May 10, 2014
For immediate release

McDonald, Schneider earn Gold Rush 50k victories

Paulo Medina and Jen Pfeifer took the long way home to individual titles and Mike McDonald and Kirsten Schneider ran point-to-point for their victories on a pleasant, picturesque Saturday in the second annual Gold Rush 100k/50k.

The races were put on by the Sacramento Running Association.

Orangevale’s Medina won the men’s 100k, completing the course that began and ended in historic Folsom in 10 hours, 6 minutes and 2 seconds. He ran conservatively for most of the course that followed the American River and Folsom Lake into the foothills before catching leader Brian Miller of El Dorado Hills with 12 miles to go and pulling away.

Miller finished second for the second consecutive year, this time in 10:22:56.

“It was a good day,” said Medina, a 30-year-old manager for Gold Country Run + Sport in El Dorado Hills. “I took it easy the first 40 miles and then started taking people down.

“I was chasing him (Miller) down.”

El Dorado’s Pfeifer, a history teacher at Ponderosa High School in Shingle Springs, won her second consecutive Gold Rush 100k women’s title with ease, reaching the finish in 11:15:48. Diana Fitzpatrick of Larkspur finished second in 12:17:22.

“It was fun; it was beautiful,” said Pfeifer, 42. “I felt really good for a long, long time. Then the last few miles, it was really windy going on Folsom bridge.

“You learn to be patient.”

McDonald and Schneider stood out in the 50k race, which started in historic Folsom and finished at the Magnolia Ranch trailhead along Highway 49 four miles north of Coloma. McDonald won the men’s race in 4:52:15 and Schneider captured the women’s title in 5:15:05.

For McDonald, the race provided an opportunity to come down from Chester, on the north shore of Lake Almanor in Plumas County, and race in different conditions.

“It was rough,” said McDonald, a 34-year-old biologist for the U.S. Forest Service. “It’s my fault. It’s my long run of the year.

“The course was awesome. I’ve been up in the mountains all spring. I’m not used to the humidity … I didn’t stop sweating.”

Sacramento’s Schneider, 45, hadn’t run an ultra in nearly a decade. But the freelance commercial writer couldn’t have scripted the outcome any better.

“It was ideal weather,” she said. “The course was beautiful. The volunteers were great. I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

“I’ve been doing cross country the last few falls. It’s been fun to be on dirt … break it up from road racing, get some variety.”

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.