Photo: Myke Hermsmeyer, Outside Magazine
Jim Walmsley is one of the most competitive and fastest ultra runners in the World. Relatively “new” to the scene, he started ultra running to get through some hard times in his life and got serious into training in 2015. He trains in Flagstaff, AZ with the Coconino Cowboys and is sponsored by Hoka One One, Cliff bar and Nathan Hydration. He holds 16 course records on ultra courses- including Lake Sonoma 50, the Speedgoat 50K, JFK 50 Miler and Gorge Waterfalls 100K. Not to mention some crazy fastest known times on trails like Rim to Rim to Rim.
In just one week he is racing the prestigious Western States 100 mile endurance race for the third time- he was a heavy favorite in both 2016 and 2017 when both times the race didn’t go as planned. In 2016, he got lost on the trail 93 miles into the race when he had had a lead of over an hour and was on track to crush the course record of 14:46:44. He finished the race that day in 20th place in a time of 18:45:36 with an attitude we can all learn something from. In 2017 – again a favorite to win the race, he had to drop around mile 73 due to fueling and stomach issues.
He’s been training hard in 2018 to give it another go on June 23rd. He just crushed his own Lake Sonoma 50 record a couple of months ago. Jim has a confidence and drive that will inspire you and hopefully make you think on the fact that it’s good and healthy to have big goals and big dreams and even when those don’t work out the first or the second time; that getting back at it and going for it again is admirable. I can’t wait to see what Jim does this year and how he races the course.
Enjoy my conversation with Jim Walmsley!
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