In the 2017 Western States 100 mile run, a guy named Jim Walmsley had it in his head that he could go sub 14 hours on the grueling course. The temperature that day was like 110°F and it was absolute madness to attempt such a thing, but Jim had it IN HIS HEAD.
When an athlete such as Jim gets something in his head, there’s little that can be done to talk sense into him. At some of the checkpoints he said it was ‘warm.’ Warm, fuck, it was so hot that day that the winner of the race, after asking Jim if he planned on going for sub-14, just dropped back and wished him luck. It was something that Ryan Sandes couldn’t even contemplate. It was against all odds.
That’s where Jim plays – against all odds.
Ryan eventually won the run two hours and twenty minutes OVER 14 hours. He won it at that. If Jim had succeeded. Meaning, if it was a little bit cooler that day, probably even by 10°F, Jim would have crushed the field with his 14 hour effort. He had it in him. He knew he did. He just needed everything to work out like he knew it would.
And then it didn’t work out that way. His stomach revolted. Not his legs. Not his mind. His stomach. He spewed funk a number of times, and ended up hiking in a daze for a while before someone convinced him to stop the madness.
Anyway. Here’s the video, really nicely done. I’m sure a helluva lot of people were wondering, WTF happened to Jim during the race. There was no interview, nothing. As it turns out, he was doing OK. He accepted the fact that the risk he took didn’t work out. You can bet your cooly that he’s ready to try to smash another record soon. I certainly would bet that.
Enjoy the Jim Walmsley Video – an amazing athlete pushing the very bounds of decency.