Jed Smith News

February 13, 2016

Post-Race Wrap-Up

Congratulations to all Jed Smith finishers! Last Saturday was a great day for racing in Sacramento, and I hope all your dreams came true. (Aside from the dream about oversleeping or forgetting your pants on race day.)

There were some amazing times out there, including a few pending American age-group records (Rich Hanna, Bev Anderson-Abbs, and Bill Dodson).

We sincerely appreciate you coming out and spending the day with us and hope you’ll come see us again next year.

Thanks again to all the dozens of volunteers, largely Buffalo Chips and Youth Chips, and their friends and family. They are the ones who make this possible.

Thanks also to NorCal Ultras for the delicious gels and electrolyte beverage, and WSER Foundation for all those S-Caps you enjoyed on this warm day.

And finally, thanks to the Sacramento County Regional Parks Rangers for keeping order on the parkway.

Here are links to all the results:

See you in 2017!



February 3, 2016

Final Instructions for Runners

Race day is Saturday, February 6th. Races will start in the morning at 7:30 (50 mile), 8:30 (50 km), and 9:30 (30 km and 13.1 mile). The races start on-time so don’t be late!

The forecasts for this weekend are trending toward perfect, with temps in the low to mid-60s. That being said, this has been a wet year so far, so don’t be surprised to see a little standing water on the trail.

As of today, the course is in great condition and there is no construction anywhere along the route. However, there may be tree branches and other debris on the trail on race day. Each loop is approximately 7.8 km or 4.86 miles and each race starts with a little out and back to dial in the exact distance.

Course certifications: 30 km (CA14020RS), 50 km (CA14021RS), and 50 mile (CA14022RS). The 13.1 mile certification is pending, but the course will be nearly identical to the 30 km, with one fewer loop.

Directions: See the event website for details:

Parking: Parking at this venue is always a challenge, so please carpool if possible and avoid bringing your oversized vehicle. There will be volunteers directing parking. Please follow the instructions of the parking volunteers. We have a good relationship with the park rangers and would like it to continue. Races will start at 7:30, 8:30, and 9:30 sharp. If you arrive near one of these start times, we may hold you up at the entrance to the parking lot in order to allow the runners to pass safely.

If the parking lot fills up, there is additional parking along La Riviera Drive.

Please carpool if at all possible. Please do not bring your horse trailer, RV, or semi into the park.

Packet pick-up:  Your race bib and shirt will be available for pickup at the start/finish area beginning around 6:45. Please be patient if you get there earlier. It will be dark and confusing for everyone but there will be plenty of time.

Official Aid stations: There will be two aid stations: one with hot food (Watt Avenue South start/finish area) and one with fluids and some food (Howe Avenue North). There is a drinking fountain and bathroom just below the trail before Howe Avenue South. There are also drinking fountains at Watt Avenue North. The longest distance between any two aid stations will be three miles.

Personal aid stations: You are welcome to set up some supplies for yourself along the course. People often use the back of their car or a chair set along the parking lot. If you can’t park along the route, feel free to place a chair with your stuff on it along the course near the start/finish area. This is a great race to try out some new gear. If it’s not working, you can drop if and pick it up later. Ask a volunteer for guidance on where to place your stuff. All tents should be securely anchored. You may be held responsible for damage or injury caused by your tent blowing about the parking lot.

Pacers: Pacers are allowed for the 50 mile runners after at least four laps (20 miles) have been completed.  Pacers are not allowed for 50K, 30K, or half marathon runners, unless you have a medical reason and clear it with race management. Pacers run at their own risk and may not carry your supplies.

Bathrooms: There are bathrooms at the start/finish area, Howe Avenue South, Howe Avenue North, and Watt Avenue North.

Traffic: We selected this route to minimize conflicts with cyclists, but there will be bikes and pedestrians on the course. Also, you will be crossing a park road (with occasional cars on it) at Howe Avenue south. Follow the instructions of the course marshals. Please try to be pleasant and aware of your surroundings. When on the paved path, keep to the left.

Safety: It would be difficult (but not impossible) to get lost on this course. If you decide to drop, please inform a volunteer at the start/finish area. If you need to drop out on the course, please proceed to the nearest aid station if possible. Otherwise, we’ll go looking for you. Also, this is not a wilderness area. Occasionally, degenerates and ne’er do wells will show up along the course. Please let a volunteer know if there is someone making you uncomfortable or disturbing you along the course. We’ll have the rangers go check them out.  Do not be shy about this.

