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Meet the runners of the Western States 100-mile endurance run

By: Staff Report
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The 36th annual Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run starts at Squaw Valley south of Truckee and ends in Auburn. The run follows rough terrain, usually accessible only by hikers, horses and helicopters. Once athletes reach Emigrant Pass (elevation 8,750 feet), they follow the original trails used by the gold and silver miners of the 1850s, climbing another 15,540 feet and descending 22,970 feet before reaching Auburn. Runners are expected to complete the 100 miles in 30 hours. Name: Jamie Frink Age: 37 Where do you live (town): Folsom. Occupation: Stay-at-home mom How many times have you run the Western States? This is my first opportunity to run Western States. What is your best finishing time? Not sure yet. What is your goal (are your goals) this year? My goal is to cross the finish line in Auburn with my husband children with me. What motivates you to put yourself through this grueling event? There are many motivating factors; the first being the training. I absolutely love to run. The second part of that is the adventure and time spent on the trails with friends. We are extremely fortunate to be able to train on the Western States Trail. I am always amazed by how beautiful it is out there. My family and friends are also a large part of the motivation. Friends and family have put in great amounts of time and effort either by babysitting, running with me, or helping me at other events to get ready. My husband has been especially supportive by making sure that I get the time to train and then putting up with me later. What is the best part of the experience and why? As of right now, the best part is the excitement and anticipation of reaching a goal that has been almost been two years in the making. What is your least favorite part of the experience and why? That is a difficult question to answer. I suppose what is hardest part right now is just the not knowing part. One hundred miles is a long way to run and we will all be faced with some challenges out there regardless of how well we are trained. It is a little scary thinking about all the variables and hoping that I can overcome whatever the day brings me. Name: Mike Hoffman Age: 48 Where do you live (town): Folsom Occupation: Analyst How many times have you run the Western States? Never. I’mreturning from last year's fire cancellation. What is your best finishing time? 2008 Tahoe Rim Trail 100 finisher - 28 hours, 18 minutes; 2007 Leadville Trail 100 finisher - 29 hours, 22 minutes (first 100-mile finish). What is your goal (are your goals) this year? Finish, have fun, do my best, finish under 30 hours and deal with whatever the day brings at me. What motivates you to put yourself through this grueling event? Lots, but just to name a few, it's the ultimate test of endurance, it’s challenging, it’s on my "bucket list" of things to do in life and it’s the "Super Bowl" of ultra-running. I'm goal oriented, and it enables me to feel free, good about myself, alive and allows me to see what I can accomplish physically and apply that to all areas of my life. What is the best part of the experience and why? Training, meeting great people, building relationships with great friends that go well beyond running and racing on the trails. It’s a healthy lifestyle that I enjoy sharing with others. I also enjoy playing in the dirt and mud, being outdoors, epic experiences and adventures, at peace with myself spiritually, eating lots of food and not worrying about weight gain, drinking a cold beer at the end of a race, being a role model to my son and others and having a purpose driven life. What is your least favorite part of the experience and why? It's all great but maybe losing toe nails, blistering, not having enough time off work or being retired "do more and be more" and then having to wait again for next years event. Name:Karyn Hoffman Age:46 Where do you live (town):Folsom Occupation: Sales How many times have you run the Western States? I run and twice and finished both times. What is your best finishing time? 26 hours, 27 minutes What is your goal (are your goals) this year? Finish healthy and be smiling the whole way. What motivates you to put yourself through this grueling event? To have the wonderful support of friends along the course helping and keeping your spirits high even during the darkest points. It is amazing you can train your body and mind to fight through the highs and lows along the way. What is the best part of the experience and why? The best part of the experience is the journey along the way, training with friends and making new friends along the way. The whole Western States 100 experience is hard to simulate. We are so fortunate this wonderland called the Western States trail is in our backyard. What is your least favorite part of the experience and why? The days after when your body is feeling achy and you begin to think when can I enjoy this kind of feeling again? Name: Jay Ingalls Age: 54 Where do you live (town): Folsom Occupation: R&D Development Engineer, Lasers and Optics How many times have you run the Western States? First attempt was in 2005 and I made it only 80 miles. It was short of my goal, but I enjoyed it very much regardless. What is your best finishing time? I have not finished this run, but expect to do so this year. What is your goal (are your goals) this year? The goal for me this year is to just finish. I must finish under 30 hours and am hoping to finish in 28 to29 hours. What motivates you to put yourself through this grueling event? It really is the challenge of the run. This is a very tough run, not only 100 miles long, but with severe elevation changes, rocky mountainous trails, potential high heat, and even some snow at the higher elevations. I want that belt buckle award, which I will treasure for the rest of my life. What is the best part of the experience and why? Oh for sure it’s Gods beauty all around me. Being blessed to have the ability and health to even attempt such a goal. Also chatting with other runners from all over the United States and from all over the world as well. The satisfaction being able to run this, because of hard training and sacrifices to build up endurance. What is your least favorite part of the experience and why? Well, the pain that is inevitable. I have heard it quoted that “you start Western States in the best shape of your life, and you finish Western States in the worst shape of your life.” I think that sums it up pretty well. So many things can happen out there, it is a definite adventure, and I am very excited to get to that starting line, and enjoy the trail.