Vajin Armstrong, Ellie Greenwood Win at American River
Auburn, California, April 7. Vajin Armstrong of New Zealand won the 32nd annual American River 50 with a convincing win over Rich Hanna of Sacramento. Armstrong and Chris Lundstrom ran together for the first 28 miles, before Armstrong, two-time winner of the 60-km Kepler Challenge, pulled away. Canadian Ellie Greenwood repeated as women's champ, besting her 2011 time by seven minutes. Greenwood decimated the field, beating all other women by more than an hour and finishing fifth overall.
The course travels from Sacramento to Auburn, California, with the first 28 miles on a paved bike path and the remainder on trails. Conditions were ideal, with sunny skies and temperatures peaking in the mid-60s. Tim Twietmeyer of Auburn finished the race for the 32nd consecutive year. There were a record 653 finishers.
1. Vajin Armstrong, 31, Christchurch, New Zealand, 5:53:14
2. Rich Hanna, 47, Sacramento, CA, 6:05:32
3. Jacob Rydman, 27, Rocklin, CA, 6:10:09
4. Chris Lundstrom, 36, Minneapolis, MN, 6:16:40
5. (tie) Chris Calzetta, 30, Monterey, CA, 6:20:39
5. (tie) Rod Bien, 39, Bend, OR, 6:20:39
1. Ellie Greenwood, 33, Banff, AB, 6:18:29
2. Jenny Hitchings, 48, Sacramento, CA, 7:21:24
3. Ashley Laird, 33, Sonora, CA, 7:24:28
4. Anna Guijarro, 31, Fontana, CA, 7:41:36
5. Anna Piskorska, 39, Blandon, PA, 8:00:26
Left: Vajin Armstrong at the Kepler Challenge (courtesy srichinmoy.org)
Right: Ellie Greenwood (Joe McCladdie photo)