Going to extremes

The extreme determination of endurance athletes, our podcast goes to happy hour, 50 years of Davis and Sacramento food co-ops, Evil HR Lady & more

Back By Vanessa Labi

By: Vanessa Labi

Have you ever thought, after a friend tells you they’re training for a marathon, how do they do it? What if they told you they were preparing for an ultramarathon, the nonstop, 100.2-mile race that spans canyons and mountain trails and stretches well through the night? How do they find the motivation and the time? And how is it that many of these dedicated individuals are busy parents and successful professionals?

Michael Morales, of Portland, 52, finishes the Western States Endurance Run less than seven minutes before the 30-hour cutoff time to be eligible for a medal. (Photo by Steve Martarano)

To seek out the lure of these gnarly endurance races, contributing writer Graham Womack drove deep into the forest outside Auburn for the Western States Endurance Run ultramarathon. He reports on the driving force that fuels extreme athletes, what can go wrong and what it takes to finish. 

Here’s the latest Capital Region Rundown:

The “hippie-dippie” Sacramento and Davis food co-ops both celebrate 50 years of their farm-to-fork, consumer-driven movement; we go off the beaten track to an Auburn gold mining supplies shop with a three-generation mining legacy; extreme athletes trail through Truckee for North America’s holy grail of ultra running; we hit Canon’s happy hour for a podcast chat with two leaders featured in our Young Professionals issue; a UC Davis startup develops products that use breast milk components to treat bacterial infections; and a frustrated manager writes to Evil HR Lady about having to share managing duties with a colleague that has a completely different management style.

Recommendations from our editors:

In this section we editors share what we’re reading, listening to, watching or even eating. Here’s what we’re consuming this week:

Vanessa: I used to live two blocks from the Sunday Farmers Market when it took place under the freeway just below Southside Park; I loved walking to the bustling event every weekend. In 2021 the market moved to the parking lot on the northeast side of the Arden Fair Mall, and last Sunday I finally made it out there. It was great to see all the same vendors — the apple-and-citrus guy shouting his closing time deals and the cactus lady displaying her latest prickly assortment. I took home a variegated bougainvillea plant for the yard, and some outstanding stone fruit from Ferrari Farms. Go check it out if you haven’t already!

Jennifer: One of my favorite podcasts, Slate’s “Decoder Ring,” is back for a second season of exploring the human experience through fads and cultural touchstones. I loved the recent episode “The Most Famous Poet No One Remembers,” about one of the best-selling poets of all time (I bet you can’t name him) and how his rise and fall mirrored the ways culture changed in the latter half of the 20th century.  

Judy: I entered “The Secret Garden” last night, a charming, lovely play put on by Broadway Sacramento. I hadn’t read the book nor did I know the story, so I let it unfold and carry me away with incredible performances by the child actors and soaring vocals. Music Circus is a summer Sacramento treasure and I enjoy going each year. (This year saw its return after a three-year absence due to the pandemic.) Up next, “The Color Purple.” 

Odds and ends

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