Western States 100. The Adam Peterman Surprise! . Sport
Presented as one of the outsiders of this edition of Western States 100 (161 km) Adam Peterman proved all predictions wrong and put his name on the list of winners of the most prestigious race in the United States, leaving no chance to his opponents.
The 26-year-old runner, the youngest entered this year with the Australian Lucy Bartholomew, had however never run an ultratrail of more than 100 km! But his patience and an astonishing proof of maturity allowed him to surprise the most experienced trail runners in the furnace of Olympic Valley where temperatures sometimes exceeded 40°C.
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Riding on a series of four victories (Speedgoat 50k, JFK 50 Miler, Chuckanut 50k, Canyons Endurance Runs 100k), Peterman bided his time. Comfortably installed among the first ten from the start at 5 a.m., the runner from Missoula (Montana) gradually made up for his delay to make the most of his effort after halfway through the race.
Returning to the height of the leader, Hayden Hawks, at 112 km, the youngest of the event remained at his side for a few minutes, in order to assess the state of form of his main rival and teammate at Hoka One One. But this progression as a duo did not last.
Fresher, Peterman continued on the hellish pace that had allowed him to overtake the other competitors, to cover the last fifty kilometers alone and win in 15h13’48 (first victory for a beginner since 1986), tenth best timeline of history.
“I felt bad at the start and thought it would be a very bad day”he said on arrival. “I was out of rhythm and even thought about giving up. But I hung on and stuck on the heels of Arlen Glick, who is the cutest guy in the world. We talked about everything and nothing, and he gave me energy. I felt a bit better and finally I was almost euphoric at the end”.
Behind, the winner, Hayden Hawks and Arlen Glick completed the podium. Tyler Green (second last year) was ranked 4th, ahead of Drew Holmen.
Before Peterman put his mark on Western States, the start of the race had been animated by the impressive number of Ludovic Pommeret (46 years old). At the forefront from the start, the Savoyard had taken control at the 10th km – closely followed by the Alsatian Sébastien Spehler – only to yield to Hayden Hawks at the 62nd.
Bothered by the heat, the winner of the Grand Raid de la Réunion still remained in the Top 10, soon joined by Vincent Viet (1st in the Trans Aubrac 105 km last April). Neck and neck for 100 km, the two Frenchmen fought for 6th and 7th place until the finish, but Pommeret managed to take the advantage for a handful of minutes (16h20’02 against 16h28’22). Note that Viet finished only 12 seconds ahead of Alex Nichols and 1’16 ahead of Cody Lind.