Lake Sonoma Series Honors Historic Roots and Develops Future Trail Running Talent at California Fall Classic 100K

June 4, 2024

Lake Sonoma, California June 4, 2024 /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – The iconic Lake Sonoma Series, known for its challenging and historic trail races, is continuing to embrace its legacy while nurturing the next generation of trail running talent at the California Fall Classic 100K & 55K. Originally built in the 1980s by the Back Country Horsemen, the Lake Sonoma trails have a deep connection to the area’s history and the desire to prepare horses for endurance events like the Tevis Cup, which became America’s Oldest and Premier 100 miler the Western States Endurance Run (WSER).

John Medinger, the founder of the Lake Sonoma 50 miler, was captivated by the trail system, offering over 10,500 feet of elevation gain in 50 miles. His passion for the sport led him to establish the Lake Sonoma 50 Miler as a qualifier for the prestigious Western States Endurance Run, creating a pathway for athletes to test their limits and qualify for major ultramarathons. As the publisher of Ultra Running Magazine and the President of WSER John Medinger took on the task of finding young talent and encouraged them to come to wine country and run the Lake Sonoma 50-mile race. Many of the winners of the Lake Sonoma 50 went on to win Western States and UTMB, both highly competitive races. Legendary runners who first did well at Lake Sonoma and then went on to win or do very well at races like WSER & UTMB include Jim Walmsley, Tom Evans, Hal Koerner, Zach Miller, Kaci Lickteig, Magda Boulet and Stephanie Howe.

Under the leadership of Skip Brand, the Lake Sonoma Series expanded to include the California Fall Classic 100K — a race that pays homage to the area’s history and provides a late-season opportunity for athletes to qualify for Western States once again. With rugged terrain and over 14,000 feet of elevation gain, the CFC100K has become a sought-after event for both emerging talent and seasoned veterans in the ultrarunning community.

Through a new partnership with the San Francisco Running Company, the focus of the Lake Sonoma race series is shifting once again to nurturing young talent and providing additional opportunities for athletes to qualify for prestigious ultramarathons. Race director Ted Knudsen is providing complimentary entry to many of the top trail shops in the United States to send their young staff members free to Lake Sonoma to encourage fast, young running shop staff members to come out and run the 100K or 55K. Ted and Skip feel the same as John Medinger — that we must keep growing new trail runners through recruitment and recognition.

The Lake Sonoma Race Series stands as a testament to the sport’s rich history and commitment to fostering the next generation of trail runners. As athletes converge on the shores of Lake Sonoma in wine country, the spirit, camaraderie, and competition continue to thrive through Lake Sonoma’s newest race the California Fall Classic 100K.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Skip Brand
(650) 274-9433