KNOW YOUR RUNNER: Nancy March, Cool, Bib No. 308

This is the latest in a series of profiles on Auburn-area residents participating in the Western States Endurance Run on June 27.
By: Ray Hacke, Journal Sports Writer
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Nancy March once vowed that she would never compete in the Western States Endurance Run. “I paced a friend in 1980, and I swore I would never do it because I saw too much pain out there,” the Cool resident said. Three years later, however, March and her husband decided to give it a try. Since then, March has not only run the 100-mile race from Squaw Valley to Auburn nine more times, she has run 100s all over the country as well. March will compete in the Western States for the 11th time on June 27. This year’s race, however, should prove to be one of her most challenging – she had surgery on her left knee in December and didn’t start running regularly until the end of February. “I’m 62 years old, and the body doesn’t bounce back like it does when you’re younger,” March said. “It’s tough — I’ve definitely under-trained for the race this year. That’s not how I wanted to go into it.” Still, March is happy to be competing at all. Last year’s race got canceled due to the wildfires that engulfed the Sacramento region. Two years ago she broke her foot just a month before the race. “It’s been a hard two years,” March said. March not only knows every inch of the Western States trail, she practically lives on it — the 85-mile aid station is a half-mile from her house. And while she’s skipped the Western States in years past to run 100-mile races in other states — some as close as Utah and Wyoming, others as far away as Vermont and Virginia — there’s a reason she keeps running in the one that practically goes through her back yard. “I just love it,” March said. “I love running on the trails. I love going the distances. I love the sights and the sounds. The people who run the trails are just super people.” March’s best time in the Western States is 23 hours, 15 minutes. She won’t be trying to break her personal record in this year’s race, however. “I just want to finish the best I possibly can,” she said.