Golden Ticket Races
Not so Golden Fires
This is not the first time a devastating wildfire has impacted a Golden Ticket race. In 2017, Gorge Waterfalls 100K was cancelled due to forest fires. There used to be seven Golden Ticket races; now there are five.
Vancouver runner Kim Magnus was in California to race The North Face 50 mile when she received Henninger’s email. It was the second time that day Magnus had received news that a race she was planning to run was cancelled due to wildfires. Racing for a Golden Ticket has been “the ultimate goal” for Magnus. Even though SOB was her ideal race, she is hoping to register for another Golden Ticket race such as Black Canyon, Lake Sonoma, or the Georgia Death Race.
The Bigger Picture
“It’s hard to be upset for my racing season as the devastation from these events is beyond anything I can imagine, and makes racing both trivial and so much more important at the same time.” explains Magnus. Trail runners have deep connections to the outdoors, and ongoing wildfires can be a reminder of how fragile the environment is.
Henninger is asking the trail running community to consider donating to agencies involved in the tragedy. She is working tirelessly to create alternative race options for runners. For example, there will be a 100K Western States qualifying race added to the Leona Divide race in April. SOB may return in two years. For now, racing for a Golden Ticket may be a bit more competitive.