Western States 100 Champion, Clare Gallagher (Ep.93)


  • Recovering from a huge effort at Western States (2:57)
  • Race Recap: day of the race & the first 80 miles (8:03)
  • On the intense last 6 miles of the race (10:02)
  • Mile 93 — 2017 vs. 2019 (13:13)
  • Clare’s expedition to Alaska prior to the race (18:45)
  • Winning, Losing, & Competitiveness (29:11)
  • Clare’s background (34:37)
  • Her future (49:43)

Clare Gallagher just won the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Race, and did so in spectacular fashion.

And normally, that is all the introduction we’d need here, since winning Western States is a very big deal. But there happens to be a whole lot more to this particular story.

Because right before this race, Clare accepted an invitation from Tommy Caldwell to go to the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to raise awareness of and opposition to plans to give oil and gas companies the right to drill in the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge.

That’s important, but backpacking and mountaineering around the wild landscape of Alaska is not how professional runners typically spend time right before their biggest race of the year.

So in addition to diving into the details of her epic Western States win, we discuss with Clare why she was willing to go to Alaska; why she runs; and how wins at Western States — or her 2016 win of the Leadville 100, or her FKT of the Zion Traverse last year — all work to create a larger platform to talk about the things that matter most to her.


It only takes a few seconds of your time, and it’s important:

Text 40649 now or CLICK HERE to submit a comment to your representative asking them to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by voting to pass The Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act.

The Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act is a bill (H.R. 1146) that prohibits the Bureau of Land Management from administering an oil and gas leasing, development, production, and transportation program in and from the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

Clare Gallagher talks with Jonathan Ellsworth about winning the Western States 100 Endurance Race and more on Blister's Off The Couch Podcast.
Clare Gallagher (photo by Fredrik Marmsater // Patagonia)

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