Long runs to another Nevada Day title | NevadaAppeal.com

Long runs to another Nevada Day title

Dave Price
Sierra Nevada Media Group

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Nevada Day Run athletes make their way toward the finish line in front of the Carson Nugget on Saturday morning.

Even though Brett Long doesn’t worry so much about setting records when he runs anymore, it seems he is still fast enough to keep winning at the Carson Nugget Nevada Day Classic.

Long cruised to first-place overall in the 8-kilometer race (4.97 miles) for the second straight year on Saturday, however, the 28-year-old Carson City man was simply satisfied to go out for an enjoyable run and to see approximately 300 other runners around him enjoy themselves in an event held to benefit Carson City Special Olympics.

“I’m in it for the fun,” Long said afterward. “I think it’s neat to see everyone come out and be more and enjoy themselves.”

Long ran 28 minutes, 7 seconds over the 4.97-mile loop that finished in front of the Carson Nugget. Fred Zalokar of Reno, the 2004 Nevada Day Classic 8K winner, was second overall in 28:22, Raul Garcia a close third in 28:46 and Dennis Brinson of Carson City was fourth in 29:56.

South Lake Tahoe’s Amy Czesnowski, 25, was the first woman and ninth overall finisher in 33:16. Ann Conlin ran 37:44 to finish as the second woman, nine seconds faster than Deb Zalokar.

Jeff Huxhold, 27, was the overall winner of the 2-mile race in 10:42, just ahead of 16-year-old Jake McCain in second-place with a 10:49 clocking.

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Gloria Sosa, 16, a Carson High junior, was the third overall finisher and first among the women in 12:40 while Ellen Lucas of Gardnerville, 51, was second woman and 10th overall in 13:36.

Sosa, a Carson High junior, placed 11th at the Northern 4A Regional Cross Country Championships on Thursday. McCain placed third for Virginia City High in the Regional 2A boys division.

Also in the 8K Saturday, Kari Sundblad ran 38:55 to finish second in the women’s 25-29 age group, which is noteworthy because she and Long are planning to be married next summer.

“She’s coaching me now,” Long said, flashing a smile. “And that’s how it’s going to work from here on.”

Northern Nevada’s running community is very well acquainted with Long, who was a prep standout at Hug High School in Reno. During his senior season in 1995, he placed second at both the Northern 4A zone and 4A state meets, and later ran four years at Oregon Tech. He finished 25th at the NAIA cross country nationals and fourth in the steeplechase at the track and field nationals as a senior in college.

Long’s winning time on Saturday was nearly a minute slower than his winning time of a year ago and well off the course record of 26:35 he set in 2002. Then again, that was the least of his worries.

“My time’s slipping, but this time of year is difficult,” Long said. “This summer, I was in pretty good shape from a couple of triathlons, but since this I’ve taken some time off to rest.”

Among his achievements from the summer was a top 20 finish in a quality field at the Pacific Crest Half Ironman Triathlon (4:54:16)in Sunriver, Ore., participation in Alpine County’s Death Ride and then a top 20 finish one week after that at the Donner Lake Triathlon.

“I’m still kind of learning what triathlon is all about,” he said. “My swim is still ugly – I’m definitely looking for a coach.”

As for the local runs, those are mostly because he still enjoys the sport.

“By no means am I going to set a course or personal record every time out. You’ve got to pick and choose your battles,” Long said. “Sometimes it’s hard to race when you know you haven’t put in the time and training, but you have to remind yourself that it’s supposed to be fun.”

• Contact Dave Price at dprice@sierrasun.com

Results

8K overall

1. Brett Long 28:07

2. Fred Zalokar 28:22

3. Raul Garcia 28:46

4. Dennis Brinson 29:56

5. Philip Schlager 30:27

2-mile overall

1. Jeff Huxold 10:42

2. Jake McCain 10:49

3. Gloria Sosa 12:40

4. Logan Philippi 12:51

5. Tim Gantnel 13:15

2-mile walk

Overall women:

1. Starr Friedenthal 21:55

2. Sherry Forrette 23:24

Overall men:

1. Michael Polish 23:48

2. Cy Ryan 24:10 (age 74)