Jan. 6, 2014
For immediate release

Auburn ultrarunner dominated Western States Endurance Run

(First in a series highlighting the eight members of the Sacramento Running Association’s 2014 Hall of Fame class. Today: Tim Twietmeyer)

Tim Twietmeyer’s trail into the ultrarunning world started in 1978 when he left his job as a caddie at a country club and headed over to Woodside High School near Redwood City to check out a 24-hour run.

As he watched, something clicked.

“It kind of hooked me into ultrarunning,” he said. “I was kind of fascinated. It was one of those things that kind of plants a seed.”

Ah, oh, how that seed grew.

Twietmeyer claimed five Western States Endurance Run titles, winning the 100-mile race from Squaw Valley to Auburn in 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1998. He’s finished the race 25 times, all in less than 24 hours, and owns a personal best of 16 hours and 51 minutes.

The 55-year-old Auburn runner is set to be inducted into the Sacramento Running Association’s Hall of Fame on Jan. 25 at a dinner at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.

He joins seven other 2014 inductees: Al Baeta, Lindsay Hyatt Barr, Patti Gray, Harold Kuphaldt, Heike Skaden Mansoor, John Mansoor and Michael Stember. The SRA will also honor its Annual Achievement Awards winners, including Athlete of the Year Shadrack Biwott.

The Hall of Fame dinner begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 and can be ordered at www.runsra.org.

“I’m honored,” said Twietmeyer, whose class joins the eight inaugural Hall of Fame members inducted in 2013: Rae Clark, Eileen Claugus, Chris Iwahashi, Helen Klein, Billy Mills, Paul Reese, Dennis Rinde and Linda Somers Smith.

“It (Western States) is kind of a cool thing to go win.”

Twietmeyer, a long-time project manager at Hewlett-Packard, has completed more than 200 ultramarathons and marathons, including all 31 California International Marathons.

He finished the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, a 155-kilometer test considered the most difficult trail race in Europe, and completed the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail in less than two days.

Twietmeyer also completed a winter crossing of the Sierra with Dean Karnazes and Bill Finkbeiner in 2004 in 26 hours, 17 of those hours spend in snowshoes. Most of the run followed the Western States course.

And while it’s easy to recognize Twietmeyer for all of his running accomplishments, his behind-the-scenes efforts are equally impressive.

Twietmeyer, who is married with three sons, has been a strong advocate of maintaining and protecting the Western States trail. He’s served on the Western States Board of Trustees since 1996 and is vice president of the Western States Endurance Run Foundation.

He’s spent countless hours cleaning, preparing and preserving the trail.

“Part of it was built by miners in the 1850s,” Twietmeyer said. “To be able to preserve that, that’s what it’s all about.”

He’s also the guy who always come back on Sunday morning at Western States to cheer on slower runners, especially those trying to finish before the 30-hour cutoff at 11 a.m.

“Those are really the best stories,” Twietmeyer said. “It’s just such a struggle. The last hour of Western States is the best hour of running in the world.

It’s a long grind. I know a lot of the people anyway. You go on a run with them, you give them coaching tips. Those last few people that come in, it’s just really fun. Those are the guys that really need the help.”

He also lends a hand at the CIM, where he typically serves as a pace team leader helping other runners reach a time goal.

Twietmeyer has fond memories of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc race, which goes through France, Italy and Switzerland.

“That was really cool,” he said. “Spectacular scenery. That has always been just a great race.”

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.