May 9, 2015
For immediate release

John Schumacher

Men’s winner overcomes bad fall in 50k from Pilot Hill to Folsom

Rich Hanna overcame a nasty fall to run away with the men’s title and Tracy Hoeg delivered a winning move along the second half of the course to win the women’s race Saturday in the Gold Rush 50k.

Hanna, a longtime race director and coach from Sacramento, finished the 31-mile course from Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park in Pilot Hill to historic Folsom in an event record 3 hours, 52 minutes and 58 seconds.

Sacramento’s Matt Bachman finished second in 4:05:02, with Sacramento’s Rasmus Hoeg grabbing third in 4:14:48.

A field of 117 runners started the race, put on by the Sacramento Running Association.

The 50-year-old Hanna was caked in mud and bleeding from his fingers after falling near the 22-mile mark along the trail.

“A family was walking with a Doberman loose,” Hanna said. “I just lost my concentration.

“Luckily, I got it back together pretty quick … It wasn’t pretty the last eight miles. I got the job done.”

Hanna has been on a roll the last several months, setting 50-54 age-group records at the California International Marathon in December (2:36:33) and the Big Sur Marathon two weeks ago (2:43:15).

He said he decided to enter the Gold Rush race on Thursday night.

“I just wanted to see how I was recovering,” he said.

Sacramento’s Hoeg, a 35-year-old physician/scientist, passed early leader Beverley Anderson-Abbs around the 30-kilometer mark and cruised to an event record 4:36:55 finish. Red Bluff’s Anderson-Abbs finished second in 4:44:35, with San Francisco’s Madeline Weston-Miles placing third in 5:17:32.

“It was harder than I expected,” Hoeg said of the course, which featured 2,383 feet of elevation gain and 3,101 feet of descent.

“A lot of really pretty views.”

The best view of all came when Hoeg looked back on the Folsom Crossing Bridge a few miles from the finish and didn’t see any other women in sight.

“I figured I had a pretty good lead,” she said.

Hoeg and her husband Rasmus, the men’s third-place finisher, moved to Sacramento from Denmark a month ago. Tracy Hoeg said research work related to the Western States Endurance Run, which finishes in Auburn, brought them to the area.

“I love the running around here,” she said. “People have been super nice. I love the running community around here.”

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.

Other SRA events include the California International Marathon on Dec. 6, the Super Sunday Run on Feb. 7 and the recently concluded Credit Union SACTOWN Five- and Ten-Mile Run.