Squaw Valley Mountain Run set for Aug. 5 | SierraSun.com

Squaw Valley Mountain Run set for Aug. 5

Erick Studenicka
and Dave Price
Running columnists

While it may be the dog days of summer for the baseball Giants and A’s, the road racing season for running is heating up and the cross country season is not too far behind.

Start with the 26th annual Squaw Valley Mountain Run on Saturday, Aug. 5. Hosted by the Tahoe Forest Hospital District, this is a highly-challenging, yet scenic, 3.6-mile run and hike that climbs some 2,000 feet, starting at 9 a.m. from Squaw Valley’s base village and climbing to High Camp, at an elevation of 8,200 feet.

Preregistration will be open 6:45 until 8:15 a.m. on race day. In addition to the run and hike, the Nature Valley Walk has been added that will take participants over a variety of trails starting and finishing at the Village at Squaw.

Proceeds go to support Tahoe Forest Hospital’s cancer prevention programs. Go online to http://www.bigblueadventure.com or call 587-3769 for more information.

Runners can still register before July 31 at a reduced rate for the 25th annual Silver State Marathon, Half Marathon and 10-kilometer runs set for Aug. 20 at Bowers Mansion Regional Park in Washoe Valley. The event is one of the most popular on the local circuit and should attract nearly 1,000 runners to the three distance races.

Go online to http://www.silverstatestriders.com/ for more information.

The Delta Saloon in Virginia City is the site for the Silver Run set for 7 a.m. on Aug. 27. There will be both a 10K and 2-mile event, and be ready for some trails and hills in both races.

For information, call race director Sue Moulden at 847-0977.

Two of the most difficult runs in the West, the annual Kirkwood Mountain Run and the 26th annual Tioga Pass, are upcoming on the schedule on Sept. 2 and Sept. 10 respectively. The Kirkwood Run takes place at an elevation of about 7,500 feet, but that pales in difficulty comparison to the Tioga Pass run that covers 12.4 uphill miles and finishes at 9,945 feet. Don’t be upset if you don’t record a personal record in either event.

For information on the Kirkwood run call (209) 258-6000; for info on the Tioga Pass run call (760) 937-4876.

All of those runs promise to be good preparation for the 2006 Pacific Association cross country season that kicks off with the Empire Opener in Sonoma County on Aug. 26 and continues nearly every weekend through Dec. 9, when the USA Club Cross County Championship takes place in San Francisco.

The Bonanza Casino Cavalry charged through Truckee on July 8 en route to a new course record of 18 hours, 33 minutes, 42 seconds in the second annual Reno-Tahoe Odyssey Relay Race Adventure. The runners averaged about 6:15 per mile over the 178 mile-course that started in Reno and ran through Verdi, Truckee, the West Shore of Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, Carson City and Virginia City before looping back to Reno.

The Cavalry beat Movin Shoes of Madison, Wis., for the victory.

No teams listed Carson City as their hometowns, but there were several with Capital City ties. The NDOT Chain Gang was ninth overall with the time of 23 hours, 16 seconds and the Go Guard team was fifth in the corporate mixed division with the time of 30 hours, 3 minutes.

I’ve dabbled in winter biathlon (cross country skiing combined with rifle marksmanship) and summer duathlon (running combined with cycling), but this past week I’ve enjoyed what I’ve labeled as summer-vacation biathlon: running and fishing.

While enjoying some days off camping on the McCloud River near Mount Shasta City, Calif., I was able to catch some trout and also run the Top of the State 5-Mile Race in Weed, Calif. The race coincides with the Weed Carnevale, one of the town’s larger annual festivals.

In the shadow of Mount Shasta, Weed is ideally located for outdoor recreation and has many nice neighborhoods and is also the site of the College of the Siskyous campus. If the city was named Mountain Peak Vista or Shasta Peak Village it would probably be over-run with tourists. (Weed is named for Abner E. Weed, who was born in Maine in 1842 and came to California with his wife, Rachael C. Cunningham, in 1869.)

Anyway, as one might have guessed, the Top of the State Race proved to be both hot and hilly. A slew of local high school cross country runners battled up front while the rest of us in back, about 50 total runners, looked for the crest of the next hill and the water aid stations. The winning time was 29:06 and about a dozen runners broke 35 minutes.

While it wasn’t a particularly memorable course, I had no complaints about my $12 entry fee (about one-half today’s usual entry fee) that included T-shirt, refreshments, medal and free shower in the community pool locker room. As my running/fishing compatriot, Jim, said when he put on his clean T-shirt on and headed back for the trout stream, “You can’t even buy a white T-shirt for $12 anymore.”

Of course, the circa-1985 race entry price probably didn’t offset my gas expenses from Carson City, but I would definitely recommend the event as a destination race for someone wanting to combine some Mount Shasta outdoor recreation with a good summer-time workout.

If running and cross country skiing were ever combined into an Olympic event, we’d likely see Incline Village’s Ed Klotz on the U.S. Team. Klotz, 46, is one of the most consistent skiers on the Sierra Ski Chase circuit in winter and he can also cover ground quickly on bare patches of earth during summer as a competitive runner.

Klotz was in Davis, Calif., on July 9, where he clocked a 6:14 for the annual Fleet Feet Mile. That race is the most prestigious road mile in the Pacific Association. It’s easily one of the toughest races too, as Klotz’s respectable time gave him only the 41st-fastest time recorded in the men’s 40-49 age group.

The fastest time of the day was recorded by Matthew Groose in 4:10. The women’s winner was Johanna Bonfiglio of Folsom in 4:57.

Go to the high school track one night and see how long it takes you to run four laps. Then consider 70-year-old Bernie Hollander of Novato, Calif., ran a 6:46 mile to win his division, or that 64-year-old Melody Anne Schultz recorded a 6:24 to win the women’s 60-plus division.

Erick Studenicka, former sports editor for the Sun and current public affairs sergeant for the Nevada Army National Guard, and Dave Price are running columnists for the Nevada Appeal, the Sun’s sister newspaper in Carson City. They can be contacted at dprice@sierrasun.com or (775) 882-2111, ext. 362.

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