Kiwi CurraNZ ambassadors Dan Jones (pictured, above) and Nancy Jiang proved their class in the Western States Endurance ‘100’ race in late June, one of the world's most gruelling, competitive ultra-marathons, held in the USA, a race won by our very own Ruth Croft last year.
In their first-ever attempts in a 100-mile (160km) ultra-marathon, Dan placed a magnificent fifth (15 hours, 22 minutes) and Nancy 23rd (female) (23 hours 57 mins) in the 327-strong field, which attracted a stellar international line-up.
Dan was consistent throughout the race, holding 7-8th for most of the 100 miles and then climbing into 5th place before crossing the finish line. Nancy similarly was consistent throughout the race, sitting in the top 20 before finishing 23rd.
Hayden Hawks, our US CurraNZ ambassador who placed second last year, sadly had to withdraw due to a knee problem after falling earlier in the race.
Dan and Nancy (pictured below) earned internationally-coveted 'Golden Tickets' to Western States when winning the 100km events at NZ’s premier ultra-marathon at Tarawera, in February.
Initially, Nancy was unsure whether she would take up the opportunity, however decided it was too good to pass up and accepted the invitation.
A notoriously difficult event to earn an entry for, Western States is the oldest ultra-marathon in the world, having been inaugurated in 1973. Held in California in extreme temperatures this year, with snow at elevations and soaring temperatures in the latter parts of the race, half of the event is run in darkness, with a 30-hour cut off deadline.
Tom Evans became the first Brit to win the event, clocking the fourth fastest time in course history, whilst Courtney Dewaulter smashed the women’s course record by 78 minutes with a new record of 15:29:33.
Congratulations to the Kiwis, who once again showed the strength of New Zealand talent against red-hot international competition - and proudly assisted by CurraNZ.