Sacramento Running News

Running news and gossip from in and around Sacramento

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.


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.


Wehan, Lindland Prevail at Rio Del Lago 100

November 11, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Trails, Ultrarunning

riologoEnjoying the cooler weather afforded by Rio Del Lago’s new November date, Christopher Wehan and Erika Lindland, 31, of Fairfax, turned in fast times to win the long-running, but newly revamped 100 mile race.

Wehan, 31, of Arcata, was the overall winner, rushing back to the finish at Beals Point in 16:56:46.

Lindland, also 31, of Fairfax, was the women’s champion and 5th overall in 19:04:27.

Kelly Lance, 45, of Pocatello, Idaho, and Ray Sanchez, 46, of Sacramento, were the second and third men with times of 18:30:24 and 18:32:18, respectively.


Change of Management: Rio Del Lago

May 29, 2013 By: John Blue Category: Trails, Ultrarunning

riologoIt looks like the Rio Del Lago 100 is under new management!

Word is out that the more low-key (as compared to the Western States Endurance Run), local 100-mile race is now being directed by Julie Fingar and the NorCal Ultras team.

Fingar is better known for directing the American River 50 and Way Too Cool 50K, so she should be up to the task.

One of the more intriguing aspects of this management change is a date change. Historically, the run was held in early to mid September, where the temps could be iffy but somehow seemed to land on “hot” or “very hot.”.


Blame it on Rio (Del Lago)

September 22, 2011 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Trails, Ultrarunning

Lukas Temer nabs the win in his first 100 mile race. (Photo by Agnès Pommier)

Every summer, a million words are spilled in honor of the big, local hundred mile race: The Western States 100. Under the shadow of so much reporting, it would be easy to miss the region’s other, smaller, long-standing hundred mile race: The Rio Del Lago 100.

This race had been Norm Klein’s baby for many years, and last year he passed the baton to new Race Director Molly Sheridan.

This year, Sheridan reconfigured the course significantly—eliminating the loop around Lake Natoma, and replacing the lost mileage with a repeat out and back from Twin Rocks to Cardiac. “This part of the course is so cool that we wanted you to experience it again!” says the race website.


Groovy New Ultra Website

June 30, 2011 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Ultrarunning

There’s a new kid in town that I think you’re going to like.

Now that you’re sitting on your butt recovering from that epic run at Western States, or maybe sitting at your desk day-dreaming about the trails, you’ve got a great new website just brimming with candy for your ears.

It’s called Ultrarunner and it’s just chock-full of interviews of your favorite ultrarunning celebrities, pioneers, trainers, and coaches.

Imagine yourself, sitting at work staring blankly at an spreadsheet. It’s a picture of middle-class existential ennui until you plug in a discreet set of ear buds and switch on an interview of Kami Semick, Hal Koerner, Tim Twietmeyer or even Christopher McDougall. Suddenly, while still staring blankly at that spreadsheet, you are miles away pounding down a trail somewhere, living the dream.


Miles and Miles of Mud and Fun at the Way Too Cool 50K

March 13, 2011 By: John Blue Category: Trails, Ultrarunning

Chris Conwell and Mike French celebrate their finish

Leading up to this year’s Way Too Cool 50K, the buzz was mostly about the new “faster” course. P.R.s for everyone!

As race day approached, it became apparent another key factor for the runners would be water and mud on the course. Would the loss of 1,000 feet of climbing be offset by slipping and sliding through acres of deep and sticky mud, and countless, deep stream crossings? Well, maybe.

The historic course included several miles of two-way traffic, along narrow single-track trails, and seemed designed to provoke conflict between the fastest runners and the runners at the back of the pack. The new course eliminates all the two-way traffic and knocked out 1,000 feet of climbing.


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