Kaci Lickteig seems to have been the underdog for most of her life, but now she is aiming for the second consecutive win at the Western States 100.
Running Competitor released an article telling us about Kaci and her journey to success.
Back in college, Kacie was not a standout for her Division III. She was a walk-on and no one expected her to be the future star. Jason Koop has been her coach since 2014, and he says, “She is smart, tough and adaptable. Her sum is far more than the parts.”
Lickteig battled injuries and illness through 2014 and 2015, but she proved her racing abilities in 2016 when she entered the Western States on the third try. Lickteig won the race in 17 hours, 57 minutes, and 59 seconds, which is the fourth-best time by a woman since 1977. She had not planned to take a lead early on in the race, but she found herself up front with Devon Yanko for the first 15 to 20 miles. Even in the 90-degree temperature, Lickteig says everything clicked. She kept it up and finished almost an hour ahead of runner-up Amy Sprotson. Lickteig didn’t think she had won until she crossed No Hands Bridge over the American River with a sizable lead and three and a half miles to go.
“The effort felt so manageable and it felt natural to be there,” Lickteig recalls of her early lead. “I just continued and never looked back. It was just one of those dream days.”
This was the highlight of an incredible season, in which she won seven of her eight races of 50K or longer and earned he Female Ultrarunner of the Year Award from Ultrarunning Magazine.
Lickteig believes finding happiness on the trails is one of her keys to success. “If I run happy, I run well,” she says. She is strong on the course and strives to be happy whether she is hanging with her two dogs, friends and family, working as a physical therapist, or running 100 miles.
Kaci has been spotted in our ASPIRE™ ONE on several of her wins!
Congratulations on all past successes and a best of luck for the future! We’re root for you!