THURSDAY, JUNE 16: Map of the 50K, 50-mile, and 100-mile TRT races on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe
Much of the course follows the popular multi-use Tahoe Rim Trail. This sign is located at the north end of the course, by the Mt. Rose aid station.
Mt. Rose AS tent on Thursday, July 16. On race weekend it was a busy place as the 50- and 100-milers came through. Elev. 8743'
Looking south from the Mt. Rose AS on Thursday. Runners followed the TRT through this meadow on race day.
This time of year there are numerous kinds of flowers blooming along the trails above Lake Tahoe.
A small type of columbine
Advisory, indeed. The first day of the race was July 18 and there were bikes galore on the race course.
Jim poses with Ian Torrence, who was also camped out at Mt. Rose a few days before the race. 7-16-09
FRIDAY, JULY 17: Beautiful Capitol Plaza in Carson City, site of various pre- and post-race activities
Jim walks toward packet pickup.
Runners socialize before the race briefing on Friday.
Asst. RD George Ruiz and RD Dave Cotter
Jim talks with our buddy Bill Heldenbrand
North Carolina friends Fred "Doom" and Susan Dummar relax before the briefing. Fred is in the 100-miler, Susan in the 50K.
Eileen and Jamie Sinclair from New Zealand. Jamie ran the 100-miler and Eileen worked at the Tunnel Creek AS.
SATURDAY, JULY 18: The 50K and 50-mile runners gather at Spooner Lake State Park for the start of their race at 6AM.
The start of the 50K and 50-mile races was in early daylight. The 100-milers began in darkness at 5AM. Jim and I missed their start.
The race began on dusty N. Canyon Rd. at an elevation of about 7000'.
In the first eight miles the races climb from 6895' to 8780' on Marlette Peak.
We climbed about 1500 feet through aspens and ponderosa pines at the lower elevations . . .
. . . then mostly low evergreen shrubbery and pines higher up.
The course drops down a bit and passes the SE side of Marlette Lake at 7823'.
View across pretty Marlette Lake
Marlette Lake is much smaller than Lake Tahoe but we think it's just as scenic.
Continuing the climb to Hobart AS and Marlette Peak
Marlette Lake in the background
Chris Rios and other runners trudge up the hill.
Now we're on the Tahoe Rim Trail, still heading north.
Hobart Aid Station, about six miles into the course and 8120' in elevation
Continuing the climb to Marlette Peak
Lake Tahoe blends in with the mountains and sky in the distance. You can just start to see Marlette Lake to the left.
The day is already heating up. Temps will reach about 100 degrees F. in Carson City and Reno, and the low 80s on the course.
Looking back down at Marlette Lake, with Lake Tahoe just over the ridge
The section over Marlette Peak between the Hobart and Tunnel Creek aid stations is my very favorite part of the course. Each race goes out and back on this section.
Rounding the bend and continuing the climb on Marlette
Looking back at the race photographer taking pictures of runners behind me
Lupines on Marlette Peak
Near the summit of Marlette Peak, about 8780' in elevation
Starting the very runnable section down the other side of Marlette Peak to the Tunnel Creek AS
I love all the boulders and rock formations on this part of the course. Fortunately, the trail is mostly smooth.
There are some views of Lake Tahoe on this side of the peak, too.
You can fly down these hills (if you aren't taking 225 photos during the race like I did!!).
The trail flattens out a bit for half a mile before the Tunnel Creek AS.
The Tunnel Creek AS (elev. 7806') was a busy hub during the race, seeing 100-mile runners six times, 50-mile runners three times, and 50K runners twice.
The infamous "Red House Loop," advertised as 6.3 miles but feeling longer, begins and ends at the Tunnel Creek AS.
A cyclist and several runners near the crest of a steep hill as I begin the descent on this out-and-back part of the loop.
Runners climbing up the mile-long hill at the beginning and end of the loop -- this is the section of the course referred to as "a taste of hell"
100-milers do this loop twice, 50-milers and 50K runners only once (once is enough!!).
The one-way part of the CW loop begins/ends here.
This is the low point on the entire course, about 6800'.
About 2/3 of the loop is on jeep roads.
This is the only water and mud I saw in the 50K. The rest of the course was dry, dusty, and sandy (hint: gaiters are a very good idea).
The only equestrian I saw during my race
There really IS a red house on the Red House Loop -- and there it is!
These guys were a most welcome and unexpected sight. I had to ration my water the entire race (not heat-trained) and I really needed more here.
He wanted to take MY picture in front of the red house but I was in a hurry and just took HIS picture.
The trail became single-track the last couple miles of the loop.
The trail followed this water pipe for a while. The trail was just as runnable as the road, if you weren't too fried from the sun to run this part.
Now I get to climb back up a mile to the Tunnel Creek AS. Fortunately, Jim and I were well-trained for mountains and the elevation, just not the heat.
Jim and I were glad we had to do this particular climb only once.
Nearing the top of the climb out of the loop.
YEA!! There's the Tunnel Creek AS again. Now we'll be back on the trail up and over Marlette Peak again (my favorite part, remember?).
One of many cyclists on the TRT today
Near the top, we can see beautiful Marlette Lake again.
The last time the cyclists pass me, thank goodness. The same group repeatedly stopped and re-passed me over several miles.
More lupines and other flowers on Marlette Peak
Lake Tahoe in the distance as I round Marlette on the way back to Hobart AS
I took so many photos of great scenery that I lost a lot of time on runnable sections like this.
A kind female runner asked me if I wanted her to take my picture. I reluctantly said yes, but I'm glad now. Just please tell me I don't look like I'm 60!!!
Snow Valley Peak, the next climb, is in the distance.
I'm hot enough now that I'd love to dive into that lake!
Beautiful descent back to Hobart AS
Inside Hobart's main tent. This was one