RUNNING: Gough, Torlakson take top spots at 12th annual Freedom Run 5K |

RUNNING: Gough, Torlakson take top spots at 12th annual Freedom Run 5K

A pack of patriotic runners and walkers opened Independence Day with a race through the woods around Nevada Union High School, participating in the 12th annual Freedom Run 5K.

Earning first place in the men’s competition was Garrett Gough, beating out Jack Bordoni, who had won the Freedom Run six of the last seven years, including three straight.

Gough and Bordoni blazed to the front of the pack quickly and set a blistering pace on a rather mild July morning at Nevada Union.

“The pace was pretty good. We went out pretty fast,” said Gough, a skilled and decorated member of the NU track and cross country teams. “Me and (Bordoni) stuck together for most of it. It was a really good race. I think we both pushed each other. It was good competition.”

The talented distance runners remained close throughout much of the race, but in the end it was Gough dominating on his home course. As the duo came down the final stretch Gough had pulled away considerably and crossed the finish line in a time of 16 minutes, 20 seconds to win the annual Independence Day 5K.

“It feels good,” Gough said of winning. “It feels good to get back into season after being sick for a while. I had to skip last year’s state (championships) because I got sick and had a bunch of issues during track, so it’s nice to get out here and hit the ground running.”

Bordoni took second place with a time of 16:44. He applauded the pace set by Gough.

“I think this is the fastest I’ve run it the last three years,” Bordoni said. “It was a great race. Usually I can relax a little bit, but this time the pace was really nice.”

Bordoni won the 2017 Freedom Run with a time of 17:33.

Earning first place in the women’s race was Tamara Torlakson, of Sacramento. Torlakson said she is in town visiting family and had come to Nevada Union to get in a morning workout, noticed the 5K was happening and signed up on a whim.

Torlakson won with a time of 22:09.

“It’s very cool,” she said of winning. “I literally registered (for the race) at 7:50 a.m.”

The race started 10 minutes later.

Taking second place in the women’s race was Dianne Tiffany, of Grass Valley, with a time of 22:54. Placing third in the women’s race was Stefanie Roberts, of Grass Valley, at 24:43.

Finishing third in the men’s race was Sergio Higareda, of Grass Valley, at 19:37.

Proceeds from the fundraiser 5K go to the Nevada Union track and field, and cross country teams.

The Freedom Run is the seventh stop on the Gold Country Grand Prix’s 10-race 2018 Schedule. Next up is the Kellermann Batwa Challenge 5K/10K Aug. 25 in Nevada City.

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

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