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2009 Western States 100 Trail Run Results And Video

The Western States 100 is officially in the record books! What a fun event to follow online even with the intermittent connection issues due to the amount of traffic hitting the race website. I enjoyed seeing the splits through each checkpoint and the interactive map which displayed the male/female leaders, 24/30 hour markers, and estimate of where your selected racer is on the course. I look forward to improved coverage in years to come as the sport continues to grow.

Congratulations to two-time winner Hal Koerner and first-time Western Stater Anita Ortiz for their wins. They both separated from the field and never looked back.

Also a big congratulations to all the athletes that started this nearly beyond-understanding journey. It sounded like a special challenge for all as the heat definitely played a roll in how the day progress for many.

Out of the approximately 400 that started, 140 dropped out sometime during the race due to various reasons (injury, time cutoff, etc). We are talking about a 35% drop rate! 2007 had approximately a 31% drop rate.

I doubt you can fake 100 miles especially when you talk about the heat and terrain challenges.

Take a look at the impressive performances of the front runners.

Men’s Top Five

  1. Hal Koerner (age: 33) – 16:24:55 (9:51 min/mile)
  2. Tsuyoshi Kaburagi (age: 40) – 16:52:06 (10:07 min/mile)
  3. Jez Bragg (age: 28) – 16:54:26 (10:09 min/mile)
  4. Jasper Halekas (age: 33) – 16:56:26 (10:10 min/mile)
  5. Kevin Sullivan (age: 38) – 16:59.33 (10:12 min/mile)

A few observations:

  • Averaging around 10 minute miles over 100 miles while including the various aid-station stops or slow downs. Wow!
  • The race between second through fifth had to be intense with times so close to one another. Those last 20 or so miles had to be killer or a heck of a lot of fun depending on how you were feeling. Does anyone feel great towards the end of a 100 miler?
  • The fitness  between Hal and the rest seems fairly significant with 16+ seconds per mile difference.
  • The average pace difference between second and fifth (max of 5 seconds per mile) is so extremely small. Could it have come down to doing the little things (ex: moving through aid stations quickly) extremely efficiently, that made the difference over the 100 miles?

Women’s Top Five

  1. Anita Ortiz (age: 45) –  18:24:17 (11:03 min/mile)
  2. Krissy Moehl (age: 31) – 19:26:02 (11:40 min/mile)
  3. Beverley Anderson-Abbs (age: 45) – 19:53:14 (11:56 min/mile)
  4. Nikki Kimball (age: 38) – 20:55:43 (12:33 min/mile)
  5. Caren Spore (age: 41) – 21:17:22  (12:46 min/mile)

A few observations:

  • Anita finished ninth overall! At age 45, you can still kick some serious butt. Impressive!
  • Three women over 40 in the top  five.
  • They all seemed to have a little bit of breathing room between each of them based off of their average pace.

Complete Results – You can currently look at the complete list of finishers by going to the event webcast and clicking on ‘Finishers’ link on the left side of the page. Eventually the results will probably get moved somewhere on the main Western States 100 homepage.

Testosterone vs. Estrogen

It was interesting to compare Hal and Anita’s finish times and how that compares to the average difference between men and women marathon times. Based on some of the information I found, 12-15% appears to be the average time difference between the elite runners.

Can this carry over to longer events such as a 100 miler?

12 % of Hal’s 9:51 min/mile = 71 seconds

15% of Hal’s 9:51 min/mile = 89 seconds

Anita’s actual pace difference was 72 seconds slower than Hal’s which falls quite nicely within this model.

Let’s take a look at the last few years of this event and see if the trend continues.


  • men’s winner – 9:43 min/mile
  • women’s winner – 10:56 min/mile
  • time delta between men and women – 73 seconds
  • percentage time difference =  12.5% – Yes!


  • men’s winner – 10:58 min/mile
  • women’s winner – 11:40 min/mile
  • time delta between men and women – 42 seconds
  • percentage time difference = 6.4 % – No!
  • Women’s winner finished third overall. Weak men’s field? Huge female performance? Poor male performance?


  • men’s winner – 16:40:46 – 10:00 min/mile
  • women’s winner – 18:39:02 – 11:11 min/mile
  • time delta between men and women – 71 seconds
  • percentage time difference = 11.8% – Pretty close!

Alright, I have humored myself enough on this stuff. Kind of interesting but definitely inconclusive.


Race Start. There is climbing right from the start. Nice!

(If you can’t see the video click here.)

This gets my blood pumping for the event! How about you?

Hal Koerner’s finish and post-race interview.

(If you can’t see the video click here.)

Koerner looks so fresh after just flying through 100 miles…and he can actually talk coherently. I would be speechless or babbling in some foreign tongue.

Second through fifth place men’s finish.

(If you can’t see the video click here.)

Unfortunately I couldn’t find any finish videos for the women.

Matt Hart from Coaching Endurance just put up Anita’s finish and interview.

PSSST…this was her first 100!

Articles on the race action:

Does this make you want to hit your local trail and go for a run or take a really long nap?

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

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