Runners, walkers take on 30th annual Tioga Pass Run
A record-setting 106 runners and walkers participated in the 30th Annual Tioga Pass Run held Sunday, Sept. 12.
The race was marked by spectacular weather as morning temperatures were in the low 50s with calm winds. The great weather provided the backdrop for running from an impressive field.
Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall shattered the course record, set in 1986, by nearly 8 minutes. Hall ran the 12.4 mile (20K) course, which gains 3,164 feet feet in elevation, in 1:20:57, at an average pace of 6:53 minutes per mile.
Bishop’s Dan Yarborough followed Hall by 13 minutes.
Yarborough didn’t seem to mind giving up what would have been his sixth Tioga Pass Run win to a professional runner 20 years his junior, said race director Ken Corathers.
Rebecca Sopp of Lee Vining finished sixth overall in a very strong field to win the women’s first place award with a time of 1:51:50. Sixteen people finished with times under two hours, an extraordinary accomplishment when you consider that there is an average speed of 6.2 miles per hour on this course.
Local Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management fire crews were well represented.
Inyo Crews 1 and 2, Engines 11 and 23 and BLM Engine 31-32 all participated, demonstrating outstanding physical fitness, Corathers said.
Event organizers were surprised by the record 106 entries, 70 of whom showed up to register on race day, but recovered nicely.
When a man fainted at the awards ceremony, it was comforting to see that there were two doctors, two paramedics and at least a half dozen Emergency Medical Technicians present among the athletes, Corathers said.
At the awards party, Hall said, “I can’t believe so many normal people do this run.”
Hall went on to say this was his new favorite run.
“Thanks, Ryan, for being so gracious, but these runners aren’t that normal,” Corathers said.
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