Family fun on the run |

Family fun on the run

Appeal Staff Writer
Greg Lehman, left, runs with his son Caden, 8, of Carson City, during the Jester Jog on Saturday. The eighth annual jog raises money for the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada. BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal

It was perfect running weather according to participants crossing the finish line at Piñon Plaza on Saturday during the eighth annual Jester Jog fund-raiser for the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada.

Most were flushed pink with a combination of exposure to the crisp, snow-sweetened air and physical exertion, but baby strollers and carefree smiles outnumbered sleek running tights and endorphin-tweaked gapes by a wide margin during the friendly competition.

“There aren’t too many running events like this in the area,” said Erin Lehman, Jester Jog organizer – by far the museum’s largest fund-raiser. “We really try to keep the focus on making it a fun day for the entire family, pushing the idea of exercising together. It’s a win-win situation.”

With perhaps the biggest winner being the popular Carson City museum. Lehman reports the race takes in anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000 for the facility’s day-to-day operations.

But without the runners, none of it would happen.

“It’s good to be back out at it,” said perennial Jester Jogger and Justice of the Peace, Robey Willis. Despite having just recovered from a bout of pneumonia, the avid Children’s Museum supporter ran the race in shorts, crossing the line just after running partner, Bill Hartman.

From the jittery green-apple-quickstep power-walker’s stride, the President Bill Clinton-esque low-impact “toe-tread shuffle” to the marathon-style sprint of 10-kilometer winner Fred Zalokar, all running styles were represented.

Zalokar, general manager of the Lake Ridge Tennis Club in Reno, seemed barely winded after completing the 6.2-mile run.

The 44-year-old said he runs between 65-70 miles a week and that he and his wife simply came down from Reno “for a little exercise.”

“It’s a good cause and there are a lot of really great people involved with it,” he added.

Zalokar said the secret is consistency. To make running challenging but to keep it fun.

Steve Roark of Carson ran the 10-kilometer while his daughter ran the quarter-mile “Fun Run” for kids 6 and under.

Roark said he runs five to six times a week and recently lost about 20 pounds doing it. He attributed the weight gain to getting married and eating better dinners.

Inside the Piñon Room, Jester Joggers gathered to pass around congratulations and encouragement and warm up before the start of the awards ceremony and raffle drawing.

Richard Shroy, 13, ran the two-mile race in a champion time of 12:13. He said his pre-race meal used to consist of a Cliff bar.

“Then I got braces,” he laughed.

Now he sticks to hash browns and potatoes. The youngest member of local running group “The Sagebrush Stompers,” Shroy was already looking forward to his next race, the first-ever “Escape from Prison Hill” run to be held in late April.

Jeff Mark, race director of the upcoming event, says it will be a half-marathon (13.1 miles) and those interested can stop by Fleet Feet Sports or go online at for an entry application.

Meanwhile, 3-month-old future competitor, Miles Frewart, kept warm in his jester’s cap with mom, Dee, while waiting for his father, Rick, and his two older brothers to finish the race.

“He’s been running around the table with Mommy,” said Dee, who went on to verify the baby’s gift of speed. “All I have to do is blink and he’s crawled right out of sight,” she laughed.

Well, after all, his name is “Miles.”

n Contact reporter Peter Thompson at or 881-1215.