Meddles wins Mammoth race |

Meddles wins Mammoth race

Even though it wasn’t his fastest 5-kilometer run, Wade Meddles turned in an impressive performance Saturday night when he surged to a high altitude victory at the 11,053-Foot Winter Ezakimak 2017 5K in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

Meddles, 24, a 2012 Sierra Lutheran High School graduate who now lives in Reno, won the race in a time of 34 minutes, 30.26 seconds for 3.1 miles.

How tough was the race on a hard-pack snow course that gained approximately 2,000 feet along the Kamikaze Mountain Bike Trail from the base at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area to 11,053-foot summit? Just remember, the name Ezakimak is simply Kamikaze spelled backward.

“I tell people it was only three miles, but it’s the hardest three miles I’ve ever run,” Meddles said with a laugh.

Of course, the time was nowhere near his personal record of 13:46.27 set in 2014 when he was running at Eastern Kentucky University. But he still won the race by nearly three minutes, followed by Mammoth Lakes resident and two-time U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier Tim Tollefson in 37:10.97.

Tollefson qualified for the Olympic Trials marathon in 2012 and ’16 plus he reigned as the 2014 national 50K trail run champion.

Meddles also ran 30 seconds faster than the 2016 winner, Deena Kastor, a Mammoth Lakes resident who holds the American women’s marathon and half-marathon records.

Meddles has run two other races this spring: 14:30 in a road race at Carlsbad on April 2 and 46:48 for 15 kilometers on March 11 in Jacksonville, Fla. This is a comeback year for Meddles, a two-time Ohio Valley Conference champion for 10K on the track (2014-15). He was part of the Douglas High track and field coaching staff in 2016.

He is running another 5K race tonight at Stanford’s Cardinal Classic.