Steve Bond – Run for your life |

Steve Bond – Run for your life

The 15th Annual Run Through the Colors races were held on a beautiful and cool Sunday morning in Nevada City.

There were 143 finishers in the 5K, along with another 93 in the 10K. With the participation total supplied by race director Richard Thomas at 372, that meant another 136 walkers were out on the course.

Nevada City’s Larry Defeyter capped his local racing year with yet another victory in the 5K, finishing in 19 minutes, 44 seconds, leaving him undeniably the top local runner at that distance this year. Defeyter was undefeated in his 30-39 age group (AG) in six local races.

Reno’s Chris Badolato, despite barely running at all the last four months due to injuries, still finished second in the 5K in 20:39 and went undefeated in seven local races this year in his 19-29 AG.

Three of the top four places in the 5K were runners in the tough 30-39 AG, with Nevada City’s Sid Heaton finishing third in 21:22 (his first 5K this year) and Nevada City’s B. J. Lindholm close behind in fourth in 21:29.

Jason Ybarra finished fifth in 21:50 to take second in the 19-29 AG.

Closing with a blazing finishing kick, despite fighting a sinus infection, Grass Valley’s Shawn Ryley was sixth overall in 21:56, while winning the 40-49 AG for his first AG win of the year.

I took seventh overall in 22:05 and won the 50-59 AG. Mike Cassidy finished eighth in 22:19, good for second in the 40-49 AG.

Nevada City’s Daniel Heinz and Grass Valley’s Thomas McAtee battled the whole race, with Heinz coming out on top to win the 13-18 AG by a scant two seconds, 22:22 to 22:24, with the two runners rounding out the top 10 in the 5K.

Grass Valley’s Kirsten Koch, who recently turned 40, ran a fine race to win the women’s 5K in 24:03 for her first victory this year. She was 17th overall. Not far behind was Sara Marshall, in 24:09, second female, 18th overall and winner of the 13-18 AG.

The third woman to cross the line was Reitha Weeks in 25:11, winning the 50-59 AG (24th overall). The fourth-place female was Mallory Meier in 25:21, second in the 13-18 AG and 28th overall.

Savannah Welz was the fifth female finisher in 25:38, 30th overall and winner of the 9-12 AG.

Other age group winners in the 5K were Edward Schmidt (9-12, 24:02, 16th overall), Nevada City’s John Darlington, who won the 60-69 AG by more than four minutes in his first AG win in this race (24:39, 21st), Penn Valley’s amazing Mary McLean, who won her 60-69 AG by more than seven minutes (25:56, 31st) and Catherine Sullivan (30-39, 27:16, 41st).

The rest of the 5K age group winners were Peter McDowell (28:49, 8-and-under), Calvin Bohner (31:57, 70-and-over), Grass Valley’s Jade Shields (37:04, 8-and-under) and Joanne Shope (50:16, 70-and-over).

The 10K and 19-29 age group were won by Christian Cifuentes in 39:55.

Nevada City’s V. Neelakantan was second in 40:30 with a fine race, followed by Nevada City’s Doug Reed in 40:54. They took first and second in the 40-49 AG.

Grass Valley’s Robert Marrer, undefeated in his 50-59 AG in all seven local races this year, once again won, in 42:05, fourth overall.

Dean Garcia came in fifth in 42:35, first out of four 30-39 finishers in the top 10, all within one minute of each other. He was followed in his age group by Grass Valley’s Troy Vahidi in eighth in 43:05, Rob Uchison, ninth in 43:19, and Oregon House’s Peter Lubbers, 10th in 43:20 (a one second difference!).

Yuba City’s Mike Buzbee was sixth overall in 42:45 (2nd in 50-59 AG) and Grass Valley’s Harry Shields was seventh in 42:55 (3rd in 40-49 AG).

Grass Valley’s Jill Vahidi, who won the women’s 5K at the Draft Horse Classic last month, proved her versatility by winning the women’s 10K in 46:36 (18th overall).

The second female finisher, Lainie Callahan, was also in the 30-39 AG, running 49:18. Right on her heels was 40-49 age group winner Cathy Scott, only one second behind in 49:19. They were 25th and 26th overall.

Paulette Avalos was the fourth woman in 50:54, good for second in the 40-49 AG and 30th overall. One place behind in 31st, and the fifth woman finisher, was June Lane, who ran 51:06 while winning the 60-69 AG.

Other age group winners in the 10K were Yuba City’s Ken Gaal, who was undefeated in six local races this year (48:05, 60-69, 21st overall), Grass Valley’s Erin Jensen (19-29, 51:47, 36th), and Santa Rosa’s Darryl Beardall (on his 70th birthday! 52:09, 37th, 70-and-over), Grass Valley’s Sue Madigan (54:45, 50-59), Grass Valley’s Lynne Hurrell (undefeated in all seven local races, 70-and-over, 1:01:15), Oregon House’s Sean Lubbers (1:15:41, 9-12), Lisa Collins (9-12, 1:17:14) and Henry Alkire (13-18, 1:21:53).


The final Grand Prix results will be published in Friday’s edition of The Union.


Steve Bond, a competitive runner who lives in Grass Valley, writes about local runners and running for The Union. He can be reached at

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