Truckee’s Firecracker Mile Fun Run draws large turnout |

Truckee’s Firecracker Mile Fun Run draws large turnout

Mark Nadell / macbethgraphics.comRunners bolt from the start of the Firecracker Mile Fun Run on Donner Pass Road this past Monday, the Fourth of July. More than 300 people took part in the 1-mile race, which serves as a fundraiser for Auburn Ski Club's Junior Nordic teams.

Chris Badolato of Reno raced to a first-place finish among 325 participants in the annual Firecracker Mile fun run on Monday.

The 1-mile race starts in front of Tahoe Forest Hospital and ends in Downtown Truckee, across from the train station. It serves as a fundraiser for Auburn Ski Club’s Junior Nordic teams.

Badolato, 34, took the win in 4 minutes and 25.7 seconds, which was about a second faster than the 25-year-old Stonewall Skinner of Truckee, who was runner-up in 4:26.8.

In a photo finish just behind Badolato and Skinner, 2010 Truckee High grad Chris Gallagher placed third overall alongside fellow Truckee competitor Joey Kochiacs, 22. The pair finished neck-and-neck, with Gallagher edging Kochiacs, 4:29.6 to 4:29.9.

Claire Green of Louisville, Colo., finished first among women and 12th overall in 5:12.1, while Tina Oprean of Truckee was the second woman and 14th overall finisher in 5:15.8.

Truckee’s Gretchen Brugman, only a week removed from competing in the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, placed third in the women’s field and 19th overall in 5:24.4.

Among other top finishers, John Dewald of Truckee was seventh in 4:46.2 and Ben Grasseschi of Truckee rounded out the top 10 in 4:52.2.

A couple of 2-year-olds, Takuto Saito of Truckee and Caroline McMillan of San Anselmo, marked the youngest finishers and#8212; assisted by parents, of course and#8212; while 75-year-old Joyce Stewart of Menlo Park was the oldest finisher. Stewart placed 281st with a time of 13:23.9.

The event raised about $4,000 to help provide low-cost skiing opportunities for local youth, said Sally Jones, Auburn Ski Club’s Nordic director.

To view photo galleries from the race, go to or

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