Famed endurance runner found dead in Yosemite National Park, officials say


YOSEMITE VALLEY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — A world-famous ultramarathon runner and climber who went missing while hiking in Yosemite was found dead on Tuesday, according to National Park Service officials.

Officials say the body of 61-year-old Fred Zalokar, of Reno, Nevada, was recovered near the summit of Mount Clark.

Zalokar went missing on Saturday while day hiking at the Yosemite National Park.

Zalokar was well known for his achievements as a runner and climber, scaling peaks across the globe and winning his age group in all six major marathons.

Officials say he was using an off-trail route to get from Bunnell Mount to the summit of Mount Clark.

Zalokar planned on returning to Yosemite Valley following the hike, but authorities say he never returned.

Todd Huston is a longtime friend and a climbing partner of Fred Zalokar. When he heard Yosemite National Park officials had report edZalokar missing from a day hike from Happy Isles to the summit of Mountain Clark, he told KSEE Sunday that the trail should have been a piece of cake for the accomplished marathoner and climber.

“For something like this to happen in Yosemite Valley, an area that he knows well, something must have really gone wrong for him not to either be back early or to be back on time. That mountain is nothing compared to a lot of the others that he’s climbed,” said Huston.

Since 1990, the 61-year-old had climbed 185 of the world’s highest mountains. Huston said despite his daring achievements, Zalokar was always cautious in his approach.

National Park officials did not release information on the cause of death citing an ongoing investigation.

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