Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest 100-mile trail race. Starting in Olympic Valley, California it ends 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California. Western States draws the top ultrarunners in the world, who can finish the race in under 15 hours.
But perhaps the race’s most exhilarating finishes happen in double that time, as everyday people try to finish under the 30-hour time cutoff. Known as the Golden Hour, the final hour of the race is a celebration of persistence, courage, and grit. It is what 7-time Western States top-10 finisher Andy Jones-Wilkins calls “the best hour in ultrarunning.” It is an hour that defines the sport.
This is the story of Golden Hour.