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Training Runs

Western States offers four training runs to acquaint runners with the last 70 miles of the trail. It is recommended that each entrant, especially newcomers to Western States, take advantage of these runs as they will acquaint you with both the trail itself and the conditions you can expect to encounter on Race Day. There will be many runners participating in these runs who have considerable experience on the trail. They will be more than happy to share their knowledge and experiences.

You do NOT need to be a WS Entrant to participate in these training runs.

Plan on carrying your own water and whatever supplies you may need. At least two water bottles and a fanny pack is recommended. Aid stations and bus service will be provided.

No refund policy. Please understand that entry fees are necessary to meet our costs weeks in advance of the training runs, and that if one or more training runs are cancelled because of fire, drought, storms, snow, loss of permits, closure by Federal, State or Local governmental agencies, Acts of God or any other circumstances beyond the control of race management, the entry fee will not be refunded and the Western States organization and its Promoters and Sponsors will not be held liable.

FEBRUARY TRAINING RUN: February 15, 2014

This training run is sold out. There is a day-of wait list only.

This run acquaints you with the final 20 miles of the trail.

  • Date: Saturday, February 15, 2014
  • Time: Bus leaves at 8:00 a.m. sharp. Check-in from 6:45 am to 7:45 am.
  • Site: Placer High School, Auburn, California.
  • Cost: $35, register online at UltraSignup.com on/after 12/10/2013. Cost to register at Check-In: $40.
  • Wait List: There will be a day-of wait list only beginning at 6:45 am.
  • Aid Stations: Intersection of Brown’s Bar and Quarry Road, No Hands Bridge, Placer H.S.
  • We will meet at the stadium at Placer High School and leave by bus for the Green Gate at the end of Sliger Mine Road (50-minute ride.) This is close to the river crossing at Rucky Chucky. From there we will run to the finish line in Auburn, approximately 20 miles. This will familiarize you with a section of trail that you will be running at night.

MEMORIAL WEEKEND TRAINING RUNS: May 24-26, 2014

Three training runs are scheduled for the Memorial Day weekend. This has been a tremendous success each year with over 750 runners participating during the three-day weekend. Conditions permitting, the training runs will cover the last 70 miles of the course.
Camping facilities within easy driving distance of the start of each training run are primitive. Camping information can be found at:

  • US Forest Service, American River District
  • Auburn State Recreation Area
  • Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

Hotels and motels are available in Auburn, approximately 30 minutes drive from Foresthill. There are no commercial lodging facilities in Foresthill. If you are flying into the area we suggest that you fly into Sacramento.

Day 1: May 24th
The first day we will meet in front of the Foresthill Elementary School. We will provide bus transportation to Robinson Flat, a drive taking approximately 1 hour. You will run from Robinson Flat (depending on snow conditions) back to the FH Elementary School, a distance of approximately 32 miles. This section will acquaint you with the canyons and the two most difficult climbs of the entire Run (Devil’s Thumb and Michigan Bluff). Depending on the weather, the run may also help acquaint you with the heat you are likely to experience in the canyons on Race Day. If we are unable to get to Robinson Flat, a substitute route over as much of the scheduled trail as possible will be run. The exact route of this training run will depend upon snow and weather conditions in the high country. A river crossing in Deadwood Canyon is likely if the Swinging Bridge cannot be repaired in time. We will update when we know more.

  • Date: Saturday, May 24, 2014
  • Time: Buses leave at 7:00 a.m. sharp. Check-in from 5:45 am to 6:45 am.
  • Site: Foresthill Elementary School, Foresthill Road
  • Training Run: Robinson Flat to Foresthill (snow permitting), 32 Miles
  • Cost: $35. Cost to register at Check-In: $40.
  • Wait List will be on site day of beginning at 5:45 a.m. at the Elementary School
  • Aid Stations: Dusty Corners, Deadwood Cemetery, Michigan Bluff and Foresthill

Day 2: May 25th
The second day, we will meet at the Foresthill Elementary School. From this location you will run the California Street section of trail. Departure time will be 8:30 a.m. A shuttle bus will return runners to the elementary school from Driver’s Flat beginning at noon.

