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The 41st Western States Endurance Run created a buzz of energy in Auburn as people lined the trails and streets while they waited for the ultra-marathoners to climb out of the American River Canyon and make their way up through Robie Point and on down to Placer High School. LeFebvre Stadium was also packed with spectators waiting to cheer on all of the ultra-marathoners as they stepped foot on the track for the final 300 meter run towards finish line.
All the action started promptly at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday at Squaw Valley. Racers hit the grueling trail for an incredibly long day running through The Sierra towards Auburn. 399 extreme athletes started the race and 296 finished as several had dropped out of the competition.
One well known Auburnite, 67 year old Gordy Ainsleigh, (bib #0) had previously completed 22 of the Western States Endurance Runs since his first time entering it back in 1974. Ainsleigh put forth a strong effort this year, but dropped out at mile 62 at 11:45 p.m on Saturday.
Another Auburn runner, Dan Barger, crossed the finish line at 1:43 am on Sunday. This is the 8th finish for Barger who is 48. Megan Arbogast (bib #F4) 53 years old from Cool, came in at 2:14 a.m to give the runner her 8th finish.
The top three finishers for male were:
The top three female finishers were:
Krar, kept his sights on the number one spot after placing 2nd in last years endurance run. In 2013, he made it a year-long goal to train hard enough to grab a hold of his dream of becoming the top finisher at this years Western States.
Saturday night, at the finish line, Krar thanked his wife, Christina Bauer, who has been his rock and supporter in his running career.
Krar’s strong finish this year gives him second fastest in the 40 year race history. Back in 2012, Tim Olson finished the 100.2 mile race in the fastest time ever at 14 hours 46 minutes and 44 seconds.
Some past race controversy includes final moments of the Western States in 2006. First place runner Brian Morrison collapsed as he entered LaFarvre Stadium and was assisted by his pacer to the finish line where he was ultimately disqualified. Runners are to complete the entire race unassisted with the exception of the aid stations.
For race results visit http://www.wser.org/