Healdsburg, California, April 14. Dakota Jones of Durango, Colorado crushed a strong field and the course record at the 4th annual Lake Sonoma 50. Jones led a pack that included Timothy Olson, Jorge Maravilla, Dave Mackey, Nick Clark, Hal Koerner, Joe Uhan and Dan Olmstead early in the race. By the midway point, Jones and Olson had broken away, with Maravilla in hot pursuit and the others now in a chase group about 5 minutes back. On the return trip, Jones quickly broke away and ran strongly to the finish, posting nearly even splits of 3:06 and 3:11. Seven runners finished in under Koerner’s old course record, including Koerner himself.
Joelle Vaught of Boise, Idaho led from the start and also set a course record in winning the women’s race. Vaught opened a 12-minute gap early, and sustained that throughout much of the way, holding off a late-race charge by Way Too Cool champion Tyler Stewart, who took second and secured a spot at Western States. Stephanie Howe of Bend, Oregon, finished third in her first 50-miler.
The race, part of the Montrail Ultra Cup series, features more than 10,000 feet of climb over hilly single-track trails. Late season rains created several muddy patches, but the runners were greeted with ideal weather, sunny and high temperatures in the upper 60s. There were 227 finishers.
1. Dakota Jones, 21, Durango, CO, 6:17:27 (course record, old record 7:08:20 by Hal Koerner, 2010)
2. Timothy Olson, 28, Ashland, OR, 6:36:56
3. Nick Clark, 37, Fort Collins, CO, 6:51:17
4. Hal Koerner, 36, Ashland, OR, 6:57:58
5. Joe Uhan, 34, Eugene, OR, 6:59:55
1. Joelle Vaught, 37, Boise, ID, 7:52:44 (course record, old record, 8:26:53 by Devon Crosby-Helms, 2010)
2. Tyler Stewart, 33, Novato, CA, 7:56:30
3. Stephanie Howe, 28, Bend, OR, 8:11:51
4. Denise Bourassa, 42, Bend, OR, 8:18:03
5. Jennifer Pfeifer, 40, El Dorado, CA, 8:25:56