Created by the legendary Ann Trason, the Overlook Endurance Runs primarily follow the historic Western States trail. While the races have different starting locations, they finish at the same place: Overlook Park in Auburn.
The 50Mi/K start at the Old Elementary School in the historic town of Foresthill, then descends down the Cal loop to Rucky Chucky and continues along the Middle Fork of the American River on the Tevis Cup and Western States trails before crossing the river at Poverty Bar. The 50K continues on Quarry Rd then across No Hands Bridge, and finishing in Auburn at the American River Canyon Overlook Park (Auburn Dam Overlook). The 50mi will head up dead Truck to the WS Trail, past ALT to Brown's Bar, drop down to Quarry across Hwy 49. From there it is up to Cool, down the Coffer loop, to the infamous K2 training hill descent to rejoin the other distances at No Hands.
The 25K run starts at the top of Drivers Flat Road. After a swooping descent down Drivers Flat to the Tevis Cup Trail, it then merges with the 50K course to Auburn. Highlights include following old mining roads and trails along the river, holding onto a rope as you wade the river at the historic Poverty Bar crossing used for decades by horse riders, passing the ruins of the Mountain Quarries. crossing the famous No Hands Bridge, and passing Robie Point on the way to the finish at the American River Canyon Overlook in Auburn. And YES, all distances will have a river crossing!
A vast network of trails wending through oak-forested foothills into the granite peaks of the surrounding Sierra Nevada create an irresistible draw for endurance runners. In 1974, Gordy Ainsleigh famously lined up in Squaw Valley beside the horses at the Western States Trail Ride (now Tevis Cup) to see if he could complete the course on foot. Twenty-three hours and forty-two minutes later, Gordy arrived in Auburn and proved to the world that a human could run 100 miles on mountain trails in one day. The Western States Endurance Run has since become arguably the most prestigious 100-mile trail run in the world.
Local time: 4:57 AM
The race starts in Foresthill, which is located on a broad divide between the North and Middle Forks of the American River. In the spring of 1850, miners flocked to the ridge after a landslide exposed gold nuggets from the gravel bed of an ancient river. By 1857, Foresthill became an important trade center for gold camps along the ridge, and by 1880 it was one of the largest towns in Placer County, California. Today the now-sleepy community is home to about 1,500 people.