Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Well, what a race.  I'll post an in-depth race report for this past weekend's Western States 100 sometime in the next few days, but for now I'll just say that it was the most fun I've had probably in any race ever.  True head-to-head competition is a blast and I think the sport of mountain ultra running--both the fans and competitors--would benefit from more situations like what materialized Saturday in the Sierras.  It'd be exciting if more events provided the requisite incentives to make it happen.

In the meantime, below are the (belated) final two weeks of my training leading into the big race, an article I wrote for Running Times more generally chronicling my training philosophy for the event,  and then a few photos from the days leading up to the race.

Mon-AM: 50 miles (7:48) 2xGreen-Walker-Eldo-2xGreen, 13000'
Still a bit rainy, but I did about 5hr of this run with Scott. Easy effort all day.

Tue-AM: 15 miles (2:22) Green Mt., 3000'
PM: 10 miles (1:21) Streets+Sanitas Valley w/ Joe, 800'

Wed-AM: 18 miles (2:55) Green Mt. & Bear Peak, 4200'
Nice easy effort with Scott.
PM: 6 miles (:47) Skunk Creek+barefoot

Thu-AM: 15 miles (2:15) Green Mt., 3000'
PM: 8 miles (1:03) Creek Path+barefoot

Fri-AM: 16 miles (2:19) Green Mt. w/ Scott, 3000'
PM: 8 miles (1:03) Creek Path+barefoot

Sat-AM: 15 miles (2:10) Green Mt. w/ Scott, 3000'
PM: 8 miles (1:02) Creek Path+barefoot

Sun-AM: 15 miles (2:14) Green Mt., 3000'

-Miles: 184
-Hours: 27h 14min
-Vertical: 33,000'
Mon-AM: 8 miles (1:00) Creek Path

Tue-AM: 8 miles (1:00) Kokopelli Trail

Wed-AM: 8 miles (1:00) Tahoe Rim Trail

Thu-AM: 7 miles (1:00) Volcano Canyon from Bath Rd, 1500'

Fri-AM: 4 miles (:36) Truckee River

Sat-AM: 100 miles (15:13:53) Western States 100, 18000'
2nd Place

Sun- an appropriate amount of hobbling

-Miles: 135
-Hours: 19h 50min
Vertical: 19,500'

(Designer extraordinaire jLu in her Boulder sweatshop putting some crucial finishing touches on the race shorts.)

(Relaxing through the taper with some slacklining in North Boulder Park.)

(In jLu's office, going over some final logistics with 2/3rds of my crew.)

(Geoff and I at the pre-race check-in in Squaw Valley.)

(Rickey Gates interviewing me after the pre-race meeting.)

(Where's the Mt. Dew? The final 1/3 of my crew, clearly psyched to be awake at 4am.)

(Last minute gel-stashing on race morning. Also, the last time my new pink kicks would look so sharp.)

(I had the most dialed crew on the course: Jenn, Joe, and jLu.)

(Getting some last-second rest, just moments before the start...)

(All photos: jLu)


Daniel said...

Wow Anton! Congrats on WS100. I was excited just following over the net from Australia. It seemed like a great field but I thought killian may have been more of a threat than geoff.
Just a question about your race gear..
What alterations do you do to your shorts?
And do you just carry 1 water bottle in races and refill at aid stations?
Plus I finally got a pair of 100's which were sold out everywhere and there pretty much the best shoe ever. Can't wait for the 101's!
Congrats once again.

brownie said...

Great job out there Tony! Awesome to watch yunz guys put it on the line like that!

GZ said...

Tony - congrats. Your race = balls. Big big balls. Well done

Also echo the question on what sewing alterations you are doing to your shorts. I am assuming it is for gel pockets?

boe said...

awesome job at western states! so inspiring!

Anonymous said...

Yes amazing race Tony!

I am still very confused about how Geoff made up 15 minutes in about 5 or 6 miles. Were you walking? I know he was running so fast he dropped Dave Mackey but gee 2-3 minutes a mile is alot in relative terms especially if you were running those miles.

I hope your recovery is going well.

Anonymous said...

Anton---you did too many miles before the Western States--You did all the work before--you must allow time to rest---that's why you came in second.

Chris and Amy said...

Thanks for the great entertainment. I was nervous just checking my computer for updates! I can't wait for the race report! Thanks for making us all a part of this. Amy

Unknown said...

