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  • Autumn Payne / apayne@sacbee.com

    The back decks
    Tim and Kathy, enjoy a wraparound deck on the first floor off the kitchen and a smaller porch jutting from a sliding glass door off the master bedroom. Both afford sweeping views.
    Tim: "We'll come out here, have a glass of wine and read. Downstairs, out back, we'll bring out the barbecue. This was one of the real drawing cards of this place. When you like being outside, you don't want to be all cooped up. This used to be all open (space) behind us, until they put this cul-de-sac. (But) it's not in the way of our view. It's kind of a nice balance of being in a neighborhood with people and having open space. Plus, on the Fourth of July, we can see four or five different fireworks shows from here."

  • Autumn Payne / apayne@sacbee.com

    The Western States bling
    The family is justifiably proud of Tim's accomplishments, but the trophies and other hardware are relegated to Matt's old room. (Matt is away at grad school.) Most prominent is the collection of 25 "finishers" belt buckles from Tim's 25 Western States runs, ending in his retirement in 2006. Two of his five winner's trophies (sculptures of a cougar) are on a shelf; the other three are at Tim's parents' house in Rocklin. A friend of Kathy's made the quilt out of Tim's old Western States T-shirts.
    Tim: "The most interesting part is that the wood (upon which the buckles are mounted) came out of the house that was the stagecoach stop in Michigan Bluff (along the historic Western States Trail). They presented that to me at the awards ceremony. It was pretty cool. These are all hand-stamped by the Comstock guys in Carson City."

  • Autumn Payne / apayne@sacbee.com

    The mural
    Kathy's friend Michelle Coakley, an artist who died nearly two years ago from leukemia, was enlisted to do "something" with an 8-foot curved wall near the kitchen. The result is a gauzy, bucolic scene of a vineyard, rows of grapes with a villa in the background.
    Tim: "It was hard to decorate. She came down and painted this by hand. We love it. I have zero art talent, can barely draw a stick figure, and I'm sitting there watching (Coakley) and saying, 'How can you do that?' She comes up with this Tuscan vineyard. It's crazy good. We've had it for about eight years. I can't remember what we had up there before that. It's hard to put picture frames on a curved wall."

  • Autumn Payne / apayne@sacbee.com

    The wedding wall
    Tim and Kathy's wedding photo hangs in the center of a nexus of wedding photos from both branches of the family, some in fading sepia tones. Had it not been in black and white, Tim could be mistaken for his father, Dick, in his wedding photo with Tim's mother, Grace; the resemblance is that striking.
    Tim: "This was Kathy's idea to put up all the family, kind of connect the generations. That's her great-grandmother's (wedding) picture there. At one time, we had five generations alive. We have a photo of them all together (at the top of the stairs) when Matt was just a baby. That's a great picture."

  • Autumn Payne / apayne@sacbee.com

    The running gear
    Relegated to the garage are years of Tim's old salt-encrusted running gear, including scores of size 13 shoes, hydration packs, jackets, stacks of spare insoles, bottles, belts and arm warmers. In another alcove rests his cycling gear, including a gleaming Felt F-2 road bike. Twietmeyer commutes to work in Roseville, 20 miles one way, by bike almost every day.
    Tim: "You've got road shoes, trail shoes, foul-weather shoes, shoes you are about ready to throw out but want to get one more run out of them ... . I have so many because for a while there I had a sponsorship with (outdoor gear and clothing maker) The North Face. So I'd do product testing on hydration packs, fanny packs and shoes. It was fun testing products and trying new things."

More Information

At Home With: Ultramarathoner and Western States record holder Tim Twietmeyer

Published: Saturday, Jun. 1, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 4CALIFORNIA LIFE
Last Modified: Thursday, May. 22, 2014 - 9:17 pm

For a guy who pines for the outdoors and spends large swaths of time running the wild and scenic trails of the American River canyon, ultramarathoner Tim Twietmeyer's home in Auburn looks downright civilized.

It's a handsome gray two-story, five- bedroom ranch house built in 1989, part of a development featuring custom and standard units. The front yard, lawnless, is immaculately landscaped with native plants and trees encircling a stately, many-branched heritage oak.

Twietmeyer's wife of 27 years, Kathy, has given the interior a warm, homey feel. Five generations of family wedding photos are mounted along the spiral staircase, a mural of a Tuscan vineyard graces a curved wall connecting the kitchen and family room, and an expansive wraparound redwood deck affords views of the canyon below, Folsom Lake in the distance and, on clear days, Mount Diablo.

This may not be the dwelling some would expect for a man who enjoys playing in the dirt, an elite athlete who has won the prestigious Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run five times and holds the record for 25 finishes done in under 24 hours. He now is vice president of the board of trustees for the race, which starts June 29 in Squaw Valley and ends at Placer High in Auburn.

Then again, would you expect Twietmeyer, 54, to live like an ascetic Grizzly Adams figure in a yurt down by the river?

But when Twietmeyer, a research and development project manager at Hewlett-Packard in Roseville, starts to tell tales of animal encounters at the family homestead lo these past 24 years, you realize this is not such a tame, sedate place, after all.

"We get bears," he said. "They know the garbage schedule. We've got (the yard) cycloned (fenced) so we can see through it, but the bears just climb over. It's funny. Two of the times I've had really weird things going on in my yard, I was on the phone with work. I'm like, 'Wait a minute, I gotta put the phone down. I've got a bear in my oak tree.'

"We get rattlesnakes and deer, too. One of the first times, before we put up the fence, there were two bucks right out back, bucking it out in front of us. I'm like, 'What's that noise?' "

Location is what drew the family to Auburn from Citrus Heights, where Twietmeyer originally settled after college at Chico State.

"The trail is, literally, a quarter-mile away," he said. "In three minutes, I'm on the trail and gone. (I) can run all the way to Tahoe if I want. You can't ask for anything better."

So, yeah, Twietmeyer is fully domesticated. He gives credit to Kathy, who over the years kept the house stylish despite raising three boys (Matt, 23; Trevor, 21; and Austin, 19) and a husband who likes to bring part of the trail home with him.

What you won't see, however, is a shrine to Twietmeyer's long career as an ultra runner. As Kathy joked, "We don't have a dedicated shrine to Tim, because in our house he is just my husband and a shrine clashes with my decorating themes."

Call The Bee's Sam McManis, (916) 321-1145 Follow him on Twitter @SamMcManis.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Sam McManis



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