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Body of Nevada athlete found near summit of Yosemite National Park

The body of a famous endurance athlete was found near the top of a peak in Yosemite National Park days after his disappearance, authorities said Thursday.

Fred Zalokar, 61, of Reno, Nevada, was reported missing one day after a day of solo hiking July 17 to Mount Clark, a popular peak for mountain climbers. His body was found on Tuesday.

Zalokar hiked from Happy Isles to the summit using an off-road route from Bunnell Point in the Little Yosemite Valley, the National Park Service said in a statement.

The hike should have taken about 15 hours round trip, but Zalokar never returned to Yosemite Valley as planned.

Authorities recovered his body on Tuesday and his death is still under investigation. No further details were provided.

Zalokar was a dedicated athlete. He worked as the General Manager of the Lakeridge Tennis Club in Reno, where he trained and helped others achieve their fitness goals. Family vacations were planned around destination races and tough climbs.

For fun, he meticulously planned out personal challenges. He ran four of the original and prestigious 100 mile races in the United States in less than 24 hours. He climbed six of the seven peaks, the highest mountains on each continent. In 2006, he had run a marathon on all continents.

“I’m not focused on what I did,” Zalokar told the Reno Gazette Journal in 2016. “I’m more focused on what I’m going to do. I still believe my best race is ahead of me. It’s my state of mind. It motivates me. It builds on itself. Be seen [as] success only reinforces what I do.

His latest challenge was to climb all the peaks of the Eastern Sierra, including Mount Clark, according to longtime friend Sean Crom.

The two became close friends 35 years ago while training for an ultramarathon. Since then, Crom had joined Zalokar on many adventures.

“I’m going to miss not being able to meet these challenges with Fred,” he said. “Even though we both get older and slow down a bit, it’s hard to find people to do that kind of endurance stuff with.”

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