Truckee athletes bike to first-place sweep at Great Trail Race |

Truckee athletes bike to first-place sweep at Great Trail Race

Dozens of athletes turned out Sunday to either run or bike along trails between Truckee and Tahoe City, taking part in the fourth annual Great Trail Race.

The competition marked one of the final endurance events of the season, before trails are covered in snow, and bikes and shoes are replaced with skis.

On the 36-kilometer bike course, Truckee’s Matt Seline, 15, took home the first-place finish, reaching the finish line with a time of 1 hour, 38 minutes, 34 seconds. Seline won the 30-kilometer distance last year.

Samantha Shields, 48, gave Truckee a sweep of the top spot on the podium, winning the women’s division with a time of 2:00:04. Sian Turner Crispo, 38, of Truckee, was the second woman on the day, reaching Tahoe City with a time of 2:00:50.

Truckee’s Liesel McAllister, 37, came away with the win on the 30-kilometer bike course, finishing with a time of 1:29:25 seconds to win the overall and women’s title. Reno’s Andre Kuperus, 55, was the top male, finishing with a time of 1:30:43. Ian Hall, 38, of the District of Columbia, was second place in the men’s division with a time of 1:32:29. Truckee’s Lucas Larson, 15, was third with a time of 1:32:58.

On the women’s side, Incline Village’s Nancy Barrett, 62, and Amanda Callaghan, 34, finished second and third, respectively. Barrett reached Tahoe City with a time of 1:49:53, while Callaghan clocked in a second later.

The race on foot also featured distances of 30 kilometers and 36 kilometers. Santi Ortega, 29, of Mountain View, took the men’s title in the 36-kilometer distance, finishing with a time of 2:57:10, followed by Mathew Morris, 23, of Orangeville, with a time of 2:59:25. Truckee’s Jack Macy, 50, was third with a time of 3:04:58.

On the women’s side, Sierra Bowden, 22, of Canton, Michigan, was first place with a time of 3:37:21. Carnelian Bay’s Erica Sonnenberg, 42, gave locals another podium finish, claiming second with a time of 3:39:00.

In the 30-kilometer race, a trio of runners from Reno swept the podium. Daniel Barrett, 36, on the race with a time of 2:18:35. Truckee’s Steve Buelna, 42, was the top local, finishing in fourth place with a time of 2:39:01.

On the women’s side, Lynice Anderson, 51, of Reno, won the race with a time of 2:40:16. Kathleen Ruffle, 48, of Alpine Meadows, was the top local woman, claiming third place with a time of 2:45:06.

The Great Trail Race benefited Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue, and capped off a busy season of competitions for race organizers Big Blue Adventure. During the past few months the company has put on competitions ranging from off-road triathlons and open-water swims to running events and mountain bike races.

“We had a super solid year across the board. All of the events were pretty much up. Some were up just a few dozen people, but a majority were up 50 to 60 (people) to over 100 people in some of them, which is significant for the events we put on,” said Bryan Rickards, director of operations for Big Blue Adventure.

“We’ve had an awesome crew working with us and for us this year. We’re really thankful to get a good crew this year, which really helped with the events.”

Many of Big Blue Adventure’s events for the 2020 season are already open for registration. For more information or to sign up for future races, visit

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at

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