Western States 100 - The 2017 Team NATHAN Roll Call

Western States 100 - The 2017 Team NATHAN Roll Call

It's that time of year again, folks. For ultrarunners, the weekend of Western States means lower productivity as you spend much of your weekend glued to your computer, getting updates of your friends and favorite elites as they give it their all at the "Big Dance".   For those unfamiliar, Western States is considered the “SuperBowl of ultrarunning”. Its uber competitive in more ways than one.  Competing on race day with other runners or the clock itself is only half the battle... the second half.  The first half is getting in.  With more and more runners "throwing their name in the hat" each year, everyone’s chances of being picked in the lottery of have become slimmer and slimmer.  Entry can be earned, as a small handful of runners go a different route and battle their way into a top spot by wining a Golden Ticket at one of the 6 appointed trail ultras between February and April.

  This year NATHAN is proud to announce we have 12 athletes who have earned their spot in the most iconic race in US ultrarunning.  Jeff Ball from Texas is running his first 100 miler at States, while Meghan Laws (formerly Arbogast), aka "the Queen", is going for her 10th Western States finish!  The multitude of rich story lines leading up to race weekend guarantee it will be an exciting race.

 

Can Stephanie Howe break the finish line tape, racing against two former champs, Kaci Licktieg and Magda Boulet? Three former Western States champs in one race?!?! Wow!

 

Or can Camille Herron pull off what no woman has done since 1997 when the great legend herself, Ann Trason, won the Comrades and Western States double! Ann Trason also  accomplished this in 1996.  Insane! So far Camille has checked off her recent Comrades win.

 

Last but not least, because who isn't on the edge of their seat here - Jim Walmsley!!  With his fateful wrong turn last year at mile 92 and an undefeated record since then (7 ultra wins and 6 of them course records), Jim is one of the most remarkable runners to ever set foot on this course.  His sights are set on no less than a win, course record, and gasp.... a 14 hour flat finish time! Despite the snow it looks like no alternate snow routes will be used which means everyone will have to contend with a bit of snow running early on, this year's 44th running of Western States just can't get any more suspenseful.

 

Here is what our athletes have cooking next weekend:

 

JEFF BALL

Home: TEXAS

Age: 28

Bib #: 19

The 100 Miler Newbie. The 100 Miler Newbie.

 

·         How many Western States finishes do you have? 0

·         How did you earn your entry into this prestigious race? I earned a golden ticket from my 2nd place male finish at Bandera 100K

·         What are/is your goal(s) this year? A) Finish top 20 for the men, B) Finish my first 100M race 

·         What part of States are you most looking forward to? Being a part of the incredible Western States atmosphere and having my fiancé and good friend as my pacers/crew.

·         What will be your hydration set-up or kit for the race? VaporKrar 4L vest with a speed draw plus bottle and one soft flask.

·         Describe what this race means to you in one sentence: For me, this race is a journey into the unknown and an opportunity to test my limits.



Emily Harrison 

Home: Arizona

Age: 31

Bib #: 21

A long awaited return. Emily coming back to her 100 mile roots.
·         How many Western States finishes do you have? 1

·         How did you earn your entry into this prestigious race? I earned a golden ticket at Sean O'Brien 100K

·         What are/is your goal(s) this year? Finishing is always a good place to start! 

·         What part of States are you most looking forward to? The finish line, although crossing the river always mixes things up and is a nice mental marker that you're entering the final stretch. I personally always look forward to any location my crew and pacers will be at too. 

·         What will be your hydration set-up or kit for the race? VaporAiress. My tried and true. Color may vary :) 

·         Describe what this race means to you in one sentence:  This was my first hundred miler early in my ultra career and it always invokes a mixed bag of emotions.




Meghan Laws (formerly Arbogast)

Home: Arizona

Age: 55

Bib #: F6

Meghan aka The Queen plans to beat all the men in her age group... again. Meghan aka The Queen plans to beat all the men in her age group... again.

 

  • How many Western States finishes do you have?  10
  • How did you earn your entry into this prestigious race? Top ten finish
  • What are/is your goal(s) this year? Sub-20 hours and top ten finish
  • What part of States are you most looking forward to? Running in the canyons, running with my pacers, and seeing my husband Mark throughout the day as he crews for me. 
  • What will be your hydration set-up or kit for the race? The Vapor Howe with a bladder plus a soft flask for just water to douse with.
  • Describe what this race means to you in one sentence: This race is a celebration of my running lifestyle that I enjoy sharing with my friends and family. 

 

 

Amanda Basham

Home: Utah

Age: 28

Bib #: F4

Amanda "Smash'em" Basham only listens to country music. Fun fact: Amanda "Smash'em" Basham only listens to country music.

  • How many Western States finishes do you have? 1
  • How did you earn your entry into this prestigious race? I was 4th female last year
  • What are/is your goal(s) this year? Ive been dealing with an ankle injury so my goal right now is to start and see what happens.
  • What part of States are you most looking forward to? Seeing and racing all of my friends. I love the competition in this race because everyone leaves it all on the course.
  • What will be your hydration set-up or kit for the race? Nathan VaporHowe vest until it cools down, then the 18oz ExoDraw Handheld with the Hipster to carry my food.
  • Describe what this race means to you in one sentence: Western States is a chance to test yourself on the most iconic course with the most competitive field in the country. 

 

 

Paul Giblin

Home: UK

Age: 39

Bib #: M5

As one of UK's top ultrarunners, Paul is ready to rumble. As one of UK's top ultrarunners, Paul is ready to rumble.

