100K endurance run is named Americas Major for UTMB World Series
Auburn will be home to ultra-running history in April, as it will become the first city in the Americas to host a UTMB World Series Major when The Canyons comes to town this spring.
The race will give runners an opportunity to qualify for the UTMB World Series Finals at the UTMB Mont-Blanc, one of the biggest trail running events in the world.
Chaz Sheya, founder and race director for The Canyons, said in a news release: “I am thrilled to share that The Canyons Endurance Runs by UTMB is now the Americas Major. It is an honor to be one of three Majors in the UTMB World Series, with double Running Stones and many more entries to the World Finals in Chamonix! I am also excited to share the history of the Canyons and the Western States Trail, where modern-day mountain ultra trail running started. We look forward to putting on a great event next April in Auburn, California, the endurance capital of the world!”
"We are thrilled with this historic announcement by UTMB and the IRONMAN Group, further solidifying Auburn and Placer County as the Endurance Capital of the World," said Visit Placer CEO Rob Haswell. "Last year, Auburn's incredible landscapes, canyons, trails and the city's legendary friendliness were on full display to the international community, which really led to this moment."
"The Canyons 100 becoming the UTMB World Series Race of the Americas is just huge for Auburn and the endurance community. Our team has been working really hard with The Canyons, IRONMAN and UTMB over the past months to modify the routes and firm up the strategy which made this all come together," said Auburn City Manager John Donlevy. "To become the number one race in the World Series for our hemisphere is a recognition of Auburn’s place in the running world and to the efforts of the entire team who have been working on this. As this has been announced, runners from all over the world will be setting their calendars to be here in April."
Donlevy also gave praise to those from the county as well as Sheya for their part in the race: "Enough cannot be said for the work of Visit Placer, Chaz Sheya from Canyons 100 and Jonathan Wright from the city for getting this done. We appreciate the fact that UTMB/Iron Man recognize our efforts and want us to be their representative for North America."
The Canyons will also once again serve as one of seven Golden Ticket Races for the world-famous Western States Endurance Run in June. The top two male and female finishers in each event will receive an automatic qualification for Western States.
The course is unique in that it travels the historic Western States Trail, much like its summer counterpart, but sees its runners travel from Auburn into the canyons rather than the opposite.
“This course is a different type of challenge. There's close to the same amount of climbing as Western States has in two-thirds of the distance,” Sheya said about the course before last year’s race, adding the course gives runners the unique ability to experience part of the Western States Trail. “It gives people the opportunity to get on the course and prepare for Western States. That was the whole reason I started the race was to give people the opportunity to learn the trail in the canyons.”
Last year’s Canyons 100K winner, Adam Peterman of Missoula, Montana, won Western States as well. Peterman shattered the course record by nearly 40 minutes. Runners in the 2023 Canyons who complete the 100K in under 20 hours will be automatically entered into the 2024 Western States lottery.
The Canyons began as a 50K race in 2014 before adding the 100K the next year and then earning Western States qualifying status in 2016. The event will add a 100-mile race for the first time in 2023.
"The reality is that Auburn is the running capital of North America and Chamonix for Europe. A pretty awesome combination of beautiful places who host the top athletes for the biggest prizes," Donlevy said.
The Canyons will take place April 28-29 in Auburn.
CLICK HERE to see the original article in Gold Country Media.