Sacramento Running News

Running news and gossip from in and around Sacramento
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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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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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Records Fall at California International Marathon

December 11, 2014 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Road Races

Jane Kibii takes 2nd! (Photo courtesy of Erik Aguilar/Painani.org)

Jane Kibii takes 2nd! (Photo courtesy of Erik Aguilar/Painani.org)

By John Schumacher

Volha Mazuronak’s surge down the stretch produced a women’s course record and Jacob Chemtai’s late move delivered a personal best en route to individual titles on a cool, fast Sunday at the California International Marathon.

Mazuronak, from Belarus, pulled away from Colfax’s Jane Kibii in the final seven miles to win the women’s race in 2 hours, 27 minutes and 33 seconds, shattering the 15-year-old course record of 2:29:21 set by Australian Nickey Carroll.

Chemtai, a Kenyan living in Santa Fe, N.M., dropped Zambia’s Jordan Chipangama and Kenyan Kiplangat Terer in the closing miles to win the men’s race in 2:11:57, the eighth-fastest time in the race’s 32-year history.

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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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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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American River 50: Fast and Dry

April 09, 2012 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Trails, Ultrarunning

Ellie Greenwood is all smiles after 40 miles. (SRN photo)

This past Saturday, under ideal conditions, some of the best runners in the world gathered in Sacramento for one of North America’s largest ultras.

This was the first time in several years that the American River 50 Mile Endurance Run was not part of the Montrail Cup. As a result, the depth of talent at the front of the race was not quite as robust as we’ve come to expect and yet there were still some extraordinary times.

Although the race was won by New Zelander Vajin Armstrong in a respectable time of 5:53:32, the star of the show was the Scottish/Canadian Ellie Greenwood.

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Weekend at the Races: Way Too Cool 50k & Shamrock’n Half

March 12, 2012 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Road Races, Trails, Ultrarunning

The lead pack after 8-miles: Gary Gellin, Rich Hanna, Shaun Martin and Sam Robinson

This past weekend featured two of the regions most popular races.

On Saturday, over 700 ultrarunners, including some of the top names in the sport, lined up near the Cool Firehouse for a go at the remarkably dry Way Too Cool 50K.

This was the second running on a new and designed to be faster course. For last year’s debut of the new course, mud was the theme of the day and thigh-deep stream crossings kept a lid on the pace.

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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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2011 Road Race Wrap-Up: Grand Prix Edition

December 28, 2011 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Masters Runners, Road Races

The end of 2011 is upon us so it’s time to check out the results of the major road race series/grand prix that local runners compete in.

Local

We’ll start with Sacramento’s own Buzz Oates RunSac Race Series. This year-long series of local races is a points competition with over $7,000 in prize money and bonuses. Points are earned based on age-graded performances in more than a dozen top Sacramento-area road races. There are awards for team and individual competition, and in 2011, there were several hundred individuals and eight local teams vying for the prize money.

The top placing individuals for 2011 were Janice Kesterson, 57, running for the Buffalo Chips, and Terry Baucom, 54, running for Fleet Feet Racing.

Second and third individual women were Karen Jeffers, 48, with the River City Rebels, and Stacey Worthen, 38, running for Fleet Feet Racing.

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Fun, Fast Running at the Willow Hills XC Open

October 14, 2011 By: John Blue Category: Cross Country, General Running News

The leaders of the open men's race at around 1.6 miles. (Photo by Craig Newport)

In Folsom last Saturday, the hills were alive with the sound of running. The weather was ideal for a day outside, so why not a little cross country?

The 3rd Annual Buffalo Chips’ Willow Hills XC Open saw runners from all over northern California join local racers for this Pacific Association of the USA Track and Field Grand Prix event.

There were three 5K races making up the event: Women (for open and masters women), Masters Men, and Open Men.

(more…)

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