Route: Western States 200 (CA)

Submitted by Dan Barger on Wed, 07/22/2020 - 01:16pm
California, US
200.4 mi
Vertical Gain
41060 ft

This Route is used in the famous Western States 100 Mi Endurance Run. And out & back run between Placer High School in Auburn Ca where the WS100 finishes, and follow the modern day route run in 2019 to Squaw Valley, and return to Auburn 200.4 miles. 

GPS Track


I'll be starting at Squaw Valley with an estimated start time of 5am on Friday, October 8th.  

The attempt is will rely on cooperation from Mother Nature with the changing weather patterns in the area that should reduce the wildfire smoke and air quality, providing me with a window to give this route a clear attempt.

I live in Davis, CA so I've been able to train on the WS course over the past few years, covering many parts of the 100-mile trail in sections. As an ultra-runner, I've completed the Tahoe 200 twice (2017, 2019), three 100-milers and several 50-mile and 50k races. 

For this attempt, my crew includes my wife and son, and my crew chief is a good friend and highly accomplished ultra-runner knows the course well as a three-time Western States 100 finisher. He'll be helping me with some pacing, crossing the river and coordinating the rest of my pacing and support crew throughout the effort.

I expect to take anywhere from 72-84 hours, depending on conditions.

Clarification on the above comment – 

I'll be starting at Squaw Valley with an estimated start time of 5am on Friday, October 9th.

This is a supported run.  

The Sierra did not give up this FKT easily. As WS, TDG (TORX) and othere events were cancelled I made an attempt Aug 1st 2020 throwing in the towel at Duncan Canyon mi 125. Attemp # 2 was quickly schedulled for mid September  as I knew I had made a major mistake. California Wildfires made air quality hazardous and the USFS closed the trails to all for 2 weeks.  Another Runner Scot Sambucci was unsucessful in early October. I schedulled my second attempt for Oct 30th.

It should be noted the official supported FKT for this route is from Auburn to Squaw and finish in Auburn and follows the exact route of the modern day WS 100. This means that all trails run during the official WS 100 were followed exactly. For future attempts runners should know the trail details inside and out, for example trails through ALT and the single track near Millers Defeat are some examples. If anyone needs help identifying any areas I will be happy to help. October 30th came and my enthusastic team and I were underway. Clear Air, Open trails and highs in the low 80's with lows over the summit in the low 20's looked favorable.

Unlike the first attemp I didnt have any altercations with snarelling charging bears near FH. Jim Howard picked me up at Robinson mi 70 to pace through the night with Greg Boyer picking up at Squaw. The section from Robinson to Squaw back to Robinson Mi 70 thru mi 130  demands some attention. Woirking through the Canyons with 3 pacers helped get me to FH just before dawn I decided to take a 1/2 hr break and start the last section FH to Auburn in daylight. Attempt #1   I swam the American River but this time I waded accross waiste deep both directions. Check the water flows out of Oxbow Res, upriver to help with flow levels.

Finsihing on the track at dusk with not a sole in the stands and my team of 14 socialy distance humans accross the finish was... Unforgetable. I put the experience up there with my 2002 9th pl finish of Eco Challenge in Fiji in 9 1/2 days. Splits shown below.

Auburn 0500   0

Mi 22 River #1     3 hrs 39min.

Mi  38  Forest Hill  7:23

Mi 70   Robinson   10:02

Mi 100   Squaw     26:53 arrive 7:53am depart 9:34am

Mi 130   Robinson   37: 48

Mi 162   Forest Hill   48:30

Mi 178   River #2   53:32

Mi 200.2   Auburn  59:48


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