The Historical past and Evolution of the Western States 100 Golden Ticket Races – iRunFar

This weekend within the Sonoran Desert east of Phoenix, Arizona, the will happen with over 1,500 runners competing throughout three distances. Dubbed “ultrarunning’s largest get together,” the Javelina 100 Mile has additionally turn out to be probably the most aggressive 100-mile races in america.

The marquee occasion of the weekend, the 100-mile race, has, for the final two years, served as one of many seven Western States 100 Golden Ticket Races. Every of the races within the Golden Ticket Races collection affords high opponents an opportunity to realize entry to the Western States 100 and this weekend’s Javelina 100 Mile seems to be a barn burner.

Arlen Glick, 2021 Javelina 100 Mile champion. Photograph: Javelina 100 Mile

Twenty years in the past, then widespread path shoe firm Montrail started internet hosting a collection of races throughout america referred to as the Montrail Extremely Cup. On the time these races have been unfold throughout the traditional extremely distances of fifty kilometers, 50 miles, and 100k, and usually awarded the highest two or three finishers entry into the Western States 100.

Races got here and went within the collection. Some previous races included the Manner Too Cool 50k, Lake Sonoma 50 Mile, Ice Age 50 Mile, and Mountain Masochist 50 Mile. In 2013, two 100-mile races, the Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile and Pinhoti 100 Mile, have been added to the collection, and for a number of extra years 100-mile races remained a part of the collection.

Because the Western States 100’s presenting sponsorship modified and ultrarunning advanced into a real international sport, the Golden Ticket Sequence — because it got here to be referred to as after Montrail left the scene — was predominantly there to offer North American runners with an opportunity to realize entry into the Western States 100, whereas worldwide runners had comparable alternatives to take action by the now defunct Extremely-Path World Tour.

Golden Ticket Races continued to return and go, as some regional occasions just like the Georgia Demise Race 74 Mile have been eradicated and different conventional 100k path races, the Black Canyon 100k for instance, have been added. By 2019, the Golden Ticket Races collection had established itself as one of many high ultramarathon race collection on this planet.

Keely Henninger (in crimson), the 2023 Black Canyon 100k ladies’s winner. Photograph: Jesse Ellis/@letswanderphotography

After the demise of the Extremely-Path World Tour, the Golden Ticket Races expanded to incorporate extra worldwide races. In 2021, for qualification to the 2022 race, there have been two French races added — UTMB and Endurance Path des Templiers. Starting in 2022 and 2023, races in France, New Zealand, and Thailand have been included alongside extra conventional North American races.

The collection had by now additionally expanded to happen all yr lengthy, whereas beforehand it had been scheduled within the January to Might window following the Western States 100 lottery in December.

All of this background brings us to the 2023 to 2024 model of the Golden Ticket Races — to me, essentially the most mature model of the collection up to now. Up to now this season, 4 Golden Tickets every have been awarded on the CCC in France, Grindstone 100k by UTMB in Virginia — marking the return of the Golden Ticket Races to the U.S. East Coast for the primary time in a number of years — and the Good Cote D’Azur 115k by UTMB, additionally in France.

This weekend’s Javelina 100 Mile would be the first of two 100-mile Golden Ticket Races, with the second going down on the Doi Inthanon Thailand 100 Mile by UTMB in December. The ultimate two races of the collection might be two traditional North American 100ks, the Black Canyon 100k in Arizona in February, 2024, and the Canyons 100k in California in April, 2024. When the mud settles, 30 athletes from all over the world may have punched their tickets to the Western States 100 by way of the Golden Ticket Races.

For these of you coming down right here to the desert for the Javelina 100 Mile or Black Canyon 100k, I look ahead to seeing you!

Bottoms up!

AJW’s Beer of the Week

This week’s Beer of the Week comes from in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. is a traditional German wheat beer with a contact of sweetness. A easy, well-balanced beer weighing in at 5% ABV, it goes completely with absolutely anything. If you happen to’re coming to Phoenix, you’ll want to cease by State 48.

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