Some Like It Hot
Rob Krar takes the heat in Grand Canyon and Western States 100Last weekend’s Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run (WS 100) was packed with hot veteran talent, from last year’s course-record-setter Timothy Olson to ...
Krar cools his heels at Western States. Photo by Glenn Tachiyama
Last weekend’s Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run (WS 100) was packed with hot veteran talent, from last year’s course-record-setter Timothy Olson to 1997 WS 100 victor (course record at the time) and 2012 24-Hour World Championships winner Mike Morton to the legendary Karl Meltzer, winner of a record 35 100-mile trail races. In sweltering 100-plus-degree heat, Olson would again come out on top, but relative-unknown Rob Krar, 36, of Flagstaff, Arizona, turned heads with a superb second-place performance, four-and-a-half minutes back from Olson and 33 minutes ahead of Morton.
Amazingly, Krar was a 100-mile virgin, and WS100 would make just his fifth ultra, his first occurring last November, with Nevada’s Bootlegger 50K. A pharmacist by profession, Krar concocted a disciplined race strategy and beat the heat. “I had to be the smartest runner I'd ever been in a race,” says Krar, “running a very slow and controlled pace, staying on top of hydration and nutrition and simply waiting to see as the hours and miles went by if my body was going to make it.”
In May, Krar placed himself on the ultrarunning radar with a stunning Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim FKT of 6:21:47, besting Dakota Jones’ record by 32 minutes. In an irunfar.com account, Krar speaks of digging deep on the home stretch in blasting heat: “I took a few moments to remind myself of the dark place I was about to enter, a shade of gray where the pain and exhilaration of the moment combine into a state of being I both fear and yearn for.”