Photos from a snow-covered, record-setting year.
Western States is our oldest trail 100 mile ultramarathon. It begins at the base of the Palisades Tahoe ski resort in California, then travels 18,000 feet of uphill and 22,000 feet of descent before arriving at the Placer High School track in Auburn. It’s one of the most competitive 100-mile events on the calendar. This year the race celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Below is a selection of images from photographer Anastasia Wilde.
Long before the starting shotgun blast rings through the Olympic Valley, spectators, media, and crew set off to all corners of the course. Here an eager group awaits the first runners to make their way up to the Escarpment.
With a gain of 2,550 vertical feet over 4 miles, the push up to the Escarpment is slow going for most runners in a normal year. With the area receiving the most snowfall in the last 25 years, this section proved to be even more challenging with unpredictable footing. Even so, the crisp air provided the runners with a stunning view of Lake Tahoe.
Jadd Martinez is all smiles now that he gets to descend from the longest climb of the day. Strangers become friends, old bonds strengthen and new bonds form as the greater community turns out in support of all the runners.
Kaci Lickteig looking confident as she is no stranger to this course. The 2023 event marks the 9th time she has laced up her shoes as a participant in the Western States 100. She went on to finish in 19:47:06, getting her one step closer to the rare 1,000 mile/10 day buckle.
Due to the Mosquito Fire, Robinson Flat was the first aid station of the course that spectators and crew were permitted to assist their runners. At roughly 30 miles into the race, Canhua Luo’s intense focus led to him running right past his anxiously awaiting family.
As the two front runners for a large section of the race, Dakota Jones and Tom Evans kept each other motivated. As they pushed to the Michigan Bluff aid station the heat and dust became magnified due to the burnt out canopy from the Mosquito Fire.
Katie Schide moves through a section of the course that was engulfed in flames in September of 2022. The Mosquito fire burned over 76,000 acres and displaced over 11,000 people in Placer and El Dorado counties.
As the sun rises on the second day Garett Carolus runs past the Middle Fork of the American River. The sight of the historic No Hands Bridge marks the final water crossing of the race.
Brandon Parker proudly finishes with his Comanche Nation flag. After several years of effort, Brandon secured the final spot in the entrance lottery and fought hard to finish in 27:52:04.
The oldest female finisher, Pam Reed, soaks in the finish line atmosphere. Her rest and celebration is short lived as she prepares for her next challenges, Badwater 135 and Hardrock 100.
Weary legs and heavy emotions overcome Jennifer St. Amand who was the final official finisher of the 50th running of the Western States Endurance Run.