Cut-offs: The only enforced cut-off is that you must start your final lap by 4:20. At the discretion of race management, we may pull you sooner if we feel your safety is at risk. Please comply as we do not take this lightly. It will be completely dark by 6:00 and the park closes. (The rangers will be actively chasing us from the park after 6:00 PM.) For the safety of the runners and volunteers, we cannot allow you to continue past this time.

Volunteers: As with any ultra, there are scores of volunteers making this race possible. Be sure to thank them for their help!

Thank you for running the Jed Smith Ultra Classic! We are looking forward to seeing you all this Saturday.


John Blue and Dennis Scott

Race Directors

Buffalo Chips Running Club


Congratulations to all of our runners!

2015 Race Results

Half Marathon Overall
30K Overall
50K Overall
50Mile Overall

Prior year’s results can be found at Capitol Road Race Management.

January 3, 2015

It is a beautiful day here in Sacramento! After those endless storms of last month, we were getting worried we’d be dealing with a high-water event but everything is looking quite good for next month’s races.

The Guy West Bridge got a new coat of red paint this year (technically “International Orange“) so you should enjoy seeing that as you cross the river near Sacramento State University. (I’ll update the photo on the main page–soon.)

The course this year will be the same as last years’ and it looks to be in very good shape. Unfortunately, the levee repair work on the south side of Howe Avenue overpass is still underway. The project was supposed to be completed in the fall of 2013, but now they are projecting a February 28, 2015, completion date. What this means for you is there will likely be a short and simple detour around the construction site.

What this means for us is we have to carefully remeasure the loop and the “make-up distance” for each of the four races. (In case you are curious, Dennis remeasured the loop part of the course this morning and found it to be 7.89 km, or about 90 meters longer than the standard course. )

The course distances will all be accurately measured and configured by race day. However, you should be aware we may not have the time to get all the USATF certification work done before race day February 7th. This won’t affect 99% of the runners, but there may be some folks looking to set an American or possibly even a Canadian record, or trying to get a qualifying time for the US 100K team. Please let me (John) know if this is an issue for you and I’ll let you know the exact status. We’re sensitive to the importance of this, as Jed Smith is typically one of only two certified ultras in California. (The other being Ruth Anderson.)

We’ll have commemorative pint glasses and tech shirts again for all runners.  I think you’ll like them.

The numbers are up again for this year’s race and there should be a very good field for the 50k grand prix event. As always, carpool if you can because we will easily fill the parking lot to capacity. Parking is included in the race fees, but be sure to collect a parking voucher from the volunteer as you enter the park, and place it on your dashboard. You may be cited if you don’t display the parking voucher.

Aside from the timers, this event is put on entirely by volunteers. Please be nice to them and try to follow instructions as best you can. If you’re free that day, come on down and lend a hand!

We hope your training is going well and that you’ll show up on February 7th feeling strong and well-rested.

John Blue



January 19, 2014

It’s looking more like late spring than mid-winter here in Sacramento! The numbers for this year’s race look very good and I expect a solid field for the 50K, and even more runners than last year. As always, carpool if you can because we will easily fill the parking lot to capacity. Parking is included in the race fees, but be sure to collect a parking voucher from the volunteer as you enter the park, and place it on your dashboard. You may be cited if you don’t display the parking voucher.

New for 2014: We’ve added a 13.1 mile “fun run” to the event. They will start with the 30k. We haven’t promoted it at all and want to see if it works with the event. If it goes well, we’ll try to build on it for next year.

We’ve had commemorative pint glasses made for all runners. I think you’ll really enjoy them.

The course: You can look forward to an improved course this year, with a little more dirt per lap and the elimination of that switch-back on the north side of last year’s loop. We haven’t had enough rain for me to evaluate how well the new dirt road will drain when wet, but that doesn’t look like it will be an important detail this year.

Hopefully, your training is going well and you’re going to show up on February 1st feeling healthy and well-rested.


January 26, 2013

The weather forecast for race day is looking perfect for a long run: 65 and partly cloudy. Be cautious as you may find these pleasant temps more taxing than you expect, particularly if you are coming here from a cooler locale.

