Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Western States Endurance Run

News from out west is not good for one of the most incredible ultra races in the world. The Western States Endurance Run (100 miles) was canceled yesterday due to the many fires that are hitting that region of the country. There were a reported 840 wildfires statewide, 312 in Northern California, and 3,200 lightning strikes in Tahoe National Forest alone on June 21st. It was to be run June 28-29.

From the website some bits of information: "The Western States Endurance Run is one of the oldest ultra trail events in the world and certainly one of the most challenging."

Participants were notified of the event cancellation with the following message:

Dear Western States Runners,

It is with deep regret that we announce today that the 35th running of the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run has been canceled, due to the unprecedented amount of wildfires that have struck northern California in recent days and the health risks that have been associated with these wildfires. The Board of Trustees of the Western States Endurance Run has consulted with many of our local and state race partners, including the U.S. Forest Service and the Placer County Air Pollution Control District, in coming to this decision. We apologize to our runners for any inconvenience this decision has created."

Some background about the race: "The Run is conducted along the Western States Trail starting at Squaw Valley, California, and ending in Auburn, California, a total of 100 miles. The trail ascends from the Squaw Valley floor (elevation 6,200 feet) to Emigrant Pass (elevation 8,750 feet), a climb of 2,550 vertical feet in the first 4½ miles. From the pass, following the original trails used by the gold and silver miners of the 1850’s, runners travel west, climbing another 15,540 feet and descending 22,970 feet before reaching Auburn."

Our thoughts and prayers are with those that are involved in fighting these fires (The true heroes!) as well as the participants that trained for many long hours to get to the level they needed to be at to run in such a challenging event.

Please check my friend Jean's blog Farther Faster for more details and pictures. He is an accomplished ultra runner and was preparing to run in this race.

I will still close this blog with what I always say in hopes that all will be well.

Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!

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