonald had edged past Herron into third.
By the Rucky Chucky river crossing, mile 78, Croft had further extended her lead, but the real action was taking place behind her, with Macdonald making moves and climbing up to second place, 24 minutes back from Croft and three clear of Hawgood. As she crossed the river, she was legitimately smiling from ear to ear, remarking, “I’m having the best day of my life!” Then with 10 miles to go at Quarry Road, Hogan, who had never been too far out of the frame, made a push and climbed up to third position.
Croft sealed the deal with a 17:21:30 finish to take the win, the third-fastest women’s time on record. Macdonald finished impressively close, just 25 minutes back in 17:46:46. Hogan took the final podium spot in 18:08:32, less than three minutes clear of Buehler in fourth, in a race that really wasn’t over ’till it was over.
Hawgood, who ran a brave race, finished fifth in 18:16:02, almost an hour better than her previous time. We expect there will be more to come from her if she takes her place on the 2023 start line. In what is certainly a first for the event, the top five women were all from abroad — what an international event at the front of the women’s field this year!
Leah Yingling was sixth in 18:32:31 after running outside the top 10 until the race’s final third, and Taylor Nowlin, who had a strong second half, took seventh in 18:46:42, in her debut 100-mile race. Herron, who’s had bad luck in this race before, had a strong eighth-place finish in 18:51:54, and Asmuth and Bruyas rounded out the top 10 in 19:30:26 and 19:34:24 respectively. Ultimately, 11 women broke 20 hours this year, with Canadian Anne-Marie Madden (pre-race interview) finishing just outside the top 10 in 19:38:44.
Women’s DNFs included Bartholomew and Henninger, both due to injury.
2022 Western States 100 Women’s Results
- Ruth Croft (adidas Terrex) – 17:21:30 (pre-race interview)
- Ailsa Macdonald (Saucony) – 17:46:46
- Marianne Hogan (Salomon) – 18:05:48 (pre-race interview)
- Luzia Buehler (Inov-8) – 18:08:32 (pre-race interview)
- Emily Hawgood (adidas Terrex) – 18:16:02 (pre-race interview)
- Leah Yingling (Salomon) – 18:32:31
- Taylor Nowlin (adidas Terrex) – 18:46:42
- Camille Herron (Hoka) – 18:51:54
- Katie Asmuth (Saucony) – 19:30:26 (pre-race interview)
- Camille Bruyas (Salomon) – 19:34:24 (pre-race interview)
2022 Western States 100 Men’s Race
This year’s men’s race had the notable absence of course record holder Jim Walmsley, who has dominated the race in recent years, leaving it wide open for a good number of runners with the potential to win. Among them were seven of last year’s top 10, including second-place finisher Tyler Green (pre-race interview), and Tim Tollefson (pre-race interview), who was fifth last year but hotly fancied to be capable of winning this race on a good day. Last year’s eighth-place man, Hayden Hawks, who ran Western States as his debut 100 miler, was also believed to have more to offer in this race.
And last but certainly not least, the relative new kid on the block, who has quickly shot up through the distances and dominated every ultra he’s ever started — Adam Peterman (pre-race interview). Peterman won his way into Western States with a Golden Ticket at the Canyons by UTMB 100k, where he toppled the course record in his first-ever 100-kilometer race. He took a gamble by taking on his first 100 miler a little over two months later, and defended the decision to iRunFar in his pre-race interview saying: “I don’t feel like I always need to just make logical steps because we’re running 100 miles, that’s an illogical game.”
The first 3.5 miles of Western States feature 2,550 feet of climbing, to the first landmark at the Escarpment. First to the top was Adam Kimble, closely followed by France’s Ludovic Pommeret — with Hawks, France’s Seb Spehler (pre-race interview), and Hazen coming through in quick succession.
By Lyon Ridge at mile 10, Ludovic had taken the lead and he came through Red Star Ridge at mile 15, four minutes clear of Spehler in second, with Kimble in third, and Hawks and Tollefson a few minutes back, followed by Hazen, Peterman, and Arlen Glick (pre-race interview). Nine minutes separated the first eight runners to this point.
The two Frenchmen held the top positions into mile 24, just before Duncan Canyon, with Pommeret coming through six minutes off course record pace. At this point, Tollefson had moved up to third, and Hawks and Peterman sat comfortably in fourth and fifth, 8:10 back from the lead, with Glick following 10 seconds behind.
