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Pacer Rules

A pace runner, or pacer, is defined as a “trail companion” who may accompany a runner along designated sections of the trail. Pacers are allowed solely as a safety consideration for fatigued runners in the remote and rugged territory of the Western States Trail. Absolutely no physical or mechanical aid may be given by the pacer to assist the runner over difficult sections of the trail (except in medical emergencies), and no food, fluids or supplies of any kind may be carried for the runner.

Pacers should be experienced trail runners in excellent physical shape and conditioned adequately to run 40 miles over rough terrain. Most pacing will be done during night time hours and early morning; so pacers should be warmly dressed, used to running with flashlights, and familiar with the trail. Pacers should be adequately supplied with flashlights, food and water. They may accept aid at the checkpoints.

Rules for Pace Runners

  1. A pace runner is any individual who accompanies an entrant for any distance greater than 100 yards at one time.
  2. One pacer at a time may accompany each runner from the Foresthill aid station to the finish. Exceptions:
    • Runners leaving Michigan Bluff after 8:00 p.m. may be paced from that point.
    • All crew members, pacers and fans may accompany a runner from the bottom of Bath Road to the intersection of California Street and Foresthill Road, from the Rucky Chucky far side to the Green Gate aid station, and from Robie Point to the Finish Line.
  3. Each pacer must sign a release form at Pacer Central, either at Olympic Valley on Friday morning or at the Foresthill Elementary School after noon on Saturday.
  4. Pacers must be at least 18 years of age. (Specific exceptions may be made in advance of the Run by the Run Director.)
  5. Each pacer must wear the official identifying number that corresponds to the Run number of the entrant he is pacing. Three pacer numbers are provided per entrant. Pacer numbers may be picked up at either Pacer Central location.
  6. All pacers must clearly identify themselves when passing through control points. It is extremely important that Run personnel know exactly who is on the trail and where.
  7. Pacers must stay with their runners at all times, except in the case of an emergency. If the runner withdraws from the Run, and the pacer wishes to continue, he/she must remain at the aid station until another runner enters the aid station and requests the services of a pacer. The pacer may not continue on without an official Run participant.
  8. Changes of pacers may be made only at the following designated locations: Foresthill School, both sides of the Rucky Chucky river crossing, the Green Gate, Pointed Rocks, No Hands Bridge and Robie Point.
  9. Pacers must enter and leave each aid station WITH their runners. They may assist with the re-filling of water bottles or replenishment of supplies while in the station but may not come into the checkpoint ahead of their runners, or depart after their runners, in order to speed up the re-fueling process.
  10. Pacers may not carry water, food, flashlights, shoes, clothing or other supplies for anyone other than themselves. “Muling” is expressly forbidden.
  11. No mechanical or physical assistance may be given by the pacer to the runner at any time.
  12. Please respect the trails; littering of any kind is strictly prohibited.