I’ve had some questions about lodging for the race. A couple of suggestions would be:

Larkspur Landing Sacramento–these are reasonably priced suites located three, easy miles from the venue. From the hotel, take Howe Avenue south to Fair Oaks Blvd east (left). Proceed approximately 2 miles to Watt Avenue. Turn right (south) on Watt avenue and exit at La Riviera.

Comfort Inn and Suites–modestly priced motel conveniently located at Howe Avenue and Highway 50, three easy miles from the venue. From the hotel, get back on highway 50 East, and exit at Watt Avenue north. Proceed north on Watt and exit at La Riviera Drive.

If those don’t suit you, check out the recommendations from Hornet Sports (CSU Sacramento is near the venue.)

See you next Saturday!
January 17, 2013

Prices for registration go up at midnight on the 18th, so don’t wait any longer to register!

If you ran Jed Smith last year, you’ll notice a slight course modification in this year’s race. The Army Corps of Engineers did some levee work and wiped out about 1200 meters of the course. As a result, there will be a little bit more running on top of the levee, and then a short, downhill switchback onto the dirt road.

As usual, parking is dicey (in the main lot) so carpool if you can. Collect a parking voucher on the way into the lot and place it on your dash. We had a couple of people get tickets last year, so be sure to remember this detail. Also, if the lot is full, there is parking out on La Riviera Drive.

We’re working hard to ensure you have the best time possible at this year’s race, and we’re looking forward to seeing you on race day!



November 3, 2012

Registration for the February 2, 2013 Jed Smith Ultra Classic goes live tonight at!

Hope to see you there!


February 5, 2012

A lot of folks brought their “A” game to this year’s race! Holy cow were there some fast times!

Thanks to everyone who pitched in to help make the event a success! We’ve had great positive feedback on the race and I attribute all of this to the volunteers and the amazing weather we enjoyed.

Thanks, also, to all of you who carpooled to the event. If we can keep that up, we can continue to grow this race at this venue.

We hope to see you all again on February 2, 2013!


February 1, 2012

If you are using a GPS or Google maps, use 8731 La Riviera Drive, Sacramento, CA for directions to the venue. Please carpool if possible.


January 30, 2012

I’m happy to announce that the great folks with Team Mad Cat will be serving as your lead bikers this weekend!


January 29, 2012

It looks like next Saturday is shaping up to be a beautiful day! As of now, the long-range weather forecast is calling for some clouds and warm temps for this time of year.

Jed Smith is run on a loop course of around 4.9 miles and there will be at least two aid stations in every lap. The aid station at Howe Avenue on the North side of the river will have water, electrolyte beverage and some light snacks.

The start/finish area aid station will be the most substantial (sandwiches, fruit, etc.). Some hot food (soup, hot dogs) will be available there as the day progresses. We generally don’t fire up the stove until around 10:00 because no one is looking for hot soup until after they’ve been running a few hours.

The electrolyte will probably be GU2O and we’ll try to have some gels for you. If you want a specific food or electrolyte, you should bring it yourself.

Jed Smith has a long tradition of allowing runners to set up their own mini aid stations near the start/finish area. This venue will accommodate this. If you are unable to park right along the course, ask the volunteers at registration where you can set up your stuff. There is quite a bit of room right near the start/finish area and we’ll have a designated area for this.

You can also set up a chair or small table behind your car, but please keep any tents out of the course and do not set up a tent in a parking space. Last year, some people set up a tent over their car and had it standing a few feet off the back to get a covered sitting area. That is just fine as long as you can keep it within your parking space.

Please carpool. When you check in at registration, we’ll provide you with a voucher that goes into the envelope and the iron ranger. You need to put the tag from the envelope on your dashboard. The parking lot has about 80 or so paved spaces and it’s looking like the race will have somewhere around 140 runners (plus dozens of volunteers) so car pooling is imperative. There is also a gravel parking area under the Watt Avenue Bridge. Please follow the instructions of the volunteers as they try to pack as many vehicles as possible into this area.

Please carpool if at all possible. If the lot fills, there is parking out on the street and in further down river in the park, but you’ll have to hike (400 meters) in to the starting area and we won’t be able to keep an eye on your car. Please—No RVs. There just isn’t room.

Also, please carpool, if at all possible. Please.

Thanks and we’ll see you on race day!

 John Blue & Dennis Scott, Race Directors


January 22, 2012

Just under two weeks until race day and things are looking good for the event. The numbers are up a bit over the past couple of years and it’s looking like we have a pretty fast field in the 50k and 50 mile races. Expect some impressive times.

