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It’s all ‘uphill’ for locals in first event of Winter Trail Run

By Charles Whisnand

Nevada Appeal Sports Editor

Conditions couldn’t have been any better on Saturday morning for the first event in the Winter Trail Run Series being presented by Fleet Feet.

At least that was the opinion of 24 hearty souls (and two dogs), who took to a 3.4-mile trail behind Western Nevada College. And a challenging trail it was, with the first half mile consisting of a 600-foot climb that went virtually straight up on something that sort of resembled a goat trail.

But the runners didn’t mind as they were all willingly bundled up, braving the wind and a trail that had just a smattering of snow at 8 a.m.

“We were hoping for somewhere between 20 and 30 for the first race, so we’re right on track,” said Scott Keith, owner of Carson City’s Fleet Feet.

And Keith said the conditions for a winter race were just right.

“This is perfect,” Keith said. “This is perfect conditions for a winter race, a little wind, dusting on the ground. So do a hardcore climb and get it done.”

Runners ranging in ages from 10 to 62 ran in the event. There was also a 1-mile fun run option for the six runners ages 13 and under in the race, but none of them chose that option, opting instead to run the more difficult 3.4-mile event.

Thirteen-year-old Tony Cacioppo, who finished third, agreed that the conditions were optimal.

“It was pretty cold,” said Cacioppo, a seventh grader at Eagle Valley Middle School. “Colder’s good when you’re running because you warm up fast.”

Cacioppo admitted the 600-foot steep climb to being the race took its toll.

“It was fun but it hurt a lot,” he said.

Like many of the runners, including Cacioppo, overall winner Fred Zalokar had a love-hate relationship with the opening climb.

“It made me want to cry,” Zalokar said. “I hated the climb actually.” But then Zalokar added, “That was fun.”

Considering the opening climb, Zalokar’s finish of 27 minutes, 47 seconds was an outstanding time.

Second-place finisher James Greenwood had similar feelings about the climb and trail as everyone else.

“It was brutal,” he said. “It was awesome. That was a good race, man.”

About the opening climb, Greenwood said, “It was a lot worse than I thought it was going to be. It was challenging to say the least.”

And considering what the forecast was potentially calling for, the conditions were actually a relief to Greenwood. And Greenwood was also glad that the wind wasn’t that bad.

“It was easy to be mentally prepared for what could happen,” Greenwood said. “I’m just glad the wind died.”

Fleet Feet will present three more races, an 8-K at Ash Creek Trail on Jan. 17, a 10-K at Centennial Park on Feb. 21 and a 10-K at Silver Saddle Ranch on March 28.

Cost for each race is $15. The events are free for those 12 and under. Registration for the races can be done at Fleet Feet.

Registration and packet pickup can be done from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the Friday before each race. There will be no registration the day of the events.

Sponsors of the races include Saucony, Ascent Physical Therapy, Sole, Injinji and Kahtoola. Funds raised through the series will be used for Carson City Open Space projects.