The competition simply to enter the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run grows steeper by the year with more than 4,900 runners vying for 261 spots in the field via the lottery process for 2018. Even with a 15-percent increase in lottery applicants from a year ago, two Massachusetts residents had their names drawn in the lottery for the second year in a row.
Forty-eight Massachusetts runners entered the lottery, but Winchester residents David Souza and Kim Vanyo were the only ones to have their names selected for the 45th running of the Western States 100, which will take place June 23-24. Runners will have 30 hours to complete the 100.2-mile journey from Squaw Valley to Auburn, Calif., in the latest edition of ultrarunning’s original 100-miler.
Souza, 43, was in the lottery for the fifth straight year and had 16 tickets, giving him a 31.1-percent chance of having his name selected, according to Western States’ lottery stats data. Vanyo, 55, was in the lottery for the third year in a row, and her four tickets gave her an 8.9-percent chance of getting into the race. Both Souza and Vanyo qualified for the lottery by completing the Vermont 100.
For now, Western States is the biggest race on Souza’s schedule for 2018. Meanwhile, Vanyo has a monster year ahead of her with three California races on her calendar. Prior to racing Western States, she is entered in the Beyond Limits 100-miler in Mountain Center, Calif., in April. Following Western States, she will return to the Golden State in September to take on the Tahoe 200-Mile Endurance Run.
While Souza and Vanyo are the lone Massachusetts residents to be selected for Western States, they won’t be the only New Englanders to toe the starting line. John Peabody, 63, of Wakefield, R.I., is in the Western States field, as are 45-year-old Charlotte Dequeker of Greenwich, Conn.; 39-year-old Landon Fenimore of Burlington, Vt.; and 44-year-old Mike Weigand of Middlebury, Vt. Runners from Maine and New Hampshire were shut out of the lottery. Additionally, no New Englanders were among the 50 runners drawn for the Wait List.
Oliver Truog, 45, of Milton and Tom Morton, 40, of Chicopee were the Bay State runners who had the best odds of being selected – 32 tickets apiece for a 52.6-percent chance – but both were left on the outside for the sixth year in a row. Ralph Crowley, 32, of Princeton joined Souza in having 16 tickets, but Crowley will be forced to wait at least another year.
Three Massachusetts residents – Karen Ringheiser, Brian Rusiecki and Maddy McCarthy – all took part in the 2017 Western States 100. Rusiecki earned a Golden Ticket as the men’s winner of the UltraRunning Magazine points competition, while Ringheiser and McCarthy both were selected in the lottery. McCarthy was the only runner out of that trio to finish the race. She was the 23rd female finisher and placed 109th overall in 26:40:00.