western states podium

CTS Athletes Katie Schide, Fuzhao Xiang, and Eszter Csillag Sweep Podium at Western States Endurance Run



(Colorado Springs, CO – June 30, 2024) – Katie Schide (USA), Fuzhao Xiang (CHN), and Eszter Csillag (HUN) finished first, second, and third, respectively, at the 2024 Western States Endurance Run. All three athletes are coached by Jason Koop, Head Coach of CTS Ultrarunning, who integrated a network of registered dietitians, strength training coaches, physical therapists, and other professionals to leave no stone unturned.

Katie Schide, winner of the 2022 Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) and 2023 Diagonale des Fous, was runner up in last year’s Western States. She stepped up to the top of the podium this year and improved upon her 2023 finishing time by 56 minutes and 48 seconds. Her final time of 15:46:57 was the second fastest women’s finish in the race’s 51-year history.

“Katie’s training data indicated she would come to the race 5-8% faster than last year,” said Coach Koop. “And I expected the course to be about 4% slower than last year due to the higher temperatures. Those factors, in combination with better race execution, led Katie to run almost an hour faster on a hotter day.”

Fuzhao Xiang first experienced Western States as a pacer for Eszter Csillag in 2023. In only her second trip to the United States, Fuzhao finished second place in her debut as a Western States competitor. Her finishing time of 16:20:03 is the fourth fastest time ever recorded by a female athlete.

Eszter Csillag finished on the same step of the podium as last year but improved upon her 2023 Western States performance by 25:38 to finish in 16:42:17. The 39-year-old mother of two was locked in a tight battle with Emily Hawgood and Yngvild Kaspersen. After trading places multiple times, the three finished within a span of eight minutes.

“I’m exceedingly proud of Katie, Fuzhao, and Eszter. They ran tough, focused, individualized races and executed their plans well,” said Coach Koop. “What people don’t see is the work they did over the past year and the network of coaches, dietitians, physical therapists, and other professionals we leveraged to get them to the start line prepared to perform.”

Coach Koop and CTS plan to formalize a model for a High Performance Team program in the coming months. “High Performance Teams are a proven method for maximizing athletic potential and a podium sweep at Western States demonstrates the model works in ultrarunning,” said Coach Koop. “In this case, it’s not one High Performance Team for all athletes. Rather, we’re creating teams of experts handpicked for each athlete. It starts with good athletes and their performance is amplified with professionals working in coordination with each other. “

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For endurance athletes who understand the power of working with a proven coach, CTS provides the specialized experience and expertise to help them succeed in their sport of choice. As trusted guides and motivators, our coaches partner with their athletes — training, educating, and pushing them to achieve more than they could on their own. Offering a spectrum of services ranging from bespoke coaching and tailored training plans to immersive training camps, CTS ensures athletes at every level benefit from working with top-tier professionals. Because behind every great athlete is a great coach.


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