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Four locals finish Western States 100

Fifty-five-year-old George Raynsford of Grass Valley was the top finisher from western Nevada County in the 34th annual Western States Endurance Run during the weekend.

Raynsford and three other area runners traversed the 100-mile trail, from Squaw Valley to Auburn, within the allotted 30-hour time frame to finish the event. Also crossing the finish line in time were Grass Valley’s Donn Zea and Peggy Davidson, along with Nevada City’s Eva Lobsitz.

Raynsford was the 150th runner to cross the Auburn finish line, clocking a time of 26 hours, 48 minutes and 23 seconds.



Raynsford was pulled from the course in the 2006 event after arriving late to a checkpoint. He covered more than 47 miles in 14 hours before being stopped at the Devil’s Thumb checkpoint. Davidson and Lobsitz also did not finish the 2006 run.

The trail climbs from Squaw Valley’s 6,200 elevation to Emigrant Pass at 8,750 feet, a climb of 2,550 vertical feet in the first 4 miles, according to the event’s Web site. Runners climb another 15,540 feet and descend 22,970 feet through the remaining 95 miles.




The overall winner was 31-year-old Ashland, Ore., resident Hal Koerner, who covered the course in 16:12:16. The top women’s finisher was Nikki Kimball, 36, of Bozeman, Mt., who finished in 18:12:38.

Zea, 49, was the 152nd runner to finish the course. He crossed the line in 26:58:35, which was a vast improvement over the time of 28:11:22 he clocked in 2006.

Lobsitz, 46, who was stopped just short of 56 miles in 2006, crossed the finish line in 28:52:03. Davidson, 51, who was pulled from the 2006 run less than seven miles from the finish, finished in 29:30:43. It was Davidson’s eighth attempt at the Western States 100.


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