  • How many Western States finishes do you have? One
  • How did you earn your entry into this prestigious race? Auto entry from top 10 finish last year
  • What are/is your goal(s) this year? To improve on my time from 2016
  • What part of States are you most looking forward to? Hmmm...I love the first 6 miles. Is pretty special. 
  • What will be your hydration set-up or kit for the race? Handheld bottles all the way!
  • Describe what this race means to you in one sentence: It's the Olympic finals of 100-mile trail racing!

 

 

 

Jackie Merritt

Home: Georgia

Age: 29

Bib #: 29

Don't expect Jackie to fly under the radar much longer. Don't expect Jackie to fly under the radar much longer.

 

  • How many Western States finishes do you have? zero
  • How did you earn your entry into this prestigious race? Golden Ticket with 2nd place finish at the Georgia Death Race
  • What are/is your goal(s) this year? Top Ten Women
  • What part of States are you most looking forward to? Downhill running!
  • What will be your hydration set-up or kit for the race? VaporHowe 4L with 3 softflasks (2 front, 1 back)
  • Describe what this race means to you in one sentence: This is my west coast dream race.

 

 

 

Michael Wardian

Home: Virginia

Age: 43

Bib #: 45

Mike's first stop in his summer Western States/Hardrock double! Mike's first stop in his summer Western States/Hardrock double!

  • How did you earn your entry into this prestigious race? I got a sponsor spot via BUFF (R) 
  • What are/is your goal(s) this year?  I would like to improve on previous finishes and go sub 17:00 hours and top 10.
  • What part of States are you most looking forward to?  Seeing everyone so excited to run 100 miles, it is so rad and everyone is super pumped from the volunteers, to the course marshals and especially the athletes and crew.
  • Describe what this race means to you in one sentence: Western States to me means the original.  Western States is what I think of as an old school trail race, point to point, mountains, rivers, ridiculous competition, amazing aid stations and the chance to seek excellence.  I can't wait.

 

 

 

 

Maggie Guterl

Home: Pennsylvania

Age: 36

Bib #: F8

She works here. She works here.

 

  • How many Western States finishes do you have? 1
  • How did you earn your entry into this prestigious race? I finished 8th female last year. Top ten get to return!
  • What are/is your goal(s) this year? Sub 20 and improve my 8th place finish
  • What part of States are you most looking forward to? All of it. But mainly starting the first climb and knowing there is nothing left to do but run my heart out.
  • What will be your hydration set-up or kit for the race? I will be using the VaporHowe 4L and a prototype of a new NATHAN vest along with our 12oz ExoDraw and 18oz ExoShot. 
  • Describe what this race means to you in one sentence: Taking part in Western States is one of the biggest honors in ultrarunning.

 

 

 

Nicole Kalogeropoulos

Home: Texas

Age: 35

Bib #: 25

 

Nicole is one speedy 100 mile runner! Nicole is one speedy 100 mile runner!

  • How many Western States finishes do you have? One F6 finish in 2015.
  • How did you earn your entry into this prestigious race? I was fortunate to earn a Golden Ticket at Black Canyons 100km.
  • What are/is your goal(s) this year? I would be thrilled to finish in the top 10 but my primary goal is to feel like I gave it my all during the race.  
  • What part of States are you most looking forward to? The beautiful course and the competitive field make for a great challenge.  
  • What will be your hydration set-up or kit for the race? VaporHowe and SpeedShot Plus.
  • Describe what this race means to you in one sentence:  An opportunity to challenge myself amongst a field of great runners.  

 

 

 Stephanie Howe Violett

Home: Oregon

Age: 33

Bib #: 17

Stephanie with one of her best training partners, Riley. However, during the race, Steph will be paced by a human friend and her husband. Stephanie with one of her best training partners, Riley. However, during the race, Steph will be paced by a human friend and her husband.

  • How many Western States finishes do you have? I have two finishes, 2014 & 2015
  • How did you earn your entry into this prestigious race? I won Bandera 100k in January. WOOHOO! Golden ticket race.
  • What are/is your goal(s) this year? I try to set goals that are about my race and not about things I can’t control (ie other racers). My goals are 1) to get to Foresthill in a little better shape than past years, 2) Fuel well early on, and 3) Enjoy the process as much as you can in a 100 mile race. Oh yeah, and finish with a smile. Always!
  • What part of States are you most looking forward to? Rounding the track in Auburn. Pure magic!
  • What will be your hydration set-up or kit for the race? I’m using the 4L VaporHowe with a bladder in the back and the bottles up front.
  • Describe what this race means to you in one sentence: If I could only do one race ever again, it would be WS. This race means the world to me!

 

 

 

Jim Walmsley

Home: Arizona

Age: 27

Bib #: 35

This Coconino Cowboy is sure to thrill on race day. Bang bang! This Coconino Cowboy is sure to thrill on race day. Bang bang!   pc: Myke Hermsmeyer

 

 

  • How did you earn your entry into this prestigious race? I won Gorge Waterfalls 100K in April to gain entry.
  • What are/is your goal(s) this year?  I'd like to give myself a chance to break 14 hours, setting a new course record by 47 minutes. Most importantly I want to make sure I have a good day running. I feel pretty confident I can win and get under the current course record. I'd love to make people say, "wow!" and run something truly special.
  • What part of States are you most looking forward to? I'm looking forward to reaching that track at Placer High School, proud of the heart and effort I put forward.
  • What will be your hydration set-up or kit for the race? I will be rocking 2 Speedmax Plus Flasks pretty much all day. I will also be wearing the VaporKrar Waistpak most of the day as well, for gel storage and extra powders, possibly even an extra 12oz Exoshot Soft Flask.
  • Describe what this race means to you in one sentence:  Western States is a time tested course against the greatest ultra runners our sport has ever seen, making it the greatest stage for those currently in the sport. 

 

Only thing left to say.... SEE YOU IN SQUAW!!!!

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