Walmsley shatters Western States record, Sandes 11th

Jim Walmsley (
Jim Walmsley (

Cape Town - American running star Jim Walmsley has shattered the Western States Endurance Run (WSER) record en route to defending his title.

Walmsley who set the old course record last year (14:30:04) covered the 100 miles (161km) in 14:09:28 in this year's edition which finished (for some) in Auburn, California on Saturday.

Walmsley's compatriot and training partner Jared Hazen crossed the line in second in 14:26:46 which was also well inside the old record.

Walmsley, still only 29, has asserted himself as one of the strongest overall runners in the world.

In the last calendar year he’s broken the WSER course record twice and ran a 1:04:00 half-marathon which qualified him for the USA's 2020 Olympic Marathon trials.

He also broke South African Bruce Fordyce's 50 mile (80.5km) road world record, setting a time of 4:50:08. Fordyce had run 4:50:51 in the 1983 London to Brighton Ultramarathon.

The women's race was won by American Clare Gallagher in a time of 17:23:25 - the second fastest women's time in the race's history behind the current record of 16:47:19 set by Great Britain's Ellie Greenwood in 2012.

Greenwood won the 2014 Comrades Marathon.

South Africa's Ryan Sandes, the Western States' 2017 champion, had to be content with 11th place (16:08:12), nearly two hours behind Walmsley's winning time.

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