Walmsley’s previous attempts at the race have been notable, specifically his first attempt in 2016 when he famously said beforehand that he would break the record. He was on pace to do so, until he got lost in the last few miles of the race. His 2017 attempt ended with a DNF after the heat became too much for him.
This year, the run was going perfectly to plan, just like 2016 and despite 100-plus temperatures during the day.
That was until he was near the spot he once got lost. Walmsley came across two cubs and their mom, according to iRunFar. The cubs went up into the trees and the mom stayed nearby as Walmsley slowly and cautiously passed.
Despite the minor hiccup, Walmsley was still able to beat the course record by 16 minutes.
The women’s race also saw a historic finish with Courtney Dauwalter taking on her first attempt and crushing it with a time of 17 hours, 27 minutes, beating the second place finisher by more than an hour and setting the second fastest women’s time in history. The women’s record is currently held by Ellie Greenwood for her 16:47:19 in 2012.