Inaugural Great Trail Race raises $2,000 for Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue | SierraSun.com

Inaugural Great Trail Race raises $2,000 for Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue

Staff report

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — On a sun-drenched Sunday, more than 100 runners, bikers and volunteers converged onto Truckee for the inaugural Great Trail Race, a trail running and mountain biking competition benefiting Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue.

The event is the fall cousin of the storied Great Ski Race, which has raised funds for TNSAR for 39 years. However, with the Great Ski Race getting canceled three of the past five years due to drought impacts, a fall race was created to help ensure the nonprofit, all-volunteer TNSAR is being sufficiently funded.

And despite having to change the course to a Truckee-to-Tahoe City race due to a permitting issue, the first-ever Great Trail Race, produced by Big Blue Adventure, went off without a hitch.

"Participants enjoyed the mild temps and sunshine on their quest to conquer the Truckee-to-Tahoe City race course," said Chris McConnell, president of TNSAR, which is dedicated to locating and recovering lost or injured skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers, snowmobiles, hikers and climbers. "Todd Jackson (of Big Blue Adventure) and team did an awesome job laying out two exciting courses for the race. The Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team reported seeing lots of smiles and racers having a blast along the course."

Indeed, the 19-mile running and biking races received rave reviews from the participants.

"The course was a fun mix of single track and fire road and was very well marked," said Truckee's Audrey Staples, the female winner of the Elite Run Course with a time of 3 hours, 12 minutes and 22 seconds. "It's always exciting to do a point-to-point run, and I loved that they provided a shuttle to the start. As someone who has participated in the Great Ski Race many times, I really enjoyed exploring that terrain in the summer."

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Added Truckee's Jim Meskimen: "I was really impressed with the numbers that turned out for the inaugural event. The large group of elite runners was the biggest surprise."

Reno's Jeff Huxhold finished ahead of the field of 19 elite runners with a time of 2:39.52.

The overall winner of the Elite Bike Course was New Zealand's Braden Currie, who finished in 1:32.13.

"I have traveled for the past fours years to various amazing places around the world searching for the ultimate training ground for the XTERRA World Champs," Currie said. "This year I might have found it — the mountain biking in Tahoe is next level."

At event's end, the Great Trail Race raised $2,000 for Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue.

"TNSAR is excited to be part of this fall event," McConnell said, "and we are looking forward to a big winter and the 40th annual Great Ski Race the first Sunday in March 2017."

More online

Visit greattrailrace.com to learn more about the race and to see full results.

Visit lefrakphotography.com to for more photos from Harry Lefrak from the inaugural event.

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Great Trail Race results

Run – Elite Course, Top 5

1. Jeff Huxhold, Reno, 2:39.52

2. Audrey Staples, Truckee, 3:12.22

3. Nathan Chorey, Tahoe City, 3:18.49

4. Kati Clark, Truckee, 3:35.14

5. Greg Walker, Truckee, 3:37.14

Run – Classic Course, Top 5

1. Scott Montgomery, Truckee, 2:51.50

2. Susan Reynolds, Truckee, 3:05.09

3. JoAnn Ellero, Reno, 3:13.24

4. Andrew Pasternak, Reno, 3:13.24

5. Peter Riebli, San Francisco, 3:20.10

Bike – Elite Course, Top 5

1. Braden Currie, Wanaka, New Zealand, 1:32.13

2. JP Donovan, Incline Village, 1:39.47

3. Wayne Smith, Tahoe City, 1:43.28

4. Dan Ellis, Millbrae, 1:50.43

5. Aaron True, Truckee, 1:53.16

Bike – Classic Course, Top 5

1. Dan Warren, Tahoe Vista, 1:16.45

2. Todd Huckins, Truckee, 1:21.47

3. William Stelter, Tahoe City, 1:23.19

4. John Gross, Carnelian Bay, 1:26.02

5. Tim Myers, Tahoe City, 1:27.16

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