The second running of The Canyons Endurance Runs 50k and the inaugural 100K event (a 3/5 point UTMB qualifying race), took place on May 2, 2015, in the tiny Sierra Foothills
town of Foresthill, CA. The event took place along some of the most beautiful and difficult sections of the Western States Trail, and the conditions were near perfect on race morning with blue skies and light breezes. With over 14,000ft of ascent in the 100K and 9,000ft in the 50K, the race is not for the faint of heart.
In the 50k event, course records were broken in both the men’s and women’s field. Peter Fain of Truckee finished 1st in 4:56 (CR), Skip Crockett came in 2nd in 5:00, and Ryan Ghelfi finished 3rd in 5:08. For the women, Claire Price of Hong Kong came in 1st in 5:32 (CR). Emily Peterson was 2nd in 5:41, and Anna Mae Mercier Flynn (aka Tahoe Ninja) came in 3rd in 6:23. The eighty-four runners to complete the 50K received the popular Canyons trucker hat & pint glass.
The finish line party on the grassy lawn near Foresthill Elementary school was the perfect spot to relax tired legs, cheer for the incoming 50k finishers, and encourage the 100k runners as they passed through the mid-way mark. A delicious home-cooked BBQ was served consisting of tri tip, chicken sausage, veggies, lentil soup, and beer provided by local microbrewery Track 7. The final runner in the 50k crossed the line in 12:46:04, but the party was long from over.
Many in the shorter event lingered eager to see what 2014 Western States Champion Rob Krar would do in the 100k. It did not take long to find out as he finished the brutal course in 9 hours, 20 minutes, while stating afterwards that he “could think of no better training run for Western States”. Fernando De Samaniego Steta ran an amazing 10:34 for 2nd, and Evan Namkung finished 3rd in 12:09. In the women’s race, former Olympian Magdalena Boulet lead from start to finish for 1st in 11:32, 2-time former Western States female champion Kathy D’Onofrio finished 2nd in 13:03, and Erika Lindland rounded out the women’s podium with an impressive 13:21.
A total of 84 runners (out of 134) completed the 100K and all were greeted late into the night by the RD’s with a custom branded leather belt, trucker hat and pint glass. The final two finishers crossed the line together in 21 hours, 12 minutes, and 33 seconds. Many friendships and partnerships were made throughout the day and night, as folks completed one of the most grueling, challenging courses they have ever attempted.
Some of our favorite stories of the day include David Bevilacqua, the amazing Team in Training athlete who completed the 100k in under 19 hours, while fighting Lymphoma and Peripheral Neuropathy every step. He raised nearly $9,000 and left a lasting impression with everyone he came across along the course. Heather Monahan, the final finisher in the 50k last year, was having a better day this year, but she slowed down to assist a fellow runner to help bring her in to the finish. There was the Rockstar sweep Kevin, who started his day early at Ruck a Chucky, who with his high-energy, no-quit attitude kept the last runners moving forward and staying positive and guided them into the finish line at 1:12am. It’s the people, who amaze and inspire us, that make the work that goes into an event like this so worthwhile.
Join us next May 7, 2016 as we improve upon what we hope will become a MUST DO bucket-list Ultra, run on one of the most prestigious trails that many consider to be “the birthplace of ultras“.
The Donner Party Mountain Runners were out in full force- with an all-day aid station at Cal 2 on the 100k Course (led by
Captain Mike Tebbutt), and many UNAFRAID runners competing in the 50k and 100k events.
Congratulations to all DPMR’s who completed the 50k, including Board President Peter Fain (course record!), Claire Price (course record!), Skip Crockett (2nd male!), Emily Peterson (2nd female!), Geoff Quine (top 10 in 6:03!), Mike Kreaden (7:23), Jon Arlien (7:37), Martin Sengo (8:01), Ben Praker (9:15), and Miss Kym (10:10).
In the 100k, DPMR was represented in full force by 2nd female Kathy D’onofrio, board secretary Helen Pelster came in 4th female (13:56), Abram Haen (14:11), Jennifer Hemmen (14:46), Ismael Macias (15:09), Kelly Barber (15:17), Dan Baxley (15:23), and Bill Hunter (18:33) rounded out our list of superstars.