Morrison’s experiences at Western States have been both satisfying and heartbreaking.
In 2006, Morrison, running in first, collapsed in the last mile of the race. After attempting to get up and run, he collapsed again. This time, Morrison’s pacers helped him to the finish where he won—until he was disqualified the following day for having been assisted. Ten years after that disappointing event, Morrison returned to Western States.
“It was super important to me to have the opportunity to get that monkey off my back,” he says. “In 2016, it was 10 years from my first attempt and I was without a finish. To go back and finish with so many friends and family in attendance was incredibly meaningful.”
While Morrison doesn’t have any immediate plans to return to Western States as a racer, he’s not counting out a return to the event. “Even though my Western States history has been filled with a lot of heartbreak, I love the race.”
With Western States’ history and lore comes a large number of runners hoping to nab an entry. This year, 6,664 people threw their names into the lottery hoping for one of the 264 spots available through random draw, the largest lottery in Western States’ history. Of the remaining spots, 102 will be automatic entries, many of which will go to the first and second place winners of each Golden Ticket race.