Thursday Jun 25 2009
Getting amped up for a uniquely Auburn world-class event
It’s back. The runners are ready, the organizers are excited and the community can enjoy one of the world’s most famous ultra-marathon events — the Western States Endurance Run. After a year hiatus due to fires and bad weather conditions last season, everyone is amped up for this world-class run to hit that dusty single-track trail. “It’s great for the race organizers, we’re pretty stoked, it looks like probably the most competitive men’s and women’s fields we’ve had in awhile,” said Tim Twietmeyer, a five-time Western States winner and current president of the Western States Endurance Run Foundation. “Plus, we have double the anxiety because the runners were out two years … and Scott Jurek is back.” So with the seven-time champ back and aiming for win No. 8, and an excited field of runners, get out there and witness what makes Auburn the Endurance Capital of the World. With the National Weather Service predicting near-100 degree clear days this weekend, and a refurbished trail, runners should have relatively good conditions, making for a perfect weekend to bring back our historic race. The foothills have been alive with amazing endurance events, including last weekend’s 49th Nevada City Classic bike race, which saw seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong ride to victory. Now Auburn will host its own seven-time winner in Jurek, and a field loaded with ultra-marathoner stars. You can get a glimpse of these athletes at Placer High’s LeFebvre Stadium, where the runners will end their grueling challenge. While there may not be 30,000 in attendance like it was reported at the Nevada City Classic, there will be a strong throng of supporters, and we should all get out there to cheer on these runners’ amazing feats of strength. And it’s there where future Western States competitors are born. “When you look at the people in the race, they’re all shapes and sizes — big, fast, slow. I think it’s just that commitment of saying, ‘this is something I want to do,’” Twietmeyer said about those who run the Western States. “And I think that starts with watching the race — you just kind of get that fever of, ‘I think I can do this.’” Trail running has been on the uptick since 2000, according to Twietmeyer, and with 1,500 runners submitting for the lottery to run in this year’s event, it show the popularity has increased. So pick up a Journal, or head to Auburnjournal.com and read our “Know Your Runner” profiles and find your favorite participant. Then head on out to the Hill to take part in an event that is uniquely Auburn and all about the test of the human spirit.