300-plus participate in annual Firecracker Mile | SierraSun.com

300-plus participate in annual Firecracker Mile

Sylas Wright/Sierra SunJustin Thomas of Reno (bib 275) leads Truckee's Zach Yeager (343) and Chris Gallagher (34) into the finish of the Firecracker Mile on Sunday. The three runners finished second, third and fourth, respectively, behind Trevor Dunbar of Alaska. To view a photo gallery from the race, go to www.sierrasun.com/firecracker2010.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; From the serious-minded competitor to the non-runner-type simply racing for a good cause, the concept of a and#8220;fun runand#8221; varies greatly among those who sign up for the annual Firecracker Mile.

No matter how they finished this past Sunday, however and#8212; gung ho or in cruise control and#8212; the 300-plus participants who made the fundraiser a success beamed with satisfaction just the same as they mingled in the streets of downtown Truckee after the race.

and#8220;It’s one of the coolest races in Truckee because so many different types of people show up for it and#8212; kids, some really fast runners, Nordic skiers, age-group runners, everyone,and#8221; Truckee’s Gia Mandy said of the Firecracker Mile, part of the Truckee Fun Run series.

and#8220;And the thing is, you can’t rule anyone out because a mile is so darn fast.and#8221;

Mandy, never one to be ruled out of a foot race, took on her second-ever Firecracker Mile with a race-to-win mentality. It worked out for her, as the 31-year-old placed first among women (10th overall) with a time of 4:54.3, which easily beat last year’s winning time of 5:04.1.

and#8220;I didn’t have a specific time in mind, but I was hoping I could run around 4:55,and#8221; Mandy said.

Trevor Dunbar of Kodiak, Alaska, captured the overall win in the race, which started outside US Bank on Donner Pass Road and ended in front of the train station. Flanked by walls of cheering spectators lining the downtown streets, Dunbar, 19, coasted into the finish area by himself with a time of 4:17.5.

About 13 seconds back, a trio of runners battled it out for the second position. Justin Thomas of Reno took it with a strong final kick, posting a time of 4:30.8. Zach Yeager of Truckee, sporting red, white and blue Speedos for his run, finished third in 4:31.6, while recently graduated Truckee High track and cross-country standout Chris Gallagher was right on his heels in 4:32.8. Truckee’s Duke Bristow, also donning patriotic Speedos for the occasion, rounded out the top five, posting a 4:39.2.

Anna Breetan of Novato was the second woman (12th overall) with a time of 5:00.2, and Leigh Moffett of Friant was third (20th overall) in 5:22.1. Kara LaPoint of Truckee finished fourth (21st overall) with a time of 5:25.6 while Lucia Lake, also of Truckee, rounded out the top five in 5:28.7.

A total of 320 people are listed as finishing the race, the highest number since becoming a fundraiser for Auburn Ski Club’s Nordic teams three years ago, said event organizer Sally Jones.

and#8220;This event is back on the map,and#8221; said Jones, who estimates the race raised about $4,000 this year. and#8220;It’s exciting to see the numbers grow back to the race’s former glory, and with such a rich mix of fast runners, kids of all ages running, and strollers, too.and#8221;

The youngest competitor was 2-year-old Anya Brown of Truckee (with some help from her parents in a stroller), while 74-year-old Wayne Browning was the oldest. Browning finished in a respectable 9 minutes, 33 seconds.

The next race on Auburn Ski Club’s calendar of Truckee Fun Runs is The Squaw Mountain Run on Saturday, Aug. 7. See http://www.truckeefunrun.com for details.

To view a photo gallery from the 2010 Firecracker Mile, go to http://www.sierrasun.com/firecracker2010.

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