FISH CAMP – The 24th annual Shadow of the Giants 50K run returns on June 8, and organizers bill the event as a “magical run through the beautiful alpine forests of the western Sierra.”
Started in 1990 by Baz Hawley, an avid trail runner for decades, the ultra-distance race takes place just outside of the park and incorporates some amazing scenery.“My 50K course takes you through Nelder Grove where the 3,000-plus year old Giant Sequoias live, always a big attraction year round,” said Hawley.
Hawley decided to combine his love of running and his love of the area to create a race that would be an annual event for ultra-distance runners from California and beyond.
“I started the event when running my B&B in Fish Camp back in 1990. Back then, I was a 100-mile-a-week ultra-runner,” he said.
“I trained in the mountains all the time, and because I already was a race director in Southern California, I decided to plan a 50K event.”
He said that the proximity to Yosemite National Park as well as numerous other area attractions in the region has been a big draw that has brought thousands of runners to the area.
For those who don’t feel up to tackling a 50K race, Hawley has an entire series taking place in the region, and runners may find one that may be a bit easier.
“I started a shorter race series four years ago in the Sierra above Oakhurst, as I wanted to attract Central Valley runners to the magic trails. This year the three-race series starts June 29 with a 14K race starting off Sierra Sky Ranch Road.”
To learn more about the races, interested runners can visit http://www.bigbaztrailraces.com.