RUNNING: Gold Country Grand Prix closes 2017 |

RUNNING: Gold Country Grand Prix closes 2017

The 12th annual Michael E. Bratton II Turkey Trot drew a record number of participants to Nevada Union High School Nov. 23 for the 5K/10K walk/run. The Turkey Trot was the final race of the 2017 Gold Country Grand Prix.
Elias Funez/ |

After nine months and 10 events that traversed much of Nevada County, the Gold Country Grand Prix concluded its 2017 season last week.

The annual Grand Prix wrapped the season, which spans from March to November, with the 12th annual Michael Bratton II Turkey Trot held Nov. 23 at Nevada Union High School. More than 1,100 runners took part in the Turkey Trot’s 5K or 10K, by far the most participants in any race in the series.

In addition to raising funds for depression and suicide awareness and prevention, The Turkey Trot was also the last chance for those vying for a Gold Country Grand Prix age group championship to tack on some final points to their yearly total.

With a 5K win in the women’s 10-and under age group (AG) at the Turkey Trot, Jade Biittner finished with nine race-wins in her AG and 90 points overall to earn the season title for her age and gender group. Biittner’s 90 points tied her with Sergio Higareda (90 points in the men’s 40-49 AG) and Denis O’Halloran (90 points in the men’s 60-69 AG) for the most points earned this year. Higareda and O’Halloran both also earned age group wins in the 5K at the Turkey Trot to finish with nine wins throughout the season.

Other Gold Country Grand Prix age group champions include Alijah Drageset (41 points in the men’s 10 and-under AG), Raven Biittner (65 points in the women’s 11-14 AG), Antonio Valenti (44 points in the men’s 11-14 AG), Grace Crenshaw (50 points in the women’s 15-18 AG), Joshua Fairchild (44 points in the men’s 15-18 AG), Meghan Oats (38 points in the women’s 19-29 AG), Melanie Marsico (67 points in the women’s 30-39 AG), Jonathan Palmer (33 points in the men’s 30-39 AG), Stefanie Roberts (47 points in the women’s 40-49 AG), Anne King (88 points in the women’s 50-59 AG), Jim Pritchard (57 points in the men’s 50-59 AG), Sue Madigan (80 points in the women’s 60-69 AG), Drue Mathies (77 points in the men’s 70-79 AG), Lynne Hurrell (70 points in the women’s 80-and-over AG), and Darryl Beardall (75 points in the men’s 80-and-over AG).

There were no winners in the men’s 19-29 AG and the women’s 70-79 AG. To qualify to win a Grand Prix age group, runners must compete in at least five of the series’ 10 races. Points were awarded to runners based on how they did in their respective age groups at each race. A first place finish garnered 10 points, second place was worth seven points, third place tallied five points, fourth place grabbed four points, fifth place was worth three points and all others earned one point.

There will be an awards ceremony to honor the Grand Prix’s top runners at 2 p.m., Jan. 21 at Twin Cities Church in Grass Valley.

To learn more about the Gold Country Grand Prix visit

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

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