American River 50: Endurance run from Sacramento to Auburn set for April 6

By: Special to the Journal
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The 34th annual American River 50 Mile Endurance Run will be held Saturday, April 6.  

Beginning in Sacramento at 6 a.m., this popular 50-miler presented by Clif Bar and NorCalUltras beneficiaries—California Conservation of Trails and Running School — offers runners a chance to view picturesque scenery as they navigate the challenging American River Bike Trail and the Pioneer Express Trail all the way to Auburn.

The race begins at Guy West Bridge, located at 865 University Ave. in Sacramento, and finishes at the Auburn Overlook located at 855 Pacific Ave. in the Endurance Capital of the World.

Spectators are invited to cheer on the runners, who train for an average of six months prior to competing. The race's winners are expected to cross the finish line around noon. The middle of the pack figures to reach Auburn around 3 to 5 p.m., and the last runner may take until 7 p.m. to complete the task.

Many runners use the AR 50 as a training run for the popular Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run.

Due to the overwhelming popularity of this race, all participants’ spots are currently filled. 

Runner check-in is at the Fleet Feet Sports store at 8128 Madison Ave. in Fair Oaks on Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m., and Friday from 10 a.m. – to 7 p.m.

“Whether you are attempting your first 50-miler, seeking a personal record or dreaming of a qualifier for the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, this race is for you,” said Julie Fingar, ultra endurance coach, athlete and race director.

This year’s American River 50 Mile Endurance Run is sponsored by Clif Bar®, Patagonia®, Fleet Feet Sports, GU Energy Labs, Moeben, Bank Card USA, Ultra Signup, TrailRunner, 2XU Compression, Future Ford of Roseville, Sacfit, UltraRunning  Magazine, Auburn Running Company, Sports Basement, The Recovery Stock, Injinji, Skweet® Sports Bottle Wash, Monsters of Massage, BlueBugGraphics, Larkspur Landing, Bungalow Munch, Rock Creek, Rishi Tea, RYP Wear, US Cryotherapy and Massage by Lilly.

For more information, visit

History of the race:

Established Fleet Feet Founder Sally Edwards and Mo Livermore had a discussion  back in 1979 about the American River Ride horse race, which started in Sacramento and finished in Auburn. When Livermore described the trails used by the riders and horses of this event, Sally realized the course could be a challenging and beautiful 50-mile endurance run. And thus, a race was born. In 1980, nearly 200 runners toed the line at the Auburn Fairgrounds for the start of the inaugural AR 50. Since 1982, the run has started in Sacramento. Over the years, more than 12,000 runners have accepted the challenge.