Five Chicago area endurance athletes have been chosen to participate in an event known as the “Super Bowl” of running – the grueling Western States 100-mile Endurance Run in California.

The race will take place on June 24 and 25 on a 100-mile course that starts in Olympic Valley, California, and finishes in Auburn, California.  The race is a physical and mental test for runners who follow a trail that “climbs more than 18,000 feet and descends nearly 23,000 feet,” according to Western States website.

The conditions can range from snow and windchills to rain and extreme heat.  

Participants qualify by completing one these races. Anyone who qualifies is entered into a lottery and each year only 369 runners are chosen.

This year, the Chicago-area lottery winners are:

  • Adil Lakhani – Chicago – 36
  • Jeni Goodwin – Chicago – 39
  • Paul Garcia – Skokie – 49
  • Todd Brown – Skokie – 54
  • Ming Zhou – Naperville – 55

This is the storied event’s 50th year, making it the oldest 100-mile trail race in the world.

Last year, Chicago runner Anthony Severino finished the race in 26 hours and 21 minutes.