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2012 Western States 100: Interview Part 2 With Our Arkansas Tread

Tom Lane of northwest Arkansas decided to knock out his Endurance Buzz Q&A on Western States eve.

What a guy! Now go get those drop bags packed and get some sleep!

Enjoy the Q&A with Tom.

Tom Lane #256

Photo: Courtesy Tom Lane

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

At the age of 38, I started running in April of 2009 after committing to run a marathon with a buddy of mine. In the process of training, I fell in love with the sport and before running my first marathon was already interested in what the ultra distances were all about. I ran my first ultra in January of 2010 (Athens Big Fork). It was only a marathon distance but it was on rugged trails with 18,000 feet of elevation change. I ran my first 100 in October of 2010 (Heartland 100).

[EB – You recently finished a 50km scamper at the War Eagle Trail Run in northwest Arkansas. How did that race play out for you? Any strong memories from the day?]

I really enjoyed the War Eagle 50km for several reasons: First, it is my home training grounds. I have spent more time on these trails than anywhere else without question. Second, it was my final weekend of training before my taper for the Western States 100 following the Memorial Day training weekend on the Western States Trail consisting of 32 miles on Saturday, 19 miles on Sunday and 22 miles on Monday. Last, I ran better than ever on the course. The start was one of the coolest because my plan (sort of a joke) was to run the first mile around a seven minute pace so I could be the first person to the major downhill to avoid having to pass anyone on the very narrow trail. It was fun to lead for the first time in my life, even if it was only for a mile. The race start pics will stay with me forever.

[EB – Why Western States? As a first-time starter (I think), what interests you in this event?]

The Western States is what started ultra running for me. Jeff Genova, who is my running mentor, attempted the Western States in 2008 (cancelled due to fire), 2009 (DNF at 99.1 miles due to kidney failure), and 2010 (DNF at 93.5 due to ankle injury and dehydration). I was fortunate to be able to be a part of his experience in 2010 and was forever hooked. I applied and was selected on my 2nd attempt (very lucky since most people apply for several years).

[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)]

Training averaged about 60 miles a week with peak weeks around 80+ miles. I culminated my training with the Western States Memorial Day Training runs with a weekly total at 85 miles followed by the War Eagle 50km weekend totaling just over 80 miles. I finished up my training with a taper of 35, 20 and 10 mile weeks. I really focused on downhills throughout the training where I run almost recklessly on the downhills trying not to apply any brakes minimizing quad fatigue. We will see if it paid off.

[EB – Fun bonus question: Which animal best characterizes that way you plan on running Western States?]

Photo: Courtesy Adam Foster @

The animal that best characterizes my running of the Western States would be the camel. My number one goal is to stay properly hydrated.

We wish Tom a great adventure tomorrow!

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.

2 Responses to “2012 Western States 100: Interview Part 2 With Our Arkansas Tread”

  1. on 22 Jun 2012 at 8:20 pm James @RedDirtRunner

    David, thanks for a fun Q&A with one of our local studs. All of the NWA Goats will be cheering him on this weekend.

  2. on 26 Jun 2012 at 2:40 pm David Hanenburg

    You’re welcome James! I appreciate you being part of the EB tribe! Great to see Tom get to Auburn!