HOME > RACES > FEATURED RACES
By Sarah Lavender Smith April 15, 2013 TWEET COMMENTS 3

Showdown in Cali

Lake Sonoma 50-miler most competitive field ever?

Saturday’s dramatic Lake Sonoma 50-mile race near Healdsburg, California, drew a stellar field of ultrarunners, with a notable exception of Dakota Jones, who last year set a course record of 6:17:27.


Sage Canaday en route to a Lake Sonoma 50 course record. Photo by Brad Clayton

Saturday’s dramatic Lake Sonoma 50-mile race near Healdsburg, California, drew a stellar field of ultrarunners, with a notable exception of Dakota Jones, who last year set a course record of 6:17:27.

“Even though we have this hugely fast, deep field, it wouldn’t shock me if Dakota’s time stood up,” race director John Medinger said before the start. “6:17 is pretty otherworldly on that terrain.”

But both Jones’s record and the women’s course record fell, as intense competition, ideal trail conditions and favorable weather aided the tenacious winners.

Sage Canaday, 27, of Boulder, Colorado, shaved more than two minutes off the record, finishing in 6:14:55. In the women’s race, Cassie Scallon, 31, also of Boulder, regained the lead after bonking and being passed, ultimately winning in 7:47:42 and lowering Joelle Vaught’s 2012 record by about five minutes.

Before the start, Canaday wrote Jones’ record-setting split times in ink on his forearm and used them to carefully pace himself between aid stations. “I knew we were way ahead of pace 11 miles in,” he said, so he held back a bit.


Photo by Sarah Lavender Smith

At the halfway point, Canaday—who raced his first ultra a mere 13 months ago, and won the Bandera 100K and Tarawera 100K earlier this year—found himself in third, five minutes behind Max King, 33, of Bend, Oregon, and Cameron Clayton, 24, of Boulder, Colorado. But he sustained motivation to hit Jones’ splits, and gambled that the two frontrunners couldn’t sustain their pace.

“I was able to close that gap, and once I saw  [King and Clayton], I got more confidence, and then when I passed them I tried to surge pretty hard. Cameron said he was getting dehydrated, and Max was like, ‘I went out too fast and don’t feel so good.’”

Canaday reached the final aid station, mile 45, right at Jones’ time from last year. Feeling the course record within reach, he went for it.



TWEET COMMENTS 3

Add comment


Security code
Refresh