Local area runners who are looking for something to do this summer have a good variety to choose from in the next month.
Looking for something flat and relatively fast? The Firecracker 10K and 2-mile Run will be held on Friday, July 4, at Riverview Park in Carson City. The race starts at 8 a.m. and the entry fee is $20 (if received by Monday, June 30). Proceeds from the event benefit American Legion Capital Post 4 to support youth and community programs in the Carson City area.
The next day, on July 5, trail lovers and mountain climbers can try out the 28th annual Ponderosa Ridge Run, a 9.5-mile run that challenges participants with a course that climbs nearly 2,000 vertical feet to its summit. Low key, the race entry fee is only $1 and the only awards are ribbons presented to all finishers -- inscribed with the word "Survivor." The toughness of the course can be gauged by last year's race, won by Keith Norberg of South Lake Tahoe in one hour, 35 minutes, 14 seconds.
The race, hosted by the South Tahoe Track Club, starts at 10 a.m. from the Spooner Summit maintenance station located on Highway 50, a quarter-mile west of the Highway 28 junction. The course follows a fire access road across the mountain tops and finishes at the end of North Benjamin Drive, located off Kingsbury Grade.
More challenging yet is the third annual Tahoe Rim Trail 50/50 on July 19. The Tahoe Rim Trail event features 50-kilometer and 50-mile races, starting at 6 a.m. (an early bird start is available at 5) from Spooner Lake State Park. The elevation gain/loss is 6,895 feet for the 50K and 9,894 feet for the 50-mile course. The course tops out above 9,200 feet at Snow Valley Peak.
Despite the difficulty, the scenic views explain why the Tahoe Rim Trail 50/50 attracts runners from all over the country, and already has entries from Canada.
A field of up to 350 entrants is expected, including entries from Canada, according to Kevin Bigley.
"It's a popular race. Tahoe's a destination area and I think that draws a lot of people," said Bigley, who serves as co-race director with Dave Cotter. "Some of the views are incredible. You get up there between Hobart Road and Tunnel Creek and you can look down on Marlette Lake and Lake Tahoe, it really is spectacular."
Po Adams of Carmichael, Calif., is entered in the 50K for the third year in a row, and she's 79 years old. Adams finished her Tahoe Rim Trail run last year in a time of 12 hours, 3 minutes and 11 seconds.
The event is hosted by the Tahoe Mountain Milers and Carson City-based Sagebrush Stompers running clubs. For more information, call (530) 541-5122.
Last year's Firecracker Run attracted a field of 120 runners and walkers, including a fast 10K field. Mike Fretz of Edmonds, Okla., won the the 10K in a record time of 35 minutes, 12 seconds on a course that covers dirt trails through Riverview Park and along the Mexican Ditch Trail. Fretz won with a lean at the finish over Chad Sanada, a 2001 Galena High graduate who went on to Southern Utah. Janine Stone of Carson City also set a course record of 13:47 in the women's 2-mile last year.
Looking ahead on the calendar, the Lunar Lunacy 10/5K Run and 5K Walk will be held on Saturday night, July 26, starting and finishing at Lampe Park in Gardnerville. The event is hosted by the Douglas County Parks and Recreation Department.