The Donner Party Mountain Runners certainly had a presence this past weekend at the Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs. Twenty-five of our very own Unafraid runners made the starting line on Saturday morning, split amongst the three different race distances of 55 kilometers, 50 miles, and 100 miles. That is an impressive critical mass of like-minded mountain runners all participating in the same event. Even more impressive is that one third of the available 18 podium spots were claimed by DPMR members! That is an incredible statistic!
12 club members took on the challenge of running the 100 mile race, and were lined up at 5:00 AM at the Spooner Lake start/finish line. This is a double loop course which is psychologically tough for the runners since every landmark they pass in the first 50 miles, they will have to pass again a second time. But it also offers some comfort in familiarity.
Race Director George Ruiz is a great friend to DPMR, and everyone looks forward to seeing his smiling face out on the course, day and night, encouraging the runners, and capturing it all on his camera! The volunteers at the aid stations are best in class, and include many fellow DPMR’s like Andy Pasternak, the lead Doctor at the very busy Tunnel Creek Aid Station.
Ernesto Duran of Panama City was the overall winner in 20 hours, 49 minutes. Local Annie Rutledge was the women’s winner in her first 100 miler – and she ran the 2nd fastest women’s time on the modern course – 22 hours, 27 minutes. Incredible.
DPMR members made both the men’s and women’s podiums with Chaz Sheya (click for race report) placing 3rd overall in 21 hours 30 minutes (a one-hour PR for Chaz!) and Jenelle Potvin (click for race report) taking 2nd woman and 18th overall in 25 hours 10 minutes (a two-minute PR for Jenelle). Great work out there Chaz and Jenelle! Ismael Macias pulled out a great finish as the 37th male in 27:35, followed by Tom Wroblewski in 28:01 and 43rd male, and Patrick Delaney as 47th male in 28:32. Karen Framnes placed 14th female in 30:21 (a two hour PR – in her 4th TRT 100 finish!), Dan Baxley was 85th male in 31:51, and Marilyn Oberhardt (click for race report) was 28th female in 33:52. This year’s race had an unusually high drop rate – 85 of 239 starters were unable to finish, including four of our very own DPMR’s. They gave it their all and we are proud of each of them- Paul Berquam, Jeff Brown, Kathy D’onofrio and Scott Salisberry.
The 50 mile race included 9 DPMR’s and was led by one of our newest members Caren Wick (Spore), who grabbed a podium spot finishing second female and fifth overall in a time of 9:15. Smoking fast! Geoff Quine (click for race report), in his 50 mile debut, ran a strong race to finish in 9:33 and 6th male. Andy Starostka finished 23rd male in 11:06, followed by JP Prince in 11:30 and 29th male. Eric Soto (click for race report) ran to 58th male in 13:10, Sharon Fong (click for race report) finished 13th female in 13:16, and Julie Nye finished the 50-mile course in 13:48 taking 17th female. Nancy Heard completed the course in 15:33 and 28th female. The 50-mile race also had an unusually high drop rate this year, and we are proud of Cheryl Lloyd (click for race report), who gave it her all, but didn’t make it to the finish line.
The “shortest” race of the event is the 55k, which travels the same course as the 50 and 100 mile races, but turns around after the infamous Red House Loop. As in the 100 mile race, DPMR’s earned spots on both the men’s and women’s podiums.
Emily Peterson (click for race report) was Unafraid while running with a bloody elbow to claim the win in the women’s race, and was 5th overall in a time of 5 hours 40 minutes. For the men, Don Montgomery (click for race report) traded the lead throughout the race and finished in 4 hours 53minutes and 18 seconds, a mere 28 seconds shy of the win. Great work! Also snagging a podium spot in the women’s race was Gretchen Brugman, finishing in 5:56 as 3rd female, and 9th overall (and 35 minutes faster than last year)! Kathy Hess (click for race report) ran a strong race to finish in 8:12 and 24th female.
25 members racing, 20 finishers, and 6 on a podium. That. Is. Awesome. Way to be tough out there and show the community that hard work and dedication pays off.