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KNOW YOUR RUNNER: Linda Hurd, Cool, Bib No. 264

This is the latest in a series of profiles on Auburn-area residents participating in the Western States Endurance Run on June 27.
By: Todd Mordhorst, Journal Sports Editor
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There is an art to running the Western States Endurance Run, but for Linda Hurd, it’s more of a science. An electrical engineer at Intel in Folsom, Hurd takes an analytical approach to the 100-mile race, breaking down various factors to figure out her formula for making it to the finish line on Sunday morning. “I made a spreadsheet model of the course and I figure in best and worst-case scenarios and figure out where I need to make up time and where I need to slow down and save energy,” Hurd said. “I work as a, ‘power architect’ and there are a lot of parallels to running. I have a lot of fun with it.” After finishing her second WS 100 in 2005, Hurd’s running career was threatened by a nagging hip injury. One doctor told her she should stick to minimal running, for good. Another doctor suggested physical therapy, which eventually helped her heal to the point where she was ready to dive back into ultramarathons. She had a setback a few months before last year’s WS 100 and was one of the few people that didn’t mind when the event was cancelled due to wildfires in the area. Hurd finally shook her injuries in January and has quickly built her mileage up to prepare for Saturday’s race. “In January, 20 miles was killing me,” Hurd said. “I knew if I didn’t make an effort to get back into ultras, I would never get back into it. I love the running community here and when I stopped running, I really missed it.” Hurd began piling up the mileage this spring, putting in 30 to 35 miles each weekend and doing three 50-mile races within six weeks at one point. Hurd was living in Texas when she finished Western States in 2003 and ‘05. Now an Auburn Lake Trails resident, she is excited to race through her backyard on race day. She’ll be paced by David Gordon, a Rohnert Park runner who shares her passion for the science of endurance running —- he’s a mathematician. Hurd realizes the challenges in front of her Saturday and she’s motivated to find the answers out on the trail. “I love 100s because it’s a bunch of different challenges rolled into one,” she said. “It’s fun to step out of normal life. You get to stay up all night and run through the forest. It’s an adventure!”