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Archive for the ‘Ultrarunning’

Good Times and Familiar Faces at the American River 50

April 05, 2017 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Trails, Ultrarunning

Top 50-mile finishers (L to R: Zach Bitter, Scott Trummer, Rich Hanna) (SRN photo)

When you report on the running of the American River 50-mile race, you have a couple of choices.

You can get to the start, in the darkness before the dawn, and then spend the day jumping in and out of your car, bouncing along spectating points, and watching the race develop through the day.

Or, you can sleep until sunrise wakes you up. Go for a nice long run, shower, have a leisurely breakfast as you check the race on the live feed, and finally wander to the finish in time to catch the hopefully exciting finish.

This year, I chose the latter, arriving at the Auburn Overlook shortly before noon. I laced up my trail shoes, threw on a pack with camera and notebook and jogged down the road to look for the leaders.

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Run Free: The True Story of Caballo Blanco at the Crest on September 21

September 07, 2015 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Trails, Ultrarunning

Micah True (AKA Caballo Blanco)

Micah True (AKA Caballo Blanco)

Run Free: The True Story of Caballo Blanco, a feature-length documentary about ultra-running legend Micah True, will screen at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento on Monday, September 21 at 7 p.m. This one-night-only event is sponsored by the Buffalo Chips Running Club.

Micah True, better known as Caballo Blanco – the White Horse – was the focal character of Christopher McDougall’s 2009 best-selling book Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen about the Tarahumara Indians of northern Mexico. Also known as the Rarámuri, or Running People, they are some of the best long-distance runners in the world.

Caballo Blanco was an enigmatic visionary who lived and ran with the Tarahumara after moving to remote Copper Canyon in the 1990s, and who created the fifty-mile Copper Canyon Ultra-Marathon to honor their running traditions and aid in their sustainability.

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Hanna, Hoeg Rush to Victory at Gold Rush 50K

May 10, 2015 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Trails, Ultrarunning

Rich Hanna running alone. (Photo courtesy Sean Dulany, http://freeplaymagazine.com/)

Rich Hanna running alone on the Gold Rush trail. (Photo courtesy Sean Dulany Freeplay Magazine)

By John Schumacher

Rich Hanna overcame a nasty fall to run away with the men’s title and Tracy Hoeg delivered a winning move along the second half of the course to win the women’s race Saturday in the Gold Rush 50k.

Hanna, a longtime race director and coach from Sacramento, finished the 31-mile course from Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park in Pilot Hill to historic Folsom in an event record 3 hours, 52 minutes and 58 seconds.

Sacramento’s Matt Bachman finished second in 4:05:02, with Sacramento’s Rasmus Hoeg grabbing third in 4:14:48.

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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.

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Records Fall Hard at Way Too Cool 50K

March 21, 2015 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Trails, Ultrarunning

Erin Wachter enjoying the perfect trail conditions. (Photo courtesy Erin Wachter)

Erin Wachter enjoying the perfect trail conditions. (Photo courtesy Erin Wachter)

What’s the recipe for course records and fast times on a long-running trail race? Perfect conditions and and a stacked field, clearly.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to be out there in person for this year’s Way Too Cool 50K, but as the results were coming in via text and Twitter, it was immediately apparent that something special and amazing had taken place.

First off, Patrick Smyth’s winning time of 3:04:48 is insane. That is a sub-6:00 pace over a hilly trail run, and a four minute improvement over Max King’s record 3:08:50 that was set in 2013.

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Pfeifer, Medina Tops at Gold Rush 100K

May 14, 2014 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Trails, Ultrarunning

schneider gold rush

Kirsten Schneider on the way to a 50K win. (Photo courtesy of Gold Rush 100K)

McDonald, Schneider earn Gold Rush 50k victories

By John Schumacher

Paulo Medina and Jen Pfeifer took the long way home to individual titles and Mike McDonald and Kirsten Schneider ran point-to-point for their victories on a pleasant, picturesque Saturday in the second annual Gold Rush 100k/50k.

Orangevale’s Medina won the men’s 100k, completing the course that began and ended in historic Folsom in 10 hours, 6 minutes and 2 seconds. He ran conservatively for most of the course that followed the American River and Folsom Lake into the foothills before catching leader Brian Miller of El Dorado Hills with 12 miles to go and pulling away.

Miller finished second for the second consecutive year, this time in 10:22:56.

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A Big Crowd Takes on the New Course at American River 50

April 05, 2014 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Masters Runners, Trails, Ultrarunning

Top Women. Left to right: Tomory, Laird, Guijarro. (SRN photo)

Top Women. Left to right: Tomory, Laird, Guijarro. (SRN photo)

Taking advantage of beautiful conditions, Joel Frost-Tift, 25, of Los Angeles, bested the field of more than 800 runners at the 35th running of the American River 50 Mile Endurance Run in 6:26:52.

In a pretty close 2nd place, Matthew Morales, 24, of Visalia, made it to the finish line at the American River Overlook in 6:30:40.

Coming in 3rd overall was Thomas Reiss, 46, of San Luis Obispo, with 6:39:59. Reiss was also the top male masters finisher.

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Fast Times are Traditional at Jed Smith Ultra Classic

February 19, 2014 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Masters Runners, Ultrarunning

Hanna (left) and Pommier lead the pack. (Photo by Joe McCladdie)

Hanna (left) and Pommier lead the pack. (Photo by Joe McCladdie)

There is a certain appeal that has kept one of the regions oldest ultras going year after year. While some races tout scenic or difficult routes, the Jed Smith Ultra Classic, hosted by the Buffalo Chips, is where ultrarunners go to be fast.

The race features two ultra distance races–50 mile and 50 km–as well as a 30 km and new 13.1 mile “fun run.” All of these are run on a 4.9 mile loop course along the American River, between Watt Avenue and the Guy West Bridge at CSUS.

This year, despite being early February, the weather was more like fine spring day, which made for pleasant running, spectating, and volunteering.

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Listen to this Interview of Ann Trason

February 13, 2014 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Trails, Ultrarunning

sprintIf you can think of any ultrarunners who have enjoyed the level of domination that Ann Trason experienced at her prime, please share because I cannot think of any.

She won the Western States 100 an astonishing fourteen times.

She won the Comrades Marathon (South Africa) and turned around and won Western States a couple weeks later–twice (96 and 97)

While many lesser runners have gone on to make money with endorsements and public speaking events, Trason has largely avoided the public eye. For this reason, this interview of Trason on Ultrarunner Podcast is a real treat.

If you want more, check out Meghan Hicks’ article and interview about Trason at iRunFar.

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Lottery Fever!

December 05, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Ultrarunning

diceUnlike road races that can accommodate thousands of runners, popular trail ultras are often limited to many fewer runners than would like to participate. As a result, lotteries are becoming a common theme.

You may already know the Western States Lottery is closed and the “lucky” runners will be drawn this weekend.

There are, coincidentally, a couple other big lotteries underway right now, too.

The Way Too Cool 50K lottery is currently open and closes on the 8th.

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