This Saturday, April 2, come out and cheer for the endurance athletes and ultra-runners in the Altra 50-Mile Endurance Run, which starts at 6 a.m. at Folsom Point at Folsom Lake (entrance: East Natoma Street and Briggs Ranch Drive in Folsom) and ends in Auburn at the Auburn Overlook. NorCal Ultras hosts this 43rd annual event, which will bring some 300 athletes to the region.
From 8:45 a.m. to noon, a cheer station will be set up at Beals Point—the halfway point for the 50-mile athletes, and the start for runners tackling the 25-mile portion. The course travels over the Lake Natoma Crossing bridge, picks up the American River Bike Trail and heads up to Hazel Bluffs. After Beals Point, the course goes to Granite Bay State Park, home of the Pioneer Express Trail, and to Dowdin’s Post, where the trail travels to the infamous “Dam Wall.” Runners begin the dramatic climb to the summit and are greeted by the “Party at Last Gasp.” Most of the route involves single-track trails. Go here for detailed course information.
This year, 79 women and 44 men are registered for the AR25, and 65 women and 127 men will participate in the full AR50. Some highlights of this year’s Altra American River 50-Mile Endurance Run:
- 78 runners will be attempting their first 50-miler.
- Tim Twietmeyer, veteran AR50 runner and long-time supporter of NorCalUltras, runs again this year; he has participated in the race 41 times.
- Bill Finkbeiner has run 34 AR50s and is also the only person to have run all 32 Way Too Cools, representing an impressive double header streak as WTC and AR50 always take place four to five weeks apart in March and April.
- Hunter Konvalin, 18, is the youngest registered AR50 runner.
- Breese White, 74, is the most senior registered AR50 runner.
- Todd Sears is traveling the farthest distance to participate, hailing from Vermont.
This year’s race beneficiary is the California Conservation of Trails.