  • Date: Sunday, May 25, 2014
  • Time: Run starts at 8:30 a.m. Check-in from 7:15 am to 8:15 am.
  • Route: Foresthill to Rucky Chucky (and back to Driver’s Flat), 19 Miles
  • Cost: $35. Cost to register at Check-In: $40.
  • Wait List will be on site day of beginning at 7:15 a.m. at the Elementary School
  • Aid Stations: Peachstone (Cal-2), Rucky Chucky and Driver’s Flat.

Day 3: May 26th
The third day, we will meet at the stadium at Placer High School and leave by bus for the Green Gate at Sliger Mine Road. This is close to the river crossing at Rucky Chucky. From there we will run to the finish line in Auburn, approximately 20 miles. This will familiarize you with a section of trail that you will be running at night.

  • Date: Monday, May 26, 2014
  • Time: Buses leave at 8:30 a.m. Check-in from 7:15 am to 8:15 am.
  • Route: Green Gate to Auburn, 20 Miles
  • Cost: $35. Cost to register at Check-In: $40.
  • Wait List will be on site day of beginning at 7:15 a.m. at Placer HS
  • Aid Stations: Intersection of Brown’s Bar and Quarry Road, No Hands Bridge, Placer H.S.

Additional Information:

  1. Driving Directions to Placer High: From Hwy. 80 eastbound, take the Hwy. 49 exit in Auburn. Turn right at the signal at the bottom of the offramp. Proceed approx. 300ft and turn left at the traffic light on Lincoln Way. Proceed 150ft and turn right on Oakwood Dr. Proceed one block and turn left on High St. Take the second right onto Finley St. Continue straight about 1/4 mile. At the split, stay to the right, this will put you on Stadium Way. Park behind (above) the High School stadium. See map
  2. Driving Directions to the Foresthill Elementary School site: Foresthill Elementary School – – Bus departure site for Saturday training run and the start line for the Sunday training run:Take Interstate 80 (towards Reno) past the three Auburn exits (if you are coming from Sacramento) or prior to reaching the Auburn exits (if you are coming from Reno). Take the Foresthill exit and turn east on Foresthill Road (proceed down the long hill and cross the Foresthill Bridge). At the exit, set your odometer to “0” and proceed 17 miles to Foresthill. The Foresthill Elementary School is located on the right side of Foresthill Road at the east end of town.
  3. Foresthill Parking: You can park in the town of Foresthill. A large number of vehicles parking in Foresthill will have some impact on the town. We would like to minimize that impact as much as possible. Please be careful not to block any driveways and do not park in any no-parking zones or directly in front of any businesses. There is a frontage road that runs the length of the town of Foresthill. Between the frontage road and the Foresthill Road is a median. You can park diagonally in the median or parallel park on the frontage road.
  4. Memorial Day Weekend, Day 1, will depend on snow conditions in the high country. Alternate route (29 miles) typically starts at the intersection of Mosquito Ridge Road and N-44. You will run five miles down N-44 to Dusty Corners where you will pick up the WS Trail. Every effort will be made to start the run in Robinson Flat.
  5. Advance Registration for the training runs will close on May 22, 2013. We cannot guarantee you a seat on the bus if you choose to register the morning of the run. We make an effort to anticipate our transportation needs, but without reservations it’s an educated guess how many buses we will need. The cost of each training run covers the expenses of transportation, aid stations, permits and insurance.
  6. You can register for the training runs by going to UltraSignup.com. The site will begin taking signups on December 8, 2012. Signups for the February run and the Memorial Day Weekend runs are handled separately.
  7. We strongly encourage all runners to pre-register for the training runs at UltraSignup.com. We make an effort to anticipate our transportation needs, but without reservations it’s an educated guess how many buses we will need. We cannot guarantee you a seat on the bus if you choose to register the morning of the run.The cost of each training run covers the expenses of transportation, aid stations and insurance.
  8. Aid stations will be provided for all training runs, but they will be few in number. Come fully prepared for a run in the mountains, however, as we can’t promise anything.
  9. For the safety of all concerned, cut-off times for all of the training runs will be established at all of the aid stations. If you do not arrive at an aid station before the cut-off time, you will not be permitted to proceed any farther. Failure to comply with this regulation will result in your disqualification from participation on Race Day. We cannot be responsible for runners being out on the trail after dark. Cut-offs will be based on a 30-hour pace, or 18-minute miles.
  10. Sufficiently trained pacers, family, friends, etc., are welcome to participate in the training runs. We are looking forward to meeting you and training with you.