Sacramento Running News

Running news and gossip from in and around Sacramento
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Way Too Cool: Hills? What hills?

March 10, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Masters Runners, Ultrarunning

Meghan A

Meghan Arbogast on her way to the win. (Photo by Sean Dulany/Freeplay Magazine)

While Jed Smith is the opening day of the NorCal ultra-running season, the Way Too Cool 50K is undoubtedly the opening day of the ultra trailrunning season. It is the first major trail-ultra in the region and the day folks get to test their fitness and see the trails after hiding out in the cold winter months.

Old friends get an excuse to hang out and visit, and rivals get to check out the competition.

There is a soft spot in my heart for this race, as it was the first ultra I ever ran–way back in 2000. It’s grown a lot over the years, and is a lot harder to get into, but still feels like a local event. The organization is tight and the volunteers are beyond outstanding.

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Running Far at the Jed Smith Ultra Classic

February 11, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Road Races, Ultrarunning

Amy Halseth wins the 50 mile race. (SRN photo)

Amy Halseth wins the 50 mile race. (SRN photo)

The green grass and warm sun of spring still seem far away on these cold and damp Valley mornings. But there are harbingers of happier times!

There are occasional, cheerful, sunny afternoons that remind me of how much easier it is on these old bones to run when it’s warmer, and how much easier it is to get out of bed when it’s daylight already when I wake up for work.

One such harbinger of spring is the Jed Smith Ultra Classic, put on by the Buffalo Chips Running Club each February since I was a wee lad in short trousers. (Actually, since 1979.) For as long as I can remember, it has been the first race in the Pacific Associations Ultra Grand Prix.

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Fast Times at the Jed Smith Ultras

February 06, 2012 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Masters Runners, Ultrarunning

Meghan Arbogast on her way to a new American age group record for 50 miles. (SRN Photo)

If you were looking for a top finish at this weekend’s Jed Smith Ultra Classic, you’d better have brought your “A game” because some of the country’s top talent was there throwing down.

There are many (many!) ultras in California and they are all, for the most part, pretty long. Some of them are known to be beautiful. Others are popular, mountainous, hot, sadistic, and sometimes famously hard to get into. Jed Smith has always been about speed.

The Jed Smith Ultra Classic, put on by the Buffalo Chips for the past 34 years, includes three events–a 30km, a 50km, and a 50 mile race. They are all run on an accurately measured, 4.85 mile loop course along the American River that is ideal for setting records and running 100k team qualifying times–as long as the weather on the first day in February is fine.

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Fast Times, Big Crowds at Urban Cow Half Marathon

October 02, 2011 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Masters Runners, Road Races

Austin Weaver with a comfortable lead before the levee road (SRN photo)

Around 5,000 runners converged on Land Park this morning for the 7th annual running of the Urban Cow Half Marathon and 5Km.

Sacramento’s Austin Weaver took advantage of the cooler weather to put the hurt on all comers, getting the win and a course record with a 1:07:47 finish.

Chad Worthen, also of Sacramento, was the next in at 1:14:37, followed by Carmichael’s Mason Myers in 1:15:24.

Myers was the top masters runner for the men.

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Weekend Race Wrap-Up

September 19, 2011 By: John Blue Category: Cross Country, Masters Runners, Road Races

Runners are off at the Run to Break the Silence (Photo by Randy Wehner)

This last couple of weekends have been crowded with races!

The biggest (and most competitive) local event this past weekend was easily Saturday evening’s Run to Break the Silence 5K.

Folsom’s Camron Shahmirzadi was the big winner there, in 16:30. He was followed in by Chad Worthen, of Sacrmento, in 16:43, and Jason Harne, of Folsom, in 16:45.

The first woman was Gina Dayton, of Sacramento, in 20:11. Hot on her heels was Karen Jeffers, of Wheatland, in 20:17, and finishing up in a close race for third was Kelly Wisnicky, of Fair Oaks, in 20:37.

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The World Comes to Sacramento

July 17, 2011 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Masters Runners, Track

Alberto Zanelli of Italy running the 3rd leg of the 4x100 relay.

After a 10-day run, the curtain has come down on the 2011 World Masters Athletics Championships.

Was it worth the hype? Was Sacramento a worthy host? Was it fun?

Yes, yes, and yes!

What About the Weather?

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Weekend of Racing

May 02, 2011 By: John Blue Category: Collegiate, General Running News, Masters Runners, Road Races, Ultrarunning

It must be spring! Not only am I sneezing every 30-seconds, it seems as though we were overwhelmed with races and tasty results to report on.

In track and field, Stanford was host to the 2011 Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, where the Hornets’ Lea Wallace turned out the 2nd fastest Division I 1500 of the year. Wallace, in her first 1500 of the season, ran 4:11.31. The only collegiate athlete ahead of her is Jordan Hasay (Oregon), who ran 4:10.28 in the same race this weekend. Letsrun.com has an excellent write-up about the event.

Up in Oregon on Sunday, Sacramento’s Jenny Hitchings ran a PR 2:46:10 in the Eugene Marathon–just 11 seconds shy of the Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon qualifying time. Hitchings was 5th woman overall, and 2nd masters behind Bend’s Kami “The Machine” Semick.

Speaking of close calls, at the Quicksilver 50K in San Jose, Jen Pfeifer, of El Dorado (former of Folsom), was reportedly in the lead until the final mile of the race where she went off course and picked up several extra minutes. While lost, Pfeifer was passed by a more attentive Adona Ramos, of San Jose. Ramos took the win with only about 15-seconds to spare.

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Weekend Races: Napa Marathon and Redding’s NorCal 10

March 06, 2011 By: John Blue Category: Road Races

Saturday morning’s early rain showers let up long enough for runners of Redding’s NorCal 1o-Mile race to enjoy fairly warm conditions on that beautiful, if hilly, course along the Sacramento River.

The NorCal 10 is the first race of the Pacific Association USA Track & Field 2011 Grand Prix, and typically sees a highly competitive field. This year was no exception. There were 37 runners finishing the ten mile course in under an hour, including women’s winner Jane Kibii, of Kenya/Auburn, who ran 57:15!

The men’s winner was Mario Mendoza of Bend, Oregon, who finished in 51:53. Tim Tollefson of Roseville, at 3rd overall in 52:24, was the top area man, and 50-year-old Iain Mickle, of Sacramento, was the top Masters finisher in 55:57.

Jenny Hitchings, of Sacramento, was 4th woman and 2nd master, with a 1:02:40.

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Jed Smith Finds a New Home

February 11, 2011 By: John Blue Category: Ultrarunning

50 km winner Chad Worthen accepts his winner's certificate from Co-Race Director John Blue

How fast can you run 30 km? How about 50 km? Fifty miles?

This past weekend, a small crowd of distance runners met up at the Watt Avenue access to the American River to explore that question.

The Jed Smith Ultra Classic is a 33-year-old, local tradition hosted by the Buffalo Chips Running Club.

Traditionally held at Gibson Ranch Park in Elverta, the race has been relocated along the American River due to cuts in the County’s park budget.

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