Overbay heads pack of 11 Lincoln runners in American River 50
Eleven runners from Lincoln participated in last weekend’s American River 50-mile race and nine of them turned in times good enough to qualify for next year’s Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run lottery.
Four of the runners will be competing in the Western States event this year, Tony Overbay, Jeffery Johnston, Michael Fink and Chris O’Brien. All turned in qualifying times for next year’s lottery as well.
Overbay, 43, led the gang of 11 with a time of 8:11:21. He was the 68th runner to finish out of more than 800 who started the race. Just seven minutes behind Overbay was 43-year-old Chris Perillo who placed 73rd.
“I love this race,” said Overbay who ran the American River 50 for the fifth time. “It is incredibly well organized with volunteers and spectators all along the way.”
The results for the three who will join Overbay in this summer’s running of the Western States 100 were Johnston (93rd, 8:37:47), Fink (144th, 8:57:02), and O’Brien, 56, who turned in a time of 10:50:46.
Johnston, 48, took a remarkable hour and 22 minutes off his previous time in the American River event.
Other Lincoln qualifiers were John Murphy (9:07:06), Nelson Medeiros (9:24:11), Drew Bartlett (10:19:28) and Mallery Buckman (10:42:38). Peter Muir missed by just four minutes crossing in 11:04:14; Kevin Patja recorded 12:01:29.
Overbay was not only preparing for the Western States but also for his 24-hour run to help raise funds for Glen Edwards Middle School. The American River event precedes his fundraising effort scheduled for April 26-27.
“The last three years (American River 50) has fallen three to four weeks from by 24-hour run for GEMS,” Overbay said, “so I view it as a quick look at where I am fitness-wise … . If the past couple of years are any indication, I’m ready to run!”
Overbay covered 122 miles in 24 hours last year and hopes to do 125 miles this time. He begins running at Glen Edwards and then runs over to Lincoln High to finish his run on the track at Edward Alexander Grey Sports Complex. It’s an all-night affair with sponsor’s booths and plenty of food and fun, including a bounce house for the kids.
Overbay’s run concludes at 9 a.m. Saturday. A 5K run follows with T-shirts and bibs for those who sign up.
The American River 50 is the second largest 50-mile run in the country. It is second only to the JFK 50-mile run.