FKT: Rob Peters - Folsom Lake Circumnavigation (road) (CA) - 2021-10-24

Route variation
Standard Loop
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
7h 46m 28s

Hi all, I do NOT recommend this route unless you want to have a lot of cars passing by you without much room. There was a lot of traffic for most of the route on a Sunday afternoon. I am thankful my crew and I made it safely. I was scheduled to do the inaugural Ironman California on Sunday 10/24/21. They cancelled it Sunday morning about 30 minutes before the scheduled start because of the unprecedented storms (the "bomb cyclone" with records for 1 day rainfall and 20-30 mph sustained winds). So I wanted to find an alternate challenge to replace the ironman. I traveled to NorCal from Michigan for the Ironman, so I didn't know a ton about the area. This looked reasonable and I figured it would have some decent scenery, and it did. I had been training the last couple months for a perfectly flat course, so I knew my quads would get destroyed running a route with ~4000 feet of descent, but I figured I could survive it and put up an initial time for someone to beat. My wife and sister supported me. I did the first ~2 hours solo. Then my wife biked alongside me until a little after Auburn, CA. Then my sister and wife drove a minivan along the route to keep an eye on me and cheer for me. Once I got my pack refilled with snacks and water from stuff in the van.  My wife walk/ran the last ~6 miles with me. We followed the published gpx. Salmon Falls Rd was pretty nice, because the traffic thinned out a bit. But much of the route had cars passing regularly. There was a paved shoulder a fair bit of the time, but sometimes there was no shoulder at all, and just you in the traffic lane with a rock wall on one side of the road and a metal guardrail on the other side of the road. Luckily, most drivers gave us space, but a couple did not and we got flicked off once. I almost wondered if the person who submitted it did it as a joke. But I know everyone has a different risk tolerance. It was a good challenge for me, especially with the constant downpour, strong winds, and cool temps. One local athlete who found my strava post from the IM Cali FB page said I was an "absolute madman" for running "that section of 49 in Auburn!!" I'm assuming he means that it was crazy to run there where you are essentially on a two lane highway with no shoulder for a good stretch. It was a windy, climb/descent, so the cars were mostly going slowly because of the terrain.