American Andrew Miller, a relative unknown heading into the 2016 Western States 100 Endurance Run, became the iconic race’s youngest winner in its 42 years Saturday with a surprise victory in Auburn. Miller surged late in the 100-mile event to secure his breakout win, capping an eight-day Northern California racing stint for Salomon that opened June 18 with Max King’s victory in the Vertical K at the inaugural Broken Arrow Skyrace in Squaw Valley.
“I tried not to think about the fact that I was leading. Once I was at the front, at Highway 49, I just thought, ‘Run fast,’” says Miller, who took to the head of the race when then-leader Jim Warmsley went off course late. “I didn’t feel great for a stretch about 35 miles in, but I was able to push through. Other than that I had good energy all day, and my legs felt really strong all day. I’m just so happy. Thank you to my mom, who got me started trail running back home in Corvallis (Oregon), and to Salomon, for putting its belief in me and giving me the tools I needed for this win.”
Miller, who resides in Flagstaff, Arizona, completed his first ultra race at age 14, following in the footsteps of his mother, Anne, who regularly competed at the 50K distance. He is the course record holder at the Georgia Death Race and Bighorn 100 Mile races. In 2015, Miller was among the athletes to take part in the inaugural Salomon Running Academy in Limone, Italy, where he made an immediate impression.
“To call yourself an ultra runner at 19 years old is a big statement, but that is how Andrew introduced himself to the academy,” says Gregory Vollet, Salomon’s global sports marketing director. “Each day we were running 15 kilometers in steep mountains, and Andrew was able to follow the group on any kind of terrain at any speed. He has such a bright future, and last weekend was the first glimpse of his potential.”
Miller took his Western States 100 victory in a full Salomon Sense silhouette, including S-Lab Sense 5 Ultra shoes, which was developed with Kilian Jornet specifically for the distance and extreme conditions of the WS100.
About Salomon: Salomon was born in the French Alps in 1947. Our passion for mountain sport progression, product development, quality, and craftsmanship drives us to create progressive gear to enable freedom and help you challenge yourself in the mountains. www.salomon.com