Auburn, Worlds Toughest Half, May 31, 2009, Race report David Parker.


Well, it has the name that suits it.  But you got to try this one! 


I had gotten interested from Simone Kleinschmidt’s description and did this race last year but with temperatures over 100 degrees it was hell and it took me almost 7 ½ hours.  I was motivated to do this year hoping to be able to actually run on the course instead of death march due to the heat.   The goal was more attainable since it wasn’t nearly as hot and the swim wasn’t as rough as last year. There is ALOT of climbing on the bike (about 6K’) but none of the climbing is in long stretches and my training, up and down to the lake and then some trail run bricks, helped a great deal.


The car ride to Auburn is long but worth it.  The course has camping available, in a park parking lot, but we camped on the south side of Folsom Lake in a state park (Beal’s Point) near the damn and Folsom prison.  This was nice and fun.  I bicycled to the start a couple days prior to the race thinking I would ride to the race on race day but decided I didn’t want an hour ride early in the a.m.


Race morning I got up before the alarm went off and Susan drove me up and dropped me off for the 6:30 start.  There are 3 other races going on at the same time and it is a bit overwhelming. I was glad that the men’s WTT was first wave at 6:30.  The race is really ran grass roots and Brad, the race director, is very approachable and really open to about any comments. But you got to ask.


Swim started about right on time and the water level was higher than last year so there were trees and bushes in the immediate line.  The course is a modified diamond, with some straight out swim for 100 meters before swimming around the bushes in a counter clockwise diamond. I caught a heal in the goggles, but had a good swim and got out ready to ride.


The bike climbs from the start and makes its way through some residential area then the finish part but most of it is around I-80.  By the turn around, I was cooked from relentless climbing, but the ride is so beautiful and shaded that you don’t notice the pain. It is brutal climbing but everyone had the same route so it is what it is.


The transition area 2 moved ½ block from the parking lot people (including me) camped in last year to a lawn city park, which is a nicer setup in my opinion.  The start of the run has a little climb then it starts on a trail along side a flume with cool water running in it and tree covered.  Then after a few miles, which is a nice transition for bike climbing legs, there is some roadway and we turned up a nasty little hill in full sunshine.  Then the course goes in and out of road trail and fire roads with each area in a micro climate between bearable and nasty.  The run is the same 10K loop used in international race first lap and the second it introduces some additional trail with a bit of a steep downhill section (in case you still need to twist an ankle).

 All-in-all, it is a great race and I saw quite a few LA Tri members. We should get a group of SB Tri club members interested next year.  


Dropped over an hour over last years Hell.

Grass roots organization: you got to ask, but there are answers


All the men start first , women start 5 minutes later and your age and race is on your calf so on the run you know who you’re really racing.

All the volunteers were really up for making sure everyone was taken care of.

I had three guys tell me it made Wildflower seem like a walk in the park, to witch I got to say, Should have been here last year



The drive to Sacramento and back

Parking at start, Park at finish and ride the downhill to start.

Lodging is reasonably close but not right there.  Auburn is a small town.

Packet pick-up without pulling the map of web was hard to find