September 12th began much like any other Sunday. The sun rose from the east, casting its light over Mono Lake and the town of Lee Vining. Birds sang their melodious tunes from the tree tops, and a pleasant breeze blew, carrying with it the scent of breakfast being cooked. However, there was something else stirring on that particular Sunday morning… In front of the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore, people were gathering. Athletes! Athletes from far and wide, drawn to this little Eastern Sierra town with one goal in mind: to make it to the top of a Really. Big. Hill.
The Tioga Pass Run
12.4 miles of road, starting in the town of Lee Vining, and ending at Yosemite National Park’s eastern entrance. An elevation gain of nearly 3,200 feet, from 6,781 to 9,943 feet above sea level. And athletes from all around testing their mettle against the mountain. Welcome, my friends, to the Tioga Pass Run!
2021 Tioga Pass Run results
Although this year’s event was a smaller affair with only 61 racers, the winning times are as impressive as ever. Congratulations to the winners and to everyone who competed in this year’s event!
The honor of first place for the runners went to Patrick Parsel, who ran a lightening quick time of 1:30.57. And in second place, with an impressive time of 1:36:34 was Bentley Regehr. In fifth place overall was the first woman to finish, Alissa St Laurent, with a time of 1:55:05.
First place for the walker division, with a time of 2:46:57, went to the indomitable Dale Beeson. And in second place, with a time of 3:16:56, a round of applause for Patty Moran.
Thank you to everyone involved in making this year’s event a success!
To the volunteers who donated their time and energy: Janet Barth, Joe Woods, Sue Stavlo, John Stavlo, Deborah Burnett, Randy Walker, John Ellsworth, John Shepherd and the Bishop Amateur Radio Club, Penny Bourne, Mike Boucher, Sherryl Taylor, Tony Taylor, and Igor Vorobyoff.
To the sponsors: Altra, Designs Unlimited, Double Eagle Resort, Eastside Sports, El Mono Motel & Latte Da Café, Epic Café, Footloose Sports, Mammoth Hospital, Silver Lake Resort, and the Mono Market.
To the Law Enforcement Officers and Emergency Medical Responders who made sure everyone stayed safe.
To Mono Lake Committee staff: Claire Landowski, who worked tirelessly to help organize the event, Santiago Escruceria, for his wonderful photographs, and Bree Salazar and Ryan Garrett, who helped with organization and shuttling athletes back to Lee Vining. Editor’s note: Shout out to Mono Lake Intern Will Hamann, who completed the run in 2:41:14 and who wrote up this post!
And, of course, effusive thanks to Race Director Alana Gillmore, who is the key to this event, especially during a year with the added challenges of a continuing pandemic, wildfire smoke, and a forest closure.
We hope to see you all back in 2022 for the 41st annual Tioga Pass Run!
Top photo by Santiago Escruceria.