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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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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Ultrarunners Dominate at the San Francisco Marathon

August 03, 2011 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Road Races, Ultrarunning

Strictly speaking, the San Francisco Marathon isn’t a local race–but a lot of locals run it. For that reason, I’ll usually poke through the results to see if I recognize any local runners.

While I didn’t spot any familiar locals among the top finishers, I did notice something peculiar. There were a lot of ultrarunners in the top men and women.

The overall winner was Michael Wardian, who was only a few weeks off his 3rd place finish at Badwater.

Chris Knorzer, in 5th place, has also dabbled in ultrarunning and had run the Tahoe Rim Trail 50K on July 16th. (Actually, Knorzer can’t be a real ultrarunner because he doesn’t have a blog.)

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Cue the Western States 100 Coverage

June 23, 2011 By: John Blue Category: Trails, Ultrarunning

The starting line clock counting down to Saturday morning. (Photo courtesy Tony Lafferty)

Hundreds of runners, as well as countless support crews and volunteers, are already congregating in Squaw Valley for this weekend’s 38th running of the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run.

Weather forecasters are predicting cool temperatures and the race is being run on a modified “snow year” course, which replaces some technical (i.e., rocky and slow) parts of the trail with some fast fire roads–including some pavement.

Add to this the stellar field being assembled and you can expect blazing fast times and an exciting race.

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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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