Anonymous person is smoking crack. How would someone know if you did too much in taper. Tony still broke the previous course record. People are saying the same thing about Kilian, but I don't think there is a magic number. I thought it was a hell of a race.

blake said...

So that's the secret to your shorts! Congratulations on a great run at WS. I was rooting for you all the way to finish.

André Lambert said...


I agree. This race set a different context for ultra trail running. We gotta have more competition, more elite people on the same field.
Here in Brazil we spent 10 hours glued on the computer with another 10 tabs opened following the action. As a matter of fact I pretty much paid no attention to the Fedor Emelianenko fight on Showtime and slept thinking how awesome the top 3 performances were. I think what happened last weekend can be compared to best stages of le tour. Congrats dude, you delivered.

Brett said...

"It was the most fun I've had probably in any race ever."

Thats most important, glad to hear.

"True head-to-head competition is a blast and I think the sport of mountain ultra running--both the fans and competitors--would benefit from more situations like what materialized Saturday in the Sierras. It'd be exciting if more events provided the requisite incentives to make it happen."

Yes there are few folks like MattC who push for prize money, competitive entries, and other things that provide the incentives for elite folks to make the investment to travel to these races.

Here here.

Anonymous said...

Freakin' incredible race man!!! was pullin for you from home, glued to the updates from the computer. having fun is the most important so it sounds like it was a win after all. thanks for the inspiring words and indulgence, my favorite trail running movie ever. will never compete at the level you do, but it is inspiring to see you keeping it simple. i have stoked out many a coworker on the mt100s and everyone who has run in them loves them.

mtnrunner2 said...

Awesome race, Anton, with two record-breaking times! Honest, I was on the edge of my seat watching those checkpoint stats, Twitter, etc.

It's interesting reading the runners' reports as they are being posted, because the silence was deafening between checkpoints on race day. You just had no idea what was going on during those stretches. Now it's all getting filled in.

Ultratrailchick said...

so which kickin pink NB were those? i'll be tryin out the 101s here shortly...

Lynette said...

Great race! Very exciting to follow.

Derrick said...

Just an amazing race to follow. Your determined head to head racing with Killian for most of the day was what made for an awesome race, and the CR a certainty. Congrats.

Brad G. said...

Way to put together a great race! Amazing to watch and the contrast between you and Killian was something to see as well. I'm sure you are disappointed not to win but your attitude is fantastic. As it should be. Thanks for taking us on the ride!

Anonymous said...

Keep doing your thing Tony. It is refreshing to see you and Geoff both stay true to yourselves. You are a great champion and a great role model for the sport. Keep up the inspirational training, believe in it and I'm sure you'll be nailing Carpenter's record in no time.

Tucker Goodrich said...

Happy to hear you had such a great race. Congrats on a terrific finish.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the great race Anton.

Anonymous #1
Geoff was 11 minutes behind at Greengate, mile 80. I believe he passed Anton a mile or so outside of Browns Bar AS or around mile 91.

David Hill said...

Unbelievable effort Tony, congrats! I tracked the computer most of the day and was in a movie when a friend texted the final results. It was a bummer at first but you smashed the CR and one guy had the race of his life to beat you. Thanks for one of the greatest ultra races of all time.

Marco Denson said...

Awesome and exciting race! Better than the soccer world cup I've been watching, and I'm a die hard soccer fan. I started pacing my brother from forest hill right after I heard you had made it to the finish in second place also breaking the previous record. then I ran all night and all the way to the finish I kept thinking that you guys were already done and sleeping. I can't wait to read your report.

Anonymous said...

Proud to just live in the same town with you! Solid and exciting race for you start to finish.

Anonymous said...

No respect for Karl from whoever wrote the caption for the Running Times article. It might as well have said "The author (far left) with 2009 Western States champ Hal Koerner, seven-time WS champ Scott Jurek, circa 2009. Oh yeah, and some random guy who we don't care about because he's never won the Western States." Ouch.

Athreya said...

Congrats again! Superb finish! I don't know how you guys do it!

John said...

Many of the questions above are answered in Tony's and Goeff's video interviews over at iRF. Specifically, how the last 10 miles played out.

R. Logan Brooks said...


Inspiring, captivating race. Hope you are proud of the results which were ridiculous! Heal up my friend.

John said...

I never thought it could be so exciting just looking at checkpoint updates. Amazing race!

