Photo by Seth Morris
rabbitELITEtrail racer Coree Woltering
had a very slim chance of making it into the Western States 100 this year, but when his name got called in December he grew giddy with excitement. The man from Ottawa, Illinois has been flying on trails across the country the past few seasons, quietly making a name for himself as one of the best ultrarunners around, and he knew he was ready to test his skills on arguably the world's biggest stage. From his home base for the last few weeks in Lake Tahoe, Coree spent some time chatting with us about his season so far, what he's most stoked for with States less than two weeks away and more about his specific preparations in this rabbit chatter.
Was there a race or moment when you knew you were hooked on ultrarunning?
I first became hooked on ultrarunning while pacing my friend, Bowman, at the Leadville 100. I really didn’t know much about ultrarunning, but I knew I loved it. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I actually quit triathlon to focus on trail/ultrarunning…turned out to be a good decision.
Photo by Joe McCladdie at the WS100 Training Camp
How has your season and training gone up to this point so far?
This has been a fun and interesting season. Other than a very minor injury in Jan, I would say it has been pretty smooth. I have run a trail 10k, 23k, 15 mile, 25k (twice), 25 mile, 50k (Quicksilver), and 50 mile (American River) so far this year, and everything has felt pretty good. I think things are building quite well. Five different states, many different weather/trail conditions, and it has really just been a year of taking things in strides and learning as we go.
You race a lot, is there a method to your madness or do you just love to compete?
Racing is fun! Coach David has been great about building a schedule around events. I say events, because I treat a lot of the sub ultra races as a hard and controlled effort. I have done a lot of short races this year, but we followed them up the next day with a long run. One thing I love about the different events is seeing new parts of the country, new trails and making new friends. I don’t have a specific goal to run/race in every state, but I would like to visit all 50 states before I turn 30. At the moment I have 6 left: Alaska, Hawaii, North Dakota, Maine, Rhode Island & Oklahoma.
Photo by Seth Morris
Tell us about your road trip to California, it seems like a great way to really enjoy the whole Western States experience!
I made a road trip to California for the Western States Memorial Day Training Camp, and have been staying at altitude since. To get here, I could either drive I-80 the whole way…my hometown is on 80 in Illinois…but I took the northern loop. It was 200 extra miles, but way more scenic and fun. I had never been to South Dakota or Idaho, and it just so happens they were on the way. I left Illinois and went over to Iowa. From there, Iowan to Minnesota and I stopped at Myer-Big Lake State Park for a short run. Then over to the Badlands in South Dakota where I put in another short run, before driving to the base of Mt. Rushmore for the night. I got there in time to walk up to the monument and see it all lit up. The next morning I stopped by Crazy Horse and then on to Grand Tetons. I was absolutely amazed at how massive the mountains are. From there I cut across Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and finally made it to California for camp a few weeks back.
What are you most looking forward to about States?
Western states will be fun. I don’t really know what I am most looking forward to — the whole process has been fun. I love racing and I am excited for the competition and sharing the amazing trails with 368 other runners. I think the women’s race is going to be pretty interesting this year, so I am also very excited to see how that shakes out.
How are the next three weeks shaping up; long slow taper or keeping some intensity up?
Saturday I ran the Genoa Peak MADathon (25 miles) as my last long run before Western (editor's note: he won & set a new CR). The next two weeks will be a little lower in miles, but still keeping the intensity up. I don’t run well on long tapers and low mileage/intensity. As for the nutritional part — I don’t change anything in the taper. There will be burgers, chicken strips w/fries, ice cream, cheesecake and plenty of healthy stuff. In general, most of the stuff I eat is homemade, but if I have a craving for something that is “junk food” I don’t hold back. The tough part is being in an area that has a ton of good beer and microbreweries and limiting myself…I want to try everything. However, there will be plenty of time for that after the 100.
Can you divulge any info on the secret speedo that we'll see in Squad on the start line?
I can say this one will never have been raced before, and it is fabulous. It doesn’t have pockets…yet #SpeedoInSquaw
Coree & Rob Krar at the Quicksilver 50k last month in San Jose, CA
Photo by Paul King
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