The Western States 100 is the world’s oldest 100-mile race, which makes it one of the most prestigious, and also one of the toughest. Runners start in Squaw Valley, California and end in Auburn, California, climbing more than 18,000 feet and descending almost 23,000 feet in the many hours before the finish line. On top of all that, participants have to cross the American River. With a finishing rate of 81-percent, only the toughest survive.
How long does a 100-mile race take? If you’re Jim Walmsley, you’ll run for 14 hours, 30 minutes and four seconds. Walmsley set a new course record despite the over 100-degree temps. Below is the gear that Walmsley used to set the record, from his shoes to his sunglasses. Whether you’re looking to run five miles or fifty, Walmsley’s gear picks will get you through the distance.
Hoka One One Evo Mafate
“These are light and cushioned throughout the entire length the foot. They have a snappy response, drain water quickly, and supreme grip.”
Drymax Hyperthin Socks
“These are very thin with a fitted design, they soak up minimal water and the mini crew cut keeps the sock on your foot. There’s a special PTFE anti-chafe on forefoot and heel areas, too.”
Patagonia Duckbill Hat
“It’s breathable, functional, soaks up and holds water. I used it as a sponge in the creek crossing to drench my entire body.”
We’re big fans of this hat for all runs.
Garmin Forerunner 935
The Forerunner is the watch-choice of running superstars everywhere thanks to it powerful features. Walmsley likes the 935 for its “24 hour GPS battery life, altimeter and barometer for accurate reading.” It’s also lightweight so you’re comfortable during 5, 10 or 100-miles.
Oakley Radar EV Pitch with Prizm Daily Polarized Lenses
Running for 14 hours can be straining on the eyes. These sunnies feature an “all day lens tint that works for morning, afternoon, and evening [light]” Walmsley says. “[They have] extreme detail and clarity, and my vision stays clear even with water on the lenses throughout the day.”