Roosen relishing each run

Alta resident embracing the journey as he prepares for his 100-mile debut on Saturday
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Paul Roosen enjoys taking in the beautiful scenery and challenging himself as he hits the trail to prepare for ultramarathons. But perhaps the biggest benefit of his hobby comes when he returns to his job at Carpe Vino in Oldtown Auburn. “I eat like a pig,” Roosen admitted. “You’re burning about 800 calories an hour when you’re out here (running), so you have to take in a lot.” Roosen will be well-fueled when he takes on the Western States Endurance Run for the first time next Saturday. A self-described “middle of the pack” runner, Roosen will be attempting 100 miles on foot for the first time. He competed in several 50-milers in the 1990s, but took 10 years off from the sport to spend more time with his children. Trevor is now 15 and Madison is 13. “This is a dream of many ultrarunners, to run Western States,” Roosen said. “It’s a bucket list thing for me. In the world of ultrarunning it’s the pinnacle. It’s one of the most challenging courses around and it has such a rich history. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m like a horse in the starting gate, ready to go.” The Alta resident said he’s dedicating the race to his father, also named Paul. A retired Major in the Marine Corps, Roosen is inspired by his father’s brave spirit. “He’s my inspiration and my lifetime hero,” Roosen said. While most people cringe at the thought of running a marathon-plus, Roosen said it’s the one athletic endeavor that he could master with relative ease. “I discovered running by process of elimination,” he said. “The one thing I do have is endurance. I’m not fast by any means, but I’ve never had a DNF (did not finish). It’s been a great sport for me. I’ve met some incredible people.” The 49-year-old said he’s enjoyed getting to know several local runners on the vast trail system around Auburn. He ran into Loomis’ Bill Rose on a run and the two struck up a friendship. Rose, a two-time Western States finisher, plans to pace Roosen from Foresthill on Saturday and into Sunday. “Everybody brings their athleticism and training to the sport, but what sets Paul apart is his mental attitude,” Rose said. “He’s just relaxed. He runs as if it’s a gift to be out there and it’s a good way to approach it.” Rose is confident that if things go right, Roosen can make the journey from Squaw Valley to Auburn in less than 24 hours. Roosen said he will be thrilled with any finish under the 30-hour cutoff. He finished the Miwok 100-kilometer run last month in 12 hours, 58 minutes. Living in Alta, Roosen is accustomed to the heavy snow the Western States runners will contend with for the first 30 miles, or more. But he’s hoping he can cruise through it, unlike the cars on Interstate-80 when snow hits Donner Pass. “I know if there’s chain control at Applegate, it’s going to take me about 2 and a half hours to get home from Auburn,” he said.