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June 04, 2018

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Western States Training Camp

rabbit racer Nick Presniakov shares his experience from the Memorial Day Weekend Training Camp in preparation for running 100 miles form Squaw Valley to Placer High School on June 23rd.

Many runners are familiar with the legendary Western States Endurance Run, but I'd bet most are unaware of the WSER Memorial Day Weekend Training Camp organized by race director Craig Thornley. Over the long weekend (Saturday/Sunday/Monday) runners cover the last 70 miles of the 100 mile Western States course, each day completing between 20-30 miles.

Western States 100 is infamously difficult to gain entry into with thousands of runners qualifying and then vying for one of only 369 spots during the December lottery. One of the best kept secrets in ultrarunning is that you do not have to be registered for WSER to take part in the training camp weekend. No qualifier, no lottery, just hit the button on ultrasignup.com. This is a great opportunity if you plan on running or pacing WSER one day.  

This year there were just over 300 runners that met on Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend at Foresthill Elementary School. Each morning started with a check-in and then briefing from RD Craig Thornley. Then we were off on the day's long run and concluded with a provided lunch and the opportunity to get a free sports massage from 'Monsters of Massage'.

Day one we ran from Robinson Flat to Foresthill Elementary, Day two was Foresthill to Rucky Chucky, and the third and final day was from Green Gate to the finish at Placer High. It was a rare experience to go on long training runs supported with well stocked aid stations and amazing volunteers. Some of those aid stations were being manned by legends like 14-time WSER winner Ann Trason or Tim Twietmeyer, who has finished WSER 25 times under 24 hours (and won the race 5 times).  

It was so good to share miles and smiles each day with other rabbits Adam Kimble, Rachel Kelley, Kate Elliott, Coree Woltering and Ken Ringled. From what I saw on the trail over the long weekend, look for team rabbit to do big things at Western States this year! During a tough training block, running with other rabbits working towards a common goal really re-lit the stoke.  

The WSER Memorial Day Weekend Training Camp is truly a unique experience to see the course, chat with ultrarunning legends and WSER past winners, get in some great training miles and reconnect with friends from past races. One word of advice though, don't forget to pack the Tecnu! #seeyouinsquaw


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