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Western States Announces That 2023 Event Will Be a Ski Mountaineering Race

April Fool's Post: After a historic snow year, the world’s premier 100-mile footrace will now be a skimo event.

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TAHOE, CA (Apr 1, 2023) The Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run announced today that the 2023 edition will take place as a ski mountaineering race. This is the first time in the event’s history that the race will take place on skis. The region has experienced record snowfall this winter, and the event’s organizers have decided that some sections of the course will be impassable on foot, and that participants “might as well send it.”

“The Western States 100 mile run was birthed when Gordy Ainsleigh completed the then horse race in a non-traditional manner,” said an event organizer, who wished to remain anonymous.”Nonconformity is built into this event’s DNA, and we are proud to be able to carry on this tradition.” 

Many athletes are forgoing heat training for this year’s event, swapping sauna sessions for time in the skin track. Historically, the net downhill race has favored fast and resilient runners, and the shift to an all-ski event will likely favor the bums who spent all winter doing powder laps instead of long runs.

“I’m not really sure how I’m supposed to prepare for this,” said Liz Anya, a Phoenix-based runner. “I guess I’ll do a couple rounds of mountain legs and call it good?”

Some are concerned that the discrepancy in gear could lead to affluent athletes having an unfair advantage. “I don’t know if this is going to be a level playing field,” said Max Virt, a local runner registered for the 2023 event. “I know that some of these yuppies will spring for $5,000 ski setups, but that just doesn’t work for me, man. I’m planning on duct-taping some two-by-fours to my feet, grabbing a tree branch or two, and seeing what happens. I might be slower, but at least I’ll be staying true to the spirit of the trail.”

While some athletes compete in both ski mountaineering and trail running competitions, many runners have never been on skis, adding to the difficulty of this arduous endurance event. Ultrarunners often suffer from blisters, hallucinations, and explosive tummy troubles, but they typically don’t have to worry about breaking their tibia in half during an event. An outcome that is certainly possible for this year’s entrants.

In this year alone, the Western States Trail has seen record-breaking wildfires and record-breaking snowfall, which seems totally normal and cool, so don’t panic and start getting all antsy about climate change, eh?

The race plans to increase the number of medical staff on hand and has added a large number of crutches and splints so that emergency crews are prepared for the anticipated carnage. “I’m excited to watch some Jerrys go full send into a pile of rocks at Duncan Canyon,” said Carla McFly, a local ski patroller who is volunteering as medical staff for the event. “I think we’ll see a pretty high DNF rate this year. If the broken limbs don’t get em, the blisters definitely will. Ever spent 24 hours in ski boots? It’s like petting a Wolverine, you can do it, but it ain’t gonna be pretty.”

The seemingly unbeatable Adam Peterman might struggle in the non-traditional format – JUST KIDDING – the Missoula-based runner has already logged over 100 hours on skis this winter and Vegas still gives the phenom 20-1 odds. 

Whatever drama unfolds at this year’s unique race, Trail Runner is here for it. We will be watching this story closely, providing tips on how to properly run in ski boots and advising participants on the appropriate amount of spandex to wear. Tune in next week as we look at how ski wax can double up as body lubricant. 

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