Some Western States Numbers

Now that I have been on the job for four months, I thought it might be fun and informative to share a few numbers with you. These have been some challenging months for me as I try to wrap my head around all the details of the race.

3000 – the number of square feet in our new warehouse in Auburn. This also happens to be the same number of square feet in our old warehouse in Sacramento. Yeah, we got a lot of stuff.

1991 – Page views per day of the new website since the first of the year.

1512 – Volunteer shirts ordered (by our Finish Line Manager) and screen printed. These are in different colors based on groups: Cable Guys, the Cooks, Webcast, Finish Line, SOS Riders, Radio Operators, Medical, Safety Patrol, and Race Officials, each with a unique phrase. If you’re running the race this year, see how many of those phrases you can remember. Yes, there will be a quiz on Sunday.

750 – The value of the two “Western States Determination” award scholarships which will be presented to Placer HS graduating senior athletes who are not necessarily the best players but who showed an incredible work ethic and attitude.

300 – Cubic feet per second below which runners can safely ford the American River. The river flow on race day is controlled at Ox Bow dam which is about 5 water hours upstream. Since we try not to deny the commercial rafters a day of income, we request that the flow be ramped down from 1000 to 300 cfs from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. That means at about 4:00 pm the water will be low enough to safely ford. If you show up before that you might have to go across in the raft.

99 – the PO Box number in Auburn we opened. That’s as close to 100 as I could get.

48 – yards of dumpster space ordered for race day. Four 7-yard dumpsters and one 20-yard dumpster. This has to and will change in the future as our new Green committee looks at our waste stream from start to finish.

35 – portable toilets on race day. This is actually a surprisingly low number of toilets for all the runners, crews, and volunteers we have, but they are delivered to 16 different locations.

29 – the section in the high country the trail goes through near Lyon Ridge that is still privately owned by a timber company from Atlanta, Georgia. We’ve been trying to get them to sell it to us for years. Fortunately, they give us and the Tevis Cup permission to cross their property each year.

25 – the number of aid stations not including the finish line.

21 – the number certificates of insurance (COI) I’ve requested to date from RRCA and USATF for land owners/managers, sponsors, municipalities, schools, homeowner associations, quarry operators, etc. And, I’m not done yet.

18 – the number of Performance Rules we have for runners. It was 17 last year but we recently added number 18.

13 – the number of board members on the WSER Foundation board. We had 10 at the start of the year but added three new ones with lots of energy, enthusiasm, and new ideas: Tia Bodington, Karl Hoagland, Diana Fitzpatrick

3 – the number of days in Tennesse I spent with Barkley Marathons RD Gary Cantrell (a.k.a. Lazarus Lake) where he filled my head with ideas on how to improve Western States. The best ones include bringing back Briar clippings to plant in the high country; getting rid of our aid stations; implementing a variable start time; and considering the first trip to Auburn Loop 1.

1 – the number of forklifts we own. Yep, we have a fork lift that was necessary in our old warehouse. Anybody want to buy a forklift?


The previous RD and his forklift

The previous RD and his forklift


  1. Definitely not enough portapotties – that was always something I thought should be increased when I was working at an aid station. It’s hard on the environment and hard on volunteers – not to mention the runners.

    Fun analysis, Craig. I’ve been wondering how things are going!

  2. Pingback: Daily News, Mon, Apr 29

  3. It’s kicking your ass isn’t it? As you know, at Sonoma they used the “Spire” carry cups, but I used mine once and caught on real quick to just find an opened or unopened can and directly poor into your mouth. I understand that’s what most people went to. Not sure of how you would manage hot soup, which seems to be more critical at States. I think a collapsible camp cup would work better, but what a pain to carry. It will be interesting to see what the Green Committe can come up with. But it sure cuts down on waste.

  4. Being a former wholesale supply and warehouse guru, just gotta say you’re wasting a lot of vertical space in that warehouse! I’ve had a few women tell me the same thing in my days…

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