No time for jokes, got a race to run |

No time for jokes, got a race to run

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal The kids including the jester, Sydney Knorzer, 10, of Carson City, begin the children's run at the ninth annual Jester Jog at the Piñon Plaza Casino on Saturday morning.

Breath hanging in the air and skin dotted with the kiss of the cold, the competitors gathered at the orange line spray-painted across the parking lot of the Piñon Plaza.

Spread out before them was the challenge, the road beckoning them to overcome the distance and beat the clock to claim their prize.

With little fanfare, the starter screamed and the mob was off, barreling forward in a race that would be over in fewer than two minutes. That is, unless they stopped to let their parents take pictures.

Approximately 150 people turned out Saturday morning for some exercise and in support of a good cause at the ninth annual Jester Jog. The event features a one-quarter-mile run for children under 6, a two-mile run/walk and a 10-kilometer race.

The jog is the largest fundraiser for the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada, raising between $8,000 and $10,000 for the museum’s day-to-day operations.

“We are super excited about the turnout,” Maria Pence, museum board president, said. “We continue to grow the event every year even with the rain and snow.”

The morning kicked off with the children’s quarter-mile run, featuring more than 40 energy-laden tikes.

With a time of 1:32 seconds, 6-year-old Adam Maw of Carson City crossed the finish line first. During the race, Maw passed the jester who was serving as the guide to the course.

“It was fun. I just wanted to run fast,” Adam said.

Pence said the children’s run is just one way the museum hopes to make the Jester Jog a more family-oriented event. After the fun run, the children could make jester puppets indoors while their parents tackled the longer runs.

“We’ve learned over the years that if it’s just a training run we can only pull from part of our audience. With a fun run it allows the runner’s families to come out and enjoy it,” Pence said.

The two-mile run/walk had its share of younger participants as well, including 9-year-old Caden Lehman of Carson City.

“I just decided to run and I told myself ‘why not do it.’ I just paced myself and then at the end I ran as fast as I could,” Caden said.

The two-mile run/walk was won by Robert Qualls, 53, of Carson City in a time of 11:20.

The 10-kilometer race, which ran west on Highway 50 East to Saliman Road then south on Saliman to Koontz Lane and back, was won by Dr. Mike Goralka, 38, of Carson City. He completed the course in 34:39.

“I ran it last year and it’s a wonderful run. Plus, I am training for a marathon so it’s good to do,” Goralka said. ” I love running and my wife lets me do it, so why not.”

Pence said the event wouldn’t be possible without the more than 100 sponsors who provided donations and raffle items. She also said that without the Piñon Plaza the event wouldn’t be possible.

“We couldn’t do it without the room, especially when it’s as cold as it is. It just makes it possible for families to come out,” Pence said.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.