Above is Anton Krupicka, ultra-marathon runner, two-time winner of the Leadville Trail 100, and graduate student in Boulder, CO, my home away from home. Along with Hal Koerner, Geoff Roes and Kilian Jornet, Krupicka is the subject of a new film that documents the events leading up to and following the 2010 Western States 100. I won’t give away what happened, so you’ll have to watch the film (or look on the internet), but it was an exciting race. The 2011 race is on June 25th, and although Krupicka, who reminds me of Fred Rohe, author of Zen of Running, usually running with nothing but a pair of short shorts and his New Balance shoes, won’t be racing this year, the Western States is always an interesting event to follow, even if you’re not a closet fan of the so-called “Grand Slam of Ultrarunning” like Cold Splinters is. And in case you don’t know what the Western States 100 is:
The Western States 100 is a 100-mile ultramarathon that takes place on trails in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains annually on the last full weekend of June. The race starts at the base of the Squaw Valley ski resort and finishes at the Placer High School track in Auburn. Runners climb a cumulative total of 18,090 feet and descend a total of 22,970 feet on mountain trails before reaching the finish. Because of the length of the race, the race begins at 5:00 AM and continues through the day and into the night. Runners finishing before the 30-hour overall time limit for the race receive a bronze belt buckle, while runners finishing in under 24 hours receive a silver belt buckle.
Watch the trailer for Unbreakable: The Western States 100 here.