Written by USATF Championship Meghan Laws
On Saturday March 14th, the 2020 USATF 50 Mile Trail Championship will take place in El Dorado and Placer counties, California, starting in the small town of Cool, running through former homestead land, down the Western States trail, crossing the American River on the infamous No Hands Bridge, up to Auburn, then continuing on the Pioneer Express Trail above the American River and Folsom Lake, all the way to Beals Point. The race is hosted by Auburn’s Single Track Running and RD Paulo Medina.
Headlining the championship 50 mile race will be Devon Yanko, 37, San Anselmo, CA. Devon’s very impressive resume includes a recent 50k road victory at Jed Smith in 3:27, a 50 mile victory at Tussey Mountain Back in 2019, as well as multiple Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers. Anna Zielaski of Oakland, CA, the 2017 Pioneer Spirit Champion returns this year as well.
On the men’s side, there is no lack of depth. Matt Daniels, Tim Tollefson, and Max King scratch the surface. Daniels is coming off of a stellar 2019 with a Golden Ticket win at Black Canyon 100k followed by a 4th place finish at Western States. He recently ran to a 2nd place finish at Moab Red Hot 55k. Tollefson is no stranger to the Auburn events, having twice won Fourmidable 50k, and Ruck-a-chuck 50k. At an international level, he is a force, having won the Lavaredo 120k last June. Max King barely needs an introduction, having won or podium in many distances over the years. He recently won the Hagg Lake 50k in a tidy time of 3:22.
In order to be eligible for any of the cash prizes, runners competing in the 50 mile championship event must be a US citizen and an active USATF member. The Pioneer 50 mile Championship offers a prize purse in the following amounts and categories: $1000, $700, $500, $200, and $100 respectively to the top five Male and Female Open finishers.