The Western States 100 Mile Endurance run is the premier 100 miler in North America. It is virtually impossible to even get into the event as it is so oversubscribed that it goes to a lottery system each year, with more applicants applying annually. It is my dream to somehow 'win the lottery' and be able to run this race in the future, hopefully in 09 although that seems even less likely after this devastating news.
2008 was shaping up to be the most competitive Western to date with top names from across North America training specifically for this event all year long.
My good buddy Wade Repta trained his freakin ass off this year and is already down there spending some vacation time with his family before the race was officially supposed to begin on Sat morning. I feel for him, and the hundreds of other runner's who put in months of pain, sweat, and sacrifices to make this race happen for them. Whether they were heading down there to try and win, or to simply try and finish, my heart goes out to them. Something tells me there'll be upwards of 400 drunken ultra runner's taking to the streets of Squaw Valley, California tonight!
Here is the official announcement:
35th Western States Endurance Run has been Cancelled.
Dear Western States Runners,
It is with deep regret that we announce today that the 35th running of the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run has been cancelled, due to the unprecedented amount of wildfires that have struck northern California in recent days and the health risks that have been associated with these wildfires. The Board of Trustees of the Western States Endurance Run has consulted with many of our local and state race partners, including the U.S. Forest Service and the Placer County Air Pollution Control District, in coming to this decision. We apologize to our runners for any inconvenience this decision has created.
Since the beginning of more than 840 wildfires statewide, 312 wildfires in northern California and more than 3,200 lightning strikes in the Tahoe National Forest alone on June 21, the race's organizers have worked closely with a variety local, county and state agencies in determining the best course of action for our race. It has become apparent that given our race's paramount concern - the safety or our runners - holding this year's race would pose too great a risk to our runners, to our aid station personnel and to our volunteers. Given the close proximity of at least two fires that are within two miles of our race course and a critical access road, as well as the deteriorating air quality stretching from our start in Squaw Valley to Auburn, Calif., the board has determined that cancellation, rather than postponement or the use of an alternative course, represents the safest and most prudent decision for our 2008 event.
Our decision was based on three factors: Click here for the rest
Western States Board President