Western States Endurance Run co-founder Shannon Weil continues trail support
by Traci Newell
Jun 04, 2021 9:00 AM
From one big idea to the next, Shannon Weil has never stopped supporting Auburn’s endurance events since she helped create the first Western States Endurance Run.
This year’s big idea – a 48-feet-by-8-feet poster with past race champions out in front of City Hall – continues Weil’s mission to keep Auburn living up to the title: Endurance Capital of the World, a moniker she coined.
An experienced equestrian, Weil was competing in the Tevis Cup in 1977 while riding beside one of 14 runners partaking in the 100-mile race, which takes place over one day from Tahoe City to Auburn.
“While we were going through Volcano Canyon, I said, ‘This run is going to be a hit, and I’m going to make sure it is,’ ” Weil said.
Partnering with Mo Livermore, Curt Sproul and then-husband Phil Gardner, the “Gang of Four” worked to create the Western States Endurance Run. The event grew from 14 runners in 1977 to 64 the next year with runners from as far away as San Francisco.
Today, the race is considered the premier ultra-running event and hosts 369 athletes from around the world...