With the larger numbers, parking will be a little more challenging. Additionally, there have been some large construction dumpsters hogging a bit of our parking area, so please car pool if possible. We may cone off a couple of spaces near the start/finish so there will be room for everyone to set up a chair or other gear.

We’ve had questions about pacers for the 50-mile race. Pacers are fine–starting with your 6th lap. (After around 25 miles.) That allows for most of the 30k folks to clear the course so it doesn’t get too crowded out there. Pacers cannot carry your stuff during the run. (i.e., No muling.)

It’s been raining the past few days here, but the long-range forecast is clear. The dirt part of the course drains extremely well (it’s packed sandy loam) and if it doesn’t rain for a few days before the race, it won’t be an issue at all.

To get the mileage right, we take you out on a little out-and-back run along a dirt road off the main course. They’ve been doing work on the levees this past summer and Dennis noticed they’d regraded this dirt section so it is much more smooth than last year.

See you in a couple of weeks!



December 31, 2011

We’re a little more than a month from race day! Don’t forget that prices go up for all events tonight, so don’t put off your registration!

We’ve had absolutely no rain this past month so while it’s terrible for everything else, it’s good for running. The course is pretty much bone-dry right now.

Read Jean Pommier’s nice write up about last year’s race. (His headline says 2010, but he’s writing about the 2011 race.)

Happy New Year!



November 26, 2011

It’s hard to believe that 2011 is wrapping up and we’re already planning for our first race of 2012!  This year’s Jed Smith will be pretty much exactly the same as last year, except that this year you’ll all be faster. We’ve confirmed Capital Road Race Management as the timing company, and registrations are already rolling in, so I’m looking forward to a great race.

On-line registration is at A downloadable application is also now available.

I hope to see you there!

John Blue


February 6, 2011

Wow! What a beautiful day! It was a great day to be running around the American River, although it got a little breezy for the folks still running late in the afternoon.

We hope you all had a great time running this year and will be back again next year. Many thanks are due to our fellow Buffalo Chips (and Youth Chips) and the all the tremendous aid station personnel, course marshals, registration, and start/finish line area helpers.

Results are at Capital Road Race Management.

There were a few items left behind. Send us an email at and we’ll see if we can reunite you with your stuff.

The feedback on the course was quite positive and we are planning to use the same one again next year. The 2012 date will be February 4th. We hope to see you there!

January 26, 2011

Things are shaping up nicely for the race. Last week, Dennis finished up and filed the paperwork for the course certification. Jed Smith is now one of only two 50 mile races in California that have been certified under USA Track & Field guidelines. (Ruth Anderson is the other one.)

There will be two aid stations. A large aid station at the start/finish area (every 4.9 miles) and a fluid aid station at the Howe Ave bridge on the north side of the river. Additionally, there are multiple water fountains (and a couple of toilets) along the trail.

Each race will begin with a short out-and-back loop before you start your laps to make up the exact distance for your race: approximately 1.5 miles for the 50 mile race, 2 miles for the 50km, and 3 miles for the 30km. This make up distance will be run along the south side of the river away from the course. You’ll get to the turn around and head back through the start/finish line area and out onto the loop course. It will be well marked, simple, and you won’t get lost.

We look forward to seeing you on race day!

January 20, 2011

I’ve been meaning to put up a “news” page for some time but have been a little preoccupied this year. I’d like to apologize to folks for the nomadic nature of the event over the past couple of years, but it looks like we have a really excellent venue for this and future years.

In crafting the new course, we’ve tried to keep with the tradition of Jed Smith. Namely, we’ve worked hard to keep this a fast course. While there is some dirt, this is not a trail run. It is about 60/40 pavement to dirt, and the dirt portion is smooth and well draining. I ran it a day after we’d had a lot of rain and you’d never know I’d been on dirt at all. There will be a couple of puddles, but you’ll easily be able to run around them.

This will be faster than our historic Gibson Ranch course or last year’s William Pond route. There is no single track and the steepest hill is running down from the Watt Avenue bridge into the start/finish aid station area.

It is our intention that the race continue as a PR type ultra and a likely destination for folks needing a fast 50 mile/100K time to make the 100K National Team.

Please check back here for updates.  Thanks for your patience!

Back to the Jed Smith home page.