Western States 2017

This was a journey of a life time.  

On June 24, 2017 I toed the start line for my 3rd start of the Western States 100 mile run. 

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the world.  www.wser.org.

In 2017, 369 individuals started this race and 248 finished within the 30 hour time limit.  Through a long journey of tears, running scared and chasing the cut-off by 20 minutes, I managed to be finisher #248.  

I had not anticipated what I encountered.  The snow was icy, deep and forever.  The melting of snow created rushing rivers , knee deep slushy mud and hours of slipping and sliding.  I managed to reach Red Star at mile 15.8, 20 minutes from the cut-off. I consistently kept this position for 84 more miles.  It was the last few miles I pushed my limits and made an incredible and unbelievable finish in 29 hrs, 59 min 51 sec.  I say this is unbelievable because it is not likely for someone to come from behind and finish with  9 sec remaining  for a 30 hour limit.  It was my deep determination, my unending perseverance   and the drive of believing in myself.  I dug deep into the depths of my soul to pull this off.  

The help of my brother and husband supporting me, pacing me and believing in me was crucial to my accomplishment.   

This journey was about self discovery and staying in the present moment.  I did not go to the place of despair as I knew I needed all the energy I had to accomplish this race.  When we lower our internal energy we find ourselves overwhelmed with despair , self doubt and our internal critic.

Please enjoy this video taken by a special friend of mine, Farah Avarasala.




Karen Bonnett