The 61-year-old from Nevada went hiking on July 17 and was reported missing the following day when he did not return

By Jason Duaine Hahn
July 21, 2021 06:33 PM
Fred Zalokar
Credit: Yosemite National Park Service

Fred Zalokar, an endurance athlete from Nevada, was found dead in California after a hiking trip over the weekend.

According to a statement from Yosemite National Park officials, the 61-year-old ultramarathon runner began his trek from Yosemite Valley to the summit of Mount Clark on July 17. He used an off-trail route and did not return at his expected time. He was reported missing a day later.

Officials recovered Zalokar's body near the summit of Mount Clark on Tuesday and said an investigation into his death is ongoing.

"No additional information is available," they wrote. "Our condolences to his family and friends."

Mount Clark has an elevation of 11,522 feet and is located in the southern half of Yosemite National Park, the outdoors community website Summit Post. The area is known for its many "challenging" routes, the outlet added.

Zalokar made a name for himself in the world of endurance sports as a passionate runner, climber, and traveler. In 1996, he completed four 100-mile races in under 24 hours each, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

On his website, Zalokar said he began long-distance running in his 20s, and eventually became fascinated with mountain climbing. His adventurous spirit took him to endurance events all over the world, including Tokyo, London, and New York.

Zalokar said his focus recently turned to shorter races against people in his age group.

"I also think that if continue to train smart, and stay focused & healthy, I may be able to set an American age-group record," he wrote in his bio.

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Zalokar said running became a foundation of his life, and family vacations with his son and wife were planned around his races or climbing events.

"I love to experience people & their cultures, and running a race, climbing a mountain, or just running in a local park before sunrise is such a great way to get a sense of a place & its people," he wrote.

"Also, I hope that I can help people build confidence, set goals, and start to reject the idea that they have to slow down, take it easy, and stop doing things they love, just because they are getting older, whether it's running, skiing, tennis, or whatever their passion is!"

He added: "I want to inspire people to dream big, and then go out there and make it happen!"