Freedom Run offers athletic way to start 4th of July festivities |

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Freedom Run offers athletic way to start 4th of July festivities

After more than a month break, the Gold Country Grand Prix is back with it’s fifth race in the 11 race series, the Freedom Run 5K.

The annual Independence Day race will take place at 8 a.m. (registration from 7-7:50 a.m.) Friday on the cross country trail at Nevada Union High School.

“It’s a really intriguing course,” said race organizer Frank Castro-Wehr. “It’s got dirt trails, gravel roads and ends at the NU track. It’s fun because it’s a true cross country course. And, most of it is in the shade.”

The Freedom Run is in its ninth year as a member of the Gold Country Grand Prix, starting in 2006 when the Grand Prix had its inaugural season.

“The big thing is a lot of the high school kids come and run and that makes it a lot of fun,” Castro-Wehr said.

The race is hosted by the NU Runners booster club, and funds raised by the Freedom Run feed into the Nevada Union cross country and track and field teams.

“It’s a great way to sponsor the kids,” Castro-Wehr said. “It’s kind of cool, because we run to sponsor our kids to be in the running programs and develop that life long passion for running.”

Last year’s men’s race winner was Jack Bordoni, with a time of 18 minutes, 48 seconds. Second place in the men’s race went to Garrett Migliozzi, who was a member of the NU cross country and track teams before graduating in June. In the women’s race Nora Pizzella, a current member of the NU cross country and track teams, won with a time of 23:19.

In the race’s nine-year history there has been a rise in the amount of walkers that participate, said Castro-Wehr.

“If you want to come out and go for it and try to PR (personal record) that’s great, but if you want to come out and walk to get the three-day weekend started that’s great too,” he said. “It’s just a nice way to enjoy some exercise before a day of barbecue and fireworks.”

For more info on the race visit

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email