Your respect and appreciation for your competitors says much about you.

I had my first 200 mile month in 27 years of running...much inpsired by your weekly mileage...and it feels great...at 52.


Matt said...

Inspiring stuff. Head to head combat for the ages.

Congratulations on a great race.

NortonTwin said...

Great run Tony!!!

My brother and I were on the phone riveted to the live feed from the WS100 website. This was the most exciting WS100 ever. Thank you for the entertainment.


Anonymous said...

Geoff was 11 minutes behind at Greengate, mile 80. He had caught Anton at Auburn Lakes Trail - mile 85!

How did that happen?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on a great race! Great watching over the net in Australia. Enjoy your sport as it is! Triathlon was once "pure" like trail running then came then prize money, M dot/ITU corporate takeover and before you know it you get DQd for taking your shirt off!

Stuart Swineford said...

You guys rocked it! Was great fun following the event during the day on Twitter and keeping up with your awesome progress. Was pulling for you and you made it a helluva race. Commented with another person following the event that these are really starting to turn into "races" with a deep field of top talent. Must be really exciting for you guys.

Rocketh on.


Pete Rodrigues said...


Great race - how did you find the unaltered NB 101's?

Excited to see what else you'll do this summer - PP or Leadville!

Olga said...

It was a real kicker to be there and watch it all unfold! Pleasure to see the finish line sportmanship. Your crew is great for sure! I got a bunch of pictures, if interested, olgav100@gmail.com. Can't wait to read details!

Kirk said...

Congratulations, you ran an extraordianry race. You are inspiring. Way to go!

PunkRockRunner said...

I was completing my first Ironman in Coeur d'Alene last weekend or I would have been volunteering at the WS100.

Pam Reed was competing in the IM too (and staying in the same hotel as my family) so I was lucky to have spent some time with her talking about my ultra goals in 2011.

When I got the race results I just happened to be standing next to Pam and shared the finishing times for both you and Geoff. Needless to say, she was blown away at the numbers.

To see a reaction like that from Pam speaks volumes of what both you and Geoff accomplished at the WS100.

Well done.


Kendall said...

Can't wait for the movie.

mike_hinterberg said...

Nice job man, world-class effort and glad that you were stoked about the whole thing.

Brian Williams said...

*High Five*

Scott McMurtrey said...

What a race. Congrats. Looking forward to the full report.


Anonymous said...

Tony, great race! Awesome and inspiring as always--this one in particular is one to remember though.

djconnel said...

I loved the race for its tactical richness: running with Killian succeeded in taking him out his comfort zone and taking him out of contention, but came at the cost of the optimal pacing strategy which one might have followed with a solo time trial, something Geoff was able to exploit. On the other hand, hang back and run with Geoff and Killian might have been able to stay on top of his hydration with the more sustainable pace and been able to run strong to the end.

It seems like you played your hand and Geoff was stronger than anticipated after his crisis and that's how things fell.

I really like your writing, your depth of analysis, and your attention to the spiritual component of running which transcends simple race goals. Good luck @ Leadville, if you decide to race there.

Michael Alfred said...

Great job Tony. I followed you and Kilian up from the River to Green Gate and was standing there at the pivotal moment when you dropped Kilian once and for all. I could tell you weren't feeling 100% at that point but I could tell you weren't going to drop. Also, enjoyed watching you and Geoff drinking a PBR together after the race. Nice camaraderie between super competitive guys.

Jeff B. said...

Great job, efforts like the one you put on is just what the sport needs! Very exciting to watch even if we have to watch from the internet; maybe someday we can see these events televised?

I didn't see anything about prize money. I bet that would help shape great performances!

Again congrats and I'm sure we all are looking forward to your colorful race report.

Atomový Abrahám said...

Hi Tony,
great race...how is it like to race Killian? Any different aproach??
btw- is that a knife in your pocket?? (interview photo) :-)

take care

Anonymous said...

Great job!!

Joel said...

@Ultratrailchick - Antons shoes are apparently the upcoming New Balance MT (WT for womens)101s, the successor to the current MT/WT 100s. They will be released this fall.

Scotty K. said...

These race reports of yours have quickly made their way to the top of my list of favorite reading material. Great stuff!

What exactly did jLu use to add the extra pocket space on the shorts? Trying to get something similar done for an upcoming race of my own.

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