Four ultra-distance athletes who share a passion for history will honor the lives and courage of the Donner Relief Party members.
Bob is founder and managing partner of The Mustang Group, a Boston-based private equity firm established in 2003. Prior, he was on the entrepreneur as a founder, CEO and management member of numerous media, telecommunications and software companies. Now he splits his time with non-profits and as a mentor to young entrepreneurs. In April, 2020, he was elected president of Swiss-based International Trail Running Association (ITRA), the largest trail running community in the world.
Bob is the recipient of several awards including: Entrepreneur of the Year, Young President’s Award, Information Week Top 10 Executive, Red Herring’s Top 100 Technology Leaders and Info World’s Rainmaker of the Year. Before there were blogs and digital media – yeah, he’s that old – Bob was featured on the cover of Information Week, infoWorld as well as in numerous stories and profiles including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Economist, Fortune, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Barron’s, Inc. and appearances on CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, Bloomberg and CBS News.
Bob’s passion for risk taking extends to his athletic hobbies, most notably ultra-running. He’s completed more than 200 endurance events, including Western States and Hardrock 100 mile endurance runs, several 200+ mile mountain runs as well as the famed Tor des Geants in the Italian Alps and numerous self-directed wilderness adventures. He led and grew the Trail Animals Running Club, the largest trail running club in the country.
Bob and his wife of 40 years, Marcy, live along the American River in Fair Oaks, California, whose tributaries include the North Fork of the American River. When not with their children (two sons) and grandchild, they travel the world and explore the U.S. in their small van, Sunvanir.
Tim Twietmeyer is an ultra-distance runner and an engineering manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, in Roseville, Ca. He is best known for his five victories and unprecedented 25 sub-24 hour finishes at the 100-mile (160 km) Western States Endurance Run. He has also qualified and participated as an age-grouper (50+) at the Ironman World Championships in Kona.
As an endurance runner, Twietmeyer is the only person to have completed the Western States Endurance Run 25 times, each in under 24 hours. His five WS100 victories came in 1992, 1994–1996, and 1998. In 2003, he completed an unprecedented 15 consecutive top-five finishes.
Tim has served more than 20 years on the board of trustees and is a current vice president of the Western States Endurance Run Foundation.
Beyond his WS100 exploits, Twietmeyer has won the Eagle 100-mile (160 km) Run in Canada, and completed the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc through France, Italy, and Switzerland. He has completed more than 200 marathon and ultra-distance races.
Outside formal competition, in 2004 Tim led the first “winter crossing” of the Western States Trail, following the trail from Squaw Valley to Auburn as did many of the gold miners back in the day. He followed that in 2006, becoming the initial Fastest Known Time setter for the 168-mile Tahoe Rim Trail, arriving back in Tahoe City in 45:58. In 2008, following in the spirit of the 4-day Capitol-to-Capitol horse ride, Tim ran from Carson City, Nevada to Sacramento, California in 43:30.
Tim and his wife, Kathy, have three sons and reside in Auburn, California.
Jennifer Walker Hemmen is ultra-distance runner and mother of three from California. She manages a small environmental permitting company , focusing on conservation projects in California that benefit endangered species, habitats and water quality. Her passion is any type of adventure in the mountains, but especially mountain trail races. She has completed over fifty ultra trail races from 50 to over 100 miles, including a silver buckle 15th place finish at Western States 100, Bear 100 and Bighorn 100.
In 2019, she was selected to compete in the EcoChallenge Fiji, a 640 kilometer adventure race known as the “world’s toughest race” requiring outrigger canoe, mountain biking, climbing and swimming as well as jungle navigation. Since then, she has entered the new world of adventure racing and signed up for her first 6 hour “sprint” adventure race in Bend, Oregon with an all-female team and has applied to EcoChallenge Patagonia 2021 with a team of ultrarunners and adventure racers who call themselves “Team American River” due to their close relationship to the American River watershed.
She began her adventures in high school with her first big expedition as a teenager heading out on giant wooden snowshoes into the winter wilderness of the White Mountains, spending 14 days moving deeper into the mountains. Halfway through, she was left alone for 3 days on a stream with a little food and a journal. It was so fun and soul-changing, it led her to leading month-long Outward Bound trips, running an outdoor program for teens, living in Madagascar, trekking in India and Nepal, and 15 years of endurance mountain trail racing. She has climbed, mountaineered, run and paddled throughout the United States.
While she had always loved being in the wilderness, it is only a hobby for Jennifer, who spends most her time raising her three kids, Sophia, George and Willem, ages 17, 15 and 10 as well as keeping up with three cats and her best fur friend, Loki, a red heeler-pointer who loves to run all day. She and her husband Travis have been renovating their home for three long years.
Jennifer, Travis and their family call home Fair Oaks, CA, living along the American River.
Elke Reimer is an ultra-distance runner, backpacker, trail steward, and mother of two from California. She is an onboarding coach for Riskalyze, and also volunteers as a sawyer and trail steward with the Western States Trail Foundation and the Pacific Crest Trail Association.
Her passions include climbing peaks, with a fondness for those in the High Sierra, as well as running trails all over California. Her first solo multi day trip was the John Muir Trail in 2013. She embarked on her first multi day winter trek in 2017, snowshoeing from China Wall (Foresthill) to Olympic Valley. Elke’s summer weekends are spent backpacking and discovering the backcountry of the California mountains. She has completed 40 ultras from 50k’s to 100 miles since her first trail race in 2005, including Western States 100. Prior to trail competitions, she enjoyed racing 5k’s, 10k’s, half marathons and marathons, as well as a few triathlons.
Elke resides in Auburn close to the trails she loves, along with her cattle dog and mountain companion, Lupine Sierra.