Home » Archive by category "General Interest"

ARC Granite Chief Expansion

Dear Friend of Western States,

The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run needs your help.

In July, it was announced that the American River Conservancy (ARC), a non-profit, 501(c)(3) public-benefit organization based in Coloma, Calif., had signed a purchase contract to acquire 10,000 acres of mountain meadows and old-growth forest at the headwaters of the American River. The purchase area, located immediately west of Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley, has long been considered by our board to be the most strategically vital area in ensuring that the Western States Trail remains open and accessible for all public recreation for years to come. Once completed, the ARC’s purchase will join together two existing roadless areas, the Wild and Scenic North Fork American River and the Granite Chief Wilderness into a large block of contiguous protected land. The Western States Trail crosses this 10,000-acre of private land. Our board strongly believes that purchase of this land will guarantee the availability of these trails to hikers, runners, and equestrians, and enable the 100 miles of the Western States Trail to qualify for National Trail designation. We’ve agreed to help ARC in the next phase of this effort, which will include fund-raising for the $10.167 million purchase price from the parcel’s private owners. The Western States Endurance Run Foundation has pledged up to $50,000 to match donations made by friends of our organization.

Hodgson's Cabin Near WS Trail

Hodgson’s Cabin Near WS Trail

Against this backdrop, we are seeking your support. Please consider a donation on behalf of this historic effort to ensure that the “high country” portion of the Western States Trail remains open to the public in perpetuity. Deadline for donations in support of this effort is Dec. 1, 2014. One hundred percent of all donations will go toward the purchase price of $10,167,000, and, if for any reason the American River Conservancy fails to raise sufficient funds to acquire the subject property, then 100 percent of the donations will be returned to the donor. To make a contribution, please go to the Western States website at the following link. http://www.wser.org/granite-chief-wilderness-campaign/

To find out more about the ARC and the acquisition, go to arconservancy.org. Thank you in advance for your consideration regarding this project and your much-appreciated support of our race.

Sincerely,

John Trent
President
Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run Board of Trustees

Steve Marchi 1955-2014

Steve Marchi, a longtime river crossing cable captain at Rucky Chucky, passed away over the weekend.

SteveFOT

Steve receives his Friend of the Trail Award in 2009

Steve, who was one of the prime contributors to ensuring the safe passage of all runners via a safety cable held by a line of volunteers across the American River just below a series of treacherous Class 4-6 rapids, was 59 years old.

Marchi’s wife, Jodi, informed race director Craig Thornley of Steve’s passing.

Steve had a long and notable career at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, where he worked from 1977 until his retirement in 2013. He was an active volunteer, giving his time not only at Western States, but also at local food banks.

“Steve set a wonderful example of how important all volunteers are to the success of our race,” said John Trent, president of the Western States Board of Trustees. “He not only braved frigid water through the day and into the early morning hours of the next day on race day for more than a decade, making sure that runners from all over the world could safely cross the Rucky Chucky river crossing, from what I understand he also actively recruited all his friends and neighbors to join him at the river crossing to do the same.

“Steve passed the spirit of our race onto many, many others, and for this our entire race owes a debt of gratitude to him. On behalf of the entire Western States board and our nearly 2,000 volunteers, I wish to express our sincere condolences to Steve’s wife, Jodi, and his sons, John, and Alex, for their loss.”

Friends and family are invited to a visitation on Thursday, June 12 from 6 to 10 p.m. and a funeral service at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 13 at Graham-Hitch Mortuary in Pleasanton.  In lieu of flowers, Steve’s family wishes that donations may be made to the Alameda County Food Bank or Open Heart Kitchen.

To read more about Steve’s life, go to: Obituary from Contra Costa Times

 

This Will Never Catch On: The Birth Of An Icon

On Sunday evening after the Cal St Memorial Day Weekend Training Run we have a special evening planned for you. Gordy Ainsleigh, Shannon Weil, and Dr. Bob Lind will talk about the birth of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run. The discussion will be facilitated by 25-time WS finisher Tim Twietmeyer and 10-time finisher John Trent.

In 1974, with the inspiration and encouragement of Drucilla Barner, the first woman to win the Tevis Cup and Secretary of the Western States Trail Foundation (Tevis Cup), Tevis veteran Gordy Ainsleigh joined the horses of the Western States Trail Ride to see if he could complete the course on foot. Twenty-three hours and forty-two minutes later Gordy arrived in Auburn, proving that a runner could indeed traverse the rugged 100 miles in one day.

1974 Western States Trail Ride Start List

1974 Western States Trail Ride Start List

In 1975, a second runner, Ron Kelley, attempted the same feat, only to withdraw within two miles of the finish with ample time remaining.

In 1976, Ken “Cowman” Shirk ran the 100 miles, finishing just 30 minutes over the 24-hour mark.

