Bradley, Sandes Snag Victories at the Iconic 100-Mile Endurance Race
AUBURN, Calif. (June 26, 2017) — Salomon athletes Ryan Sandes and Cat Bradley won the 2017 Western States 100 Endurance Run Saturday, claiming victories in the men's and women’s divisions, respectively, after battling heat and snow throughout the High Sierra course. Sandes' and Bradley's victories in Auburn punctuated a weekend in which Kilian Jornet and Megan Kimmel led Salomon sweeps of the men's and women's podiums at the Mont Blanc Marathon in Chamonix, France.
"Cat and Ryan put the perfect exclamation point on a beautiful weekend for Salomon in the mountains of Europe and the U.S.," says Salomon USA Brand Marketing Manager Jenny Taylor. "With remarkable performances in Auburn and Chamonix, our athletes continued to show what is possible when driven by the love of our sport. We are so deeply proud of Cat and Ryan, as well as Megan, Kilian and our entire trail running team, which showed up in a big way over the weekend, not only logging impressive results, but spending time with fans and community members."
The Western States 100 takes place on a 100.2-mile course, starting at the base of Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe, California, and snaking through the Sierra Nevada mountain range to finish in the town of Auburn. With a cumulative 18,090 feet of elevation gain and 11,970 feet of descent on technical, challenging mountain trails, the prestigious race draws the best of the best in ultrarunning each summer. This year, the race took place on June 24, and after a winter of record snowfall in the Sierras, runners had to battle snowfields in addition to the blistering summer heat.
In a stacked field that included former winners Kaci Lickteig, Magdalena Lewy-Boulet and Stephanie Howe Violett, as well as YiOu Wang and Camille Herron, 25-year-old Bradley, a Salomon ambassador and school teacher based in Boulder, Colorado, took top honors with a time of 19:31:31 in her Western States debut. The victory came in just Bradley’s fourth attempt at the 100-mile distance, which began as a struggle over the first 15 miles, where the course was covered in snow.
"I didn't really know what was going on at the front for most of the day. I was sick of getting passed after the snow, and I made a decision that I wasn't going to let anyone else pass me until the finish. It was a morale thing, because I was in a pretty dark place after the snow," says Bradley. "When I took the lead, I didn't know how I felt about being chased, but I ran harder after that. It was kind of unbelievable and I wanted to try and hang back as long as possible and I wanted to start racing hard at the American River crossing. I guess I was racing scared, but I was pretty comfortable—for the most part."
Sandes, 35, of Cape Town, South Africa, won the overall and men’s division in 16:19:37, more than 28 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher. His win marks the first victory by a South African runner at Western States.
Sandes broke out onto the international trail running scene more than 12 years ago, and has since ascended the ranks to become one of the sport's top athletes. Sandes was the first person to win an ultra on each of the seven continents: the Gobi March in China, the Sahara Race in Egypt, the 230K Jungle Ultra Marathon in the Brazilian Amazon, the Gore-Tex Transalpine Run in Europe, the Leadville 100 in Colorado, the North Face 100 in Australia, and the 250K Last Desert Challenge in Antarctica.
Conversely, Bradley is emerging as a young force in the ultrarunning scene, with her win at Western States marking the latest in a slew of victories and podium finishes, which include a course record at the Rio Del Lago 100 Miler and a win at the Canyons Endurance Runs 100K.
Bradley completed the entire Western States course in a pair of fresh-out-of-the-box Salomon Sense Pro Max shoes, which were recently awarded Editor's Choice recognition from Trail Runner Magazine.
About Salomon: Born in the French Alps in 1947, Salomon is committed to pushing the boundaries of mountain sports through the creation of innovative equipment that allows people to play, progress and challenge themselves in their chosen outdoor sports. The company produces and sells premium footwear, winter sports and mountaineering equipment, hiking equipment, and apparel specifically designed for all of those disciplines. Products are developed in the company’s Annecy Design Center, where engineers, designers and athletes collaborate to create innovative solutions that continually improve the outdoor experiences of those who see nature as a vast playground. www.salomon.com
Contact: Brian Holcombe
970-924-0704 ext. 102