Pommeret held the lead into Robinson Flat, mile 30, with the pressure starting to show. Hawks had moved up to second by now and was looking a lot more comfortable, just two minutes back from the leader. Peterman had then moved up the field also to third position, just in front of Spehler, who’d dropped back to fourth, with Tollefson seconds behind. This chasing pack was just four-and-a-half minutes off the leader.
By Miller’s Defeat at mile 34, Hawks had closed the gap to a minute, and by Dusty Corners, mile 38, he’d taken the lead from Pommeret.
Through Deadwood Cemetery, mile 49.5, Hawks maintained the lead and looked like he was having a super day. There had been some reshuffling in the other top positions, with Peterman, Hazen, and Glick all still in the mix.
By Foresthill, mile 62, Hawks was still in the lead but Peterman had separated himself from the other chasers in second. He arrived just three minutes back from Hawks and almost eight minutes clear of Hazen in third. Spehler, who had a promising first half, had dropped back the field suffering stomach issues, and Tollefson had also fallen back from the front runners.
Hawks was still in the lead after Foresthill, but by Cal 2, mile 70, Peterman had joined him at the front and the race was on! Hazen held third place, 14 minutes back from the leaders, with Glick in fourth another 15 minutes back from Hazen.
When the race reached the Rucky Chucky river crossing at mile 78, Hawks still looked comfortable but Peterman had stretched four minutes ahead, putting 30 seconds per mile on his opponent since Cal 2, showing unbelievable strength and poise for a 100-mile debut.
Hazen maintained third position, now 24 minutes off the lead, with Glick and France’s Vincent Viet making up the front five. Notably, Viet was running a strong race, running around the fifth to seventh positions all day.
Hazen had started to struggle and soon took a chair at the mile 85 aid station, with Glick moving up to third. Peterman had by now extended his lead to 10 minutes.
The top three positions remained unchanged for the remainder of the race, but Peterman utterly dominated in the closing miles, finishing in 15:13:48, almost 34 minutes clear of Hawks in 15:47:27. Glick rounded out the top three in 15:56:17.
It’s clear from this 100-mile debut that we will be seeing a lot more of Peterman. He executed this win in a similarly patient manner to his win at the Canyons 100k, and he races like a runner with a lot more ultrarunning experience than he has.
Moving up all race again, Green ended the day in fourth position in 15:57:10, what was two places back but some 13 minutes faster than his debut at this race last year. Drew Holmen (pre-race interview) finished fifth after a strong, all-day performance. His 16:09 finish this year is also two places back but 14 minutes faster than last year. These two gentlemen have much in common, including their remarks at the finish that they were incredibly happy at the finish having gotten the best out of themselves on the day.
Frenchman Pommeret stayed strong to finish in sixth place and as the first men’s masters finisher, and he was closely chased by fellow Frenchman Viet. Nichols moved up two spots this year to take eighth. Cody Lind moved back from fourth last year to ninth this year. And Scott Traer meted out his race effort perfectly to run his way into the men’s top 10 late in the day for a 10th place.
Men’s DNFs included Spehler and Hazen, both due to various physical issues.
2022 Western States 100 Men’s Results
- Adam Peterman (Hoka) – 15:13:48 (pre-race interview)
- Hayden Hawks (Hoka) – 15:47:27
- Arlen Glick – 15:56:17 (pre-race interview)
- Tyler Green (Nike) – 15:57:10 (pre-race interview)
- Drew Holmen (Nike) – 16:09:00 (pre-race interview)
- Ludovic Pommeret (Hoka) – 16:20:02
- Vincent Viet (New Balance) – 16:28:22
- Alex Nichols (SCOTT) – 16:28:34
- Cody Lind (SCOTT) – 16:29:38
- Scott Traer – 16:35:23
We absolutely cannot do what we do without the support and care of our race coverage team. We are grateful to our office team Olivia Rissland, Marissa Harris, Casey Wyatt, and Sarah Brady. In the field, our team included Brad Revenis, Steven Waldon, Brent Radeke, Dani Hochfellner, Ling Leong, Natalia Amezcua, Katie Arnold, Carla Landrum, Gary Wang, Martin Nash, Alison Nash, Stephanie Wankowicz, Alex Wankowicz, Grace Lattyak, Rachel Barrington, Kirk Edgerton, and Pam Kropf. Thank you so much!