In 1977, 14 men from four states participated in the first official Western States Endurance Run, which was held in conjunction with the Tevis Cup Ride. Runners were monitored by Dr. Bob Lind at the three veterinary stops set up for the horses, and although the race organization transported the entrants’ gear, runners were responsible for producing all of their own supplies, except water. Three runners finished the course: Andy Gonzales, age 22, in the record-breaking time of 22:57, and Peter Mattei and Ralph Paffenbarger, ages 53 and 54, who tied in 28:36 (and the 30-hour award was born!).

In the fall of 1977, the Board of Governors for the Western States Endurance Run was formed as part of the Western States Trail Foundation. It was made up primarily of the handful of runners and riders who had helped monitor the progress of the 14 pioneers earlier that summer. The Run organization later became its own entity and is now known as the Western States Endurance Run Foundation.

1978 heralded a dramatic increase in both interest and participation in the Western States Run. Culminating a year-long effort by the inspired “Gang of Four” (Phil Gardner, Mo Livermore, Shannon Weil, and Curt Sproul) to create an independent event, the race took place in June, a month earlier than the Tevis Cup Ride. The event mushroomed to include 21 aid stations and six medical checks, thanks to an ever-growing corps of loyal volunteers and the support of the Placer County Sheriff ‘s Communications Reserve and the Search and Rescue Unit. Sixty-three adventurers ran the race, and the first woman, Pat Smythe, finished in 29:34.

  • What: “This Will Never Catch On: The Birth Of An Icon.” Discussion with race founders Gordy Ansleigh, Shannon Weil, and Dr Bob Lind, facilitated by Tim Twietmeyer and John Trent.
  • When: Sunday May 25, 2014, 6-9 p.m.
  • Where: Canyon View Community Center, 471 Maidu Dr, Auburn, CA
  • Cost: Free
  • Food: Firetrail Pizza will be on site selling pizzas beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Western States Trail Fund Run

On September 28th, the Western States Trail Foundation (The Tevis Cup) will be hosting a trail run to benefit the Western States Trail.  All net proceeds from the event will be earmarked to restoration efforts of the trail section impacted by the 2013 American Fire.

To sign up for the event, go the Active.com event registration page:

The event includes 5k, 10k and 10 mile courses. After your run, enjoy grilled hotdogs, hamburgers and refreshments.

Unable to join us for the event? Make a minimum contribution of at least $35 (or more if you’re feeling really benevolent) to the WSTF Trail Fund Run Donation Page, or a check via the WSTF Office, and they’ll send you a commemorative run shirt from the event.

Please direct your questions to the event run manager at wstfrunmanager@gmail.com

The 10-Mile Course

The 10-Mile Course

Swinging Bridge Update

Dear members of the Western States Trail community,

Over the past several days, excellent progress has been made in containing the American Fire. It is important to note that although the fire is now contained, it is still actively burning and the Forest Service is now in the process of identifying areas in need of repair. The Forest Service has cited falling hazard trees and repairing control lines with heavy equipment as areas that need to be addressed quickly. Because of this work, the fire area will remain closed until it is deemed safe for the public. The Western States Trail is closed between Michigan Bluff and Robinson Flat. The closed area includes the area where two bridges were damaged but are still standing. We are including two photos of the bridges to show you the current state of the bridges that have been damaged. The Forest Service has assured us that as soon as safety permits, qualified personnel will inspect the bridges to determine their foundational integrity and identify repairs needed before the public can safely use these structures.

The Swinging Bridge post-American Fire looking west (towards Devil’s Thumb side).

The little bridge on the way down to Swinging Bridge from Last Chance

Both of our organizations wish to counsel you to be patient as this process proceeds and to please follow the safety instructions that the Forest Service has issued to the public. There are still many hot or unsafe areas that qualified personnel are still showing great caution, including the canyons where the damaged bridges are located. Again, we have been assured by the Forest Service that once these areas can be safely accessed, fire repair personnel will evaluate all hazards necessary for the trail and bridge repairs to take place. We have also been assured that when these inspections take place, the Forest Service will share their findings with the public. We promise you that our organizations will actively be involved in discussing the next steps of repair and rehabilitation with the Forest Service.

The Western States Trail has been subjected to a severe trauma over the past several weeks. We are confident, however, that in working with the Forest Service, we can, as a community, help the Trail continue to be the great resources it has been for so long for so many. There will be opportunity to help the Trail regain its beauty and integrity soon; for the time being, however, we must continue to respect the Forest Service’s instructions regarding closed access and the safety of the public. As conditions change and new information is gathered, we will share it with you via our website and our social media channels.

Sincerely,

John Trent
President
Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run Foundation

Kathie Perry
President
Western States Trail Foundation