American River 50 Mile Run (AR50) Returns to Auburn, CA


AR50 Slated for Saturday, April 6, 2019

Auburn, CA – The American River 50 (AR50), one of the nation’s most historic 50-mile endurance run, is returning for its 40th year on April 6, 2019. Starting in Folsom, California and ending in Auburn, California the race is now ranked as the second largest 50-mile endurance run. Recognized for its tough, but exciting and breathtaking terrain, AR50 brings together veterans, first-timers, and runners traveling from around the world to compete in the second longest-running U.S. 50-miler. 

AR50 is presented by NorCalUltras and benefits the California Conservation of Trails and Running School. It is a point-to-point race, and a qualifier for the Western States Endurance Run, offering a mix of pavement (27 miles) and trails (23 miles) that can produce fast times and help those running in their first 50-miler have a balanced race. 

“One of AR50’s strengths are its location in the Sierra Foothills, as well as the dramatic climb to Auburn at the end of the 50-mile run that challenges all ultra-athletes,” said NorCalUltras Race Director Julie Fingar. “We are so fortunate to host this event in a region that is so rich in wilderness, beauty and open space, but also an area that challenges the world’s top athletes.”

Heat, rain, and days that threatened snow have all been a factor in the race’s 40-year history. 

“If it were easy on any level, including weather or terrain, it wouldn’t be recognized as one of the nation’s top endurance races,” added Fingar. “But we have changed a few things up to make the run not only challenging, but also enjoyable for the runners and the spectators.”

Top finishers typically finish under six hours for men and just over six hours for women.

AR50 begins at Folsom Point on a single-track trail at the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area at 6am. The course travels over the Lake Natoma Crossing Bridge to the American River Bike Trail and up to Hazel Avenue bluffs. The 25-milers will start their portion of the race at Beal’s Point at 7 a.m. and the 50-milers will continue to push through the second half of their race at the same location between 8:30 a.m. and noon. Runners will continue to test their physical and mental abilities from Granite Bay State Park, to the Pioneer Express Trail and to Dowdin’s Post where the trail travels to the infamous “Dam Wall” where runners begin the dramatic climb to the summit and are greeted by the “Party at Last Gasp.” Runners reach the home stretch with motivational mile marker signs, the sound of the congratulatory cow bells and energetic spectators as cheerleaders while they run their 2.5 victory miles to cross the finish line in Auburn, CA.

The 25-mile runners are expected to start crossing the finish line at Folsom Lake at 10 a.m. The 50-mile runners are expected to cross the finish line at Auburn Overlook Park between 12:30 p.m.-7 p.m.

Other race highlights include:

  • Gloria Takagishi will be completing AR50 for the 40th time. She has completed 30 consecutive AR50s, and was the only person in the United States to complete 25 consecutive 50-mile races.
  • Local Auburn legend, Tim Twietmeyer (60 years old) has completed 38 AR50s and will be completing this 39th 50-mile endurance run this year.
  • Coree Woltering placed second place overall at the 2018 AR50 in 6:38:10 and will be retuning this year with the goal to win the race.

This year, 279 men and 183 women will compete. The youngest registered runner is Isaiah Reyes, a 16- year old from San Jose, CA. Isaiah is a first-time AR50 runner. The most “seasoned” runner is Judy Shipman, a 77-year old from Rancho Cordova, CA who is completing her sixth AR50 race. 

“The most interesting part of the race is at the end,” said Auburn’s Tim Twietmeyer, a five-time Western States Endurance Run winner and an AR50 regular. “It takes your mind off the distance.” 

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About The Author

Jen has been doing triathlon for several years. She is a former bobsled pilot for America Samoa and has a passion for the outdoors; especially winter mountaineering. At home she is wife to a mountain obsessed husband and mother of three girls, but here at EnduranceReview, she is an author, Managing Editor and token chick.