Local runners stand out at Truckee Running Festival
Local athletes defended home turf last weekend at the annual Truckee Running Festival, taking podium finishes in several divisions at Riverview Sports Park on June 3.
Hundreds turned out to the festival to compete, support athletes and help raise funds for the nonprofit, Girls on the Run — Sierras.
The event marked the first of the year for race organizers Big Blue Adventure, and is the main fundraiser for Girl on the Run – Sierras, which works to encourage girls through interactive lessons, dynamic discussions and running games.
The half marathon began early Sunday morning under cool temperatures as runners made their way out toward the Waddle Ranch Preserve. The last few miles proved challenging, according to several runners, with temperatures warming and the course transitioning from single track to pavement and sand.
“At the end — the pavement and the heat — I felt it, but everything else was good,” said Donatas Ereminas, who took second overall in the half marathon with a time of 1 hour, 26 minutes, 3 seconds.
Ereminas, 36, said he’s lived in Truckee the past 16 years, and originally came to the area as a student from Lithuania.
“I loved it,” said Ereminas on studying in the Truckee-Tahoe region. “I went back home and decided I wanted to come back.”
Sunday’s race is the third time Ereminas has competed at the Truckee Running Festival. He was the overall winner in 2014 and finished in second place in 2015.
“I love competing here,” he said. “I love the people.”
Bret Sarnquist, 40, of Silver City, New Mexico was this year’s overall champion with a time of 1:25:05. Helen Mino Faukner, 25, of Redding, was the women’s winner with a time of 1:35:24. Tahoe City’s Kristin Walstad took third place in the women’s division and first in the 45- 49-year-old division with a time of 1:41:32.
For a good cause
Truckee’s Carol Lindsay, 66, runs the route to the Waddle Ranch Preserve frequently, but said she’s never competed at the Truckee Running Festival.
“I run this (course) all the time, and I thought, it’s a good cause — Girls on the Run,” said Lindsay. “So I thought, might as well pay some money, and do the run that I do all the time.”
Lindsay was the only racer in the 65-69 age group, and crossed the line with a time of 2:29:30.
“They did a really good job coordinating everything,” she said on the event. “The course was really well marked. The hardest part is the pavement and the sand coming back. It’s not that hard, it’s just mental.”
Other local age-group winners included Truckee’s Kristy Oriol in the 30-34 division with a time of 2:19:55, and Roger Pynappel, of Truckee, in the men’s 55-59 age group with a time of 1:54:12.
10K and 5K races
The day’s festivities also included a 10-kilometer race, a 5-kilometer race, and a children’s race.
Carson City’s Jacob Operskalski, 30, took the win in the 10-kilometer distance with a time of 40:42. Incline Village’s Sarah McMahon, 46, was the women’s champion, crossing the finish line with a time of 47:11. Truckee 15-year-old, Hana Mazur, finished in third place overall on the women’s side with a time of 50:23.
Dave Martini, 61, of Truckee, was the top local on the men’s side and first place out of the Senior Grand Masters division with a time of 49:58.
In the 5-kilometer race, Truckee’s Melissa Curley, 37, was the fastest local of the day crossing the line with a time of 24:37 for second place on the women’s side. She was also first in the 35-39 women’s division. Holan Quinn, 11, of Truckee was the fastest local on the men’s side, finishing in seventh place with a time of 26:17. Quinn was also second in his age group. Truckee’s Samantha Skillicorn, 10, won her age group with a time of 37:49; also from Truckee, Margaret Skillicorn, 48, was first in her age group with a time of 37:55; Incline’s Kennedy Cohn, 19, won her division as well with a time of 29:43; Tracy Cohn, 50, of Incline Village, was first in the 50-54 women’s race with a time of 29:05; also out of Incline Village, Jim Kaplan was first in the men’s 45-49 division with a time of 39:30; Truckee’s Karen Mazur, 60, was first in her age group with a time of 32:41.
Big Blue Adventure will be at it again next Sunday with the Squaw Valley Half Marathon and Run to Squaw 8 Miler. The half marathon begins and ends at The Village at Squaw Valley, and follows the Truckee River Bike Trail toward Tahoe City. The 8-mile course begins at Commons Beach in Tahoe City, and ends at The Village at Squaw Valley.
For more information or to register, visit BigBlueAdventure.org.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at email@example.com.