Record 630 runners participate in Firecracker Mile |

Record 630 runners participate in Firecracker Mile

The annual Firecracker Mile fun run before the Truckee Fourth of July Parade draws hundreds of participants of all ages.
Sylas Wright / Sierra Sun |

Truckee’s Firecracker Mile never fails to bring out the masses.

On a warm and sunny July 4 holiday Friday, a record 630 people participated in the annual fundraising race, which starts in front of US Bank and ends 1 mile later along the spectator-lined streets of downtown Truckee.

Andrew Clusserath, 16, of Rocklin claimed the win among the 132 runners in the elite wave, covering the slightly downhill course in 4 minutes, 19.7 seconds.

Clusserath, who used a late surge to earn the victory, was just off the pace set by 2013 winner Nick Fresenko, who finished in 4:18.1.

Donald Bernard, 20, of Reno finished second in 4:20.0, and Germany Tesfai, 22, of Fresno was third in 4:23.4.

Defending Nevada Division I-A state cross-country champion Noah Oberriter, 17, of Truckee was the top local runner, finishing fourth in 4:25.3, while 21-year-old Austin Meng of Truckee placed fifth in 4:30.2.

In the women’s field, Truckee’s Anja Gruber, 23, took the win and was 29th overall with a time of 5:07.4.

Truckee’s Skyler Flora — the two-time defending D-IA state track champion in both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs — finished second in 5:10.5, and Lindsey Adams, 16, of Gardnerville was third in 5:14.9.

Other top local finishes included Spencer Eusden, who was eighth in 4:37.3, Matt Chappell (10th, 4:40.4), Wyatt Honse (11th, 4:41.8), Joe Fillman (15th, 4:54.8), Jay Lennon (16th, 4:57.3), Martin Benes (17th, 4:57.8), Wilson Dippo (19th, 4:59.5), Ben Grasseschi (20th, 4:59.9), Robert McClendan (21st, 5:00.3), Jordan McElroy (22nd, 5:00.6), Peter Carroll (23rd, 5:01.5) and Aaron Deeter (24th, 5:01.9).

Truckee 16-year-old Sam Zabel, meanwhile, placed first among the larger “fun run” wave of participants, posting a time of 5:18.7. Lizzie Larkins of Truckee was the first female racer and third overall in 5:30.4.

The event, which attracted runners of all ages — even infants pushed by their parents in strollers — is organized by the Auburn Ski Club Training Center and supports junior Nordic ski programs in the Truckee/Tahoe area.

Auburn Ski Club will host the 34th annual Squaw Mountain Run on Aug. 2, benefitting its junior Nordic programs and the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center. Learn more at

Find a photo gallery from the Firecracker Mile here and complete race results here.

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