Sacramento Running News

Running news and gossip from in and around Sacramento

Big Smiles, Long Miles at American River 50

April 05, 2015 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Masters Runners, Trails, Ultrarunning

Caton Avilla (left) with pacer power to a 2nd place finish. (SRN photo)

Caton Avilla (left) with pacer powers to a 2nd place finish. (SRN photo)

If one were impulsive enough to choose to do something silly, like run 50 miles with your friends* along the American River, this Saturday would have been the perfect day to do so.

After a string of overly warm spring days, and the threat of inclement weather, Saturday was a picture-perfect day to spend with friends* mucking about in the poison oak thicket we call the American River canyon.

The American River 50 Mile Endurance Run is one of the original ultras in the region with a long and storied history. And with approximately 700 starters, it is also one of the largest ultras in the nation. Sharp organization and an army of caring volunteers–many of whom are veterans of the race–make it an ideal first 50.

With dozens of prior ultra finishes, Chikara Omine, 32, the overall winner in 6:13:38 is hardly a beginner. This was a new course record, for this version of the course.

Second place finisher Caton Avilla, 19, was running his first 50-miler and did it in style with a 6:31:39 finish. We may see more of him.

Jen Benna powers to the win. (SRN photo)

Jen Benna powers to the win. (SRN photo)

A few minutes later, Karl Schnaitter, 32, made it up the hill in third place with a time of 6:46:42.

The first masters finisher was the enduring Jean Pommier, 51, who completed the course in 7:03:53, which was good enough for 5th overall.

The first female finisher was Jen Benna, 35, who won in 7:23:52, which was 10th overall!

The second woman finisher, and first masters female, was Amy Phillips, 42, with a 7:34:56.

Rounding out the top three women was Heather Lutz, 32, who made it to the Overlook in 7:47:42.

Complete results are here.


*Alternatively, one could fine a better class of friends, but I’m not here to judge you.



A cleaned up Amy Phillips after her second place finish. (SRN photo)




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