Running Warehouse banner

Trail Running Course

2011 Western States 100 – Our Arkansas Trail Runner

George Peterka will represent the state of Arkansas at this year’s Western States 100. While familiar and experienced on “The Natural State” trails, George will be attempting his first 100 mile run into Auburn, California.

Arkansas State Flag - "The three blue stars below the state name represent the three countries that the territory belonged to (France, Spain and the United States), the year (1803) that Arkansas was acquired by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase and that Arkansas was the third state created from the purchase."

Here is a short Q&A where George shares his running background and his preparation for Western States.


George Peterka #309

Photo: Courtesy everywhereisimagined @

[EB] What is your running background and how long have you been playing in the world of trail/ultra running?

This is my first Western States 100. It took me five years to get in. I would have run sooner as a two-time loser but the forest fire cancellation pushed it back. I have been running for eight years. Mainly in Arkansas. This is my 13th 100-miler (lucky-13). I finished 8 out of 12.  But I have never run a race as difficult as the Western States 100. I run almost all of the races in the AURA series. They vary in length from 10-100 miles.

[EB] This March you participated in the 3 Days of Syllamo adventure and ran all three events (50 km, 50 mile, and 20 km). What was that experience like? Did you do anything specific to get the body and mind ready for another adventure the following day?

I love the 3-days of Syllamo. It is the closest thing to a 100-miler without actually doing one and it is great training for one. The trick to the 3-days is to go really easy on the first day. The first day should be pleasure – more like relaxation then like work. The work comes on the 2nd day. The 3rd day you just do the best you can with what you got.

[EB] What did a typical training week look like during your peak training for Western States? (weekly mileage, longest run, any back-to-back long runs?, weights/core, etc)

The most I did in a week is about 50 running and 30 walking. Most weeks I run about 40. I did a lot of heat traning and running when it is above 90 deg. I also did a lot of downhills. Walk up, run down, repeat. There is a lot of downhills in Western States and although I think I am good on downhills, the most downhills I ever did was 12,000 ft and Western States has 23,000. I am afraid of the heat and so I trained for it. I did not do any back-to-back long runs (except for the 3-days of Syllamo) or any weights/core training. I did a little cycling.

[EB] During the course of 100 miles the stomach can develop its own personality and require some adaption to make it happy. With that being said, what is your start-line fueling strategy? Sports nutrition? Regular Food such as bananas, etc.? Combination?

Hammer Sustained Energy powder in my water. One Hammer Gel between aid stations. Eat at aid stations whatever you have a taste for. Do not force youself to eat stuff that you think might make you throw up – it usually does. S-caps for electrolytes. If you will be walking uphill after an aid station you can eat some more. Your stomach will tell you salty vs. sweet. I drink a lot of soup at night (every aid station). I drink way too-much Coke. GingerAle is great for settling an upset stomach. I eat a good large high-carb dinner the night before and a small breakfast (Gatorade and a Bear Claw) in the morning.

[EB] Besides the finish, what specific section of the course are you most looking forward to running or experiencing?

I was looking forward to the high-mountain sections but now I am scared of them because of the snow. I really am looking forward to all of it.

Good luck to George as he journey’s the Western States Trail!

Special thanks to George for sharing with the Endurance Buzz community.

To see the complete list of athlete profiles so far, check out the 2011 Western States 100 TALON Athletes article.

Twitter TALON race coverage – I will be providing Twitter updates for all of our TALON athletes throughout the day. Simply,follow Endurance Buzz on Twitter.

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.

Comments are closed.