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Posted: May 15, 2016:  

Athletics: Tollefson, Peterson earn Gold Rush titles

Top overall runner sets womenís event record

Lindsay Tollefson overcame a nasty fall to run away with the overall title and Robert Peterson delivered a strong performance to win the menís race Saturday in the Gold Rush 50k.

Tollefson, 30, captured her first ultra win by finishing the 31-mile course from Skunk Hollow in Pilot Hill to historic Folsom in a womenís event record 4 hours, 15 minutes and 17 seconds.

The Mammoth Lakes resident is a two-time U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier with a 2:41:31 marathon personal best.

Folsomís Peterson, 35, was the top male finisher and second overall with a 4:24:46 performance. Sacramento Running Association Executive Director Scott Abbott grabbed third overall in 4:32:40 in his ultra debut.

A field of 180 50k runners and 28 relay teams registered for the race, organized by the Sacramento Running Association.

Tollefson was covered in mud and bleeding from her legs after falling in the second half of the course.

"I thought it was going to be a breeze, but it sure wasnít," Tollefson said with a smile on her face. "It was a tough course."

"I feel a lot better now."

Peterson was supposed to be in The Woodlands, Texas competing in the IRONMAN North American Championship on Saturday, but a nasty stomach virus sidelined his training. The Folsom Bike Tri team member was happy to have a race to run.

"I signed up [for the Gold Rush 50k] yesterday," Peterson said.

"I live up here but this was only my second time on these trails.

"It was a really cool course and a beautiful way to experience Folsom."

Lincolnís Chris Perillo, 46, rounded out the top three male finishers with a 4:35:35 finish.

Sacramentoís Bev Anderson-Abbs, 52, finished second for the second straight year in 4:37:23, with El Doradoís Jen Pfeifer, 44, placing third in 4:44:21 in the womenís race.

Ultra legend and Auburn resident Tim Twietmeyer, 57, finished fifth overall in 4:42:52.

"It was tough, a lot of ups and downs," Twietmeyer said of the course, which featured 1,700 feet of elevation gain and 2,000 feet of descent.

Race organizers added a two-person relay to the event line-up this year in an effort to make the distance more accessible to new trail runners.

The first leg of the relay covered 16 miles from the start of the 50k to the New York Creek Aid Station. The second leg covered the remaining 15 miles of the course before descending on the finish line in historic Folsom.

The all-male SRA Elite team of Galen Farris and Jesse Barragan recorded the fastest time in the 50k relay, finishing in 3:34:53. The Funk Soul Runners of Mark Murray and SRA Elite runner Jenny Hitchings claimed the co-ed relay title with a time of 4:11:48, good for third overall. The SRA Elite team of Erin Wachter and Liz Stehula captured the all-female relay title, clocking in at 4:39:58.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

SRA events include the 34th annual California International Marathon on Dec. 4, the Super Sunday Run on Feb. 5 and the Credit Union SACTOWN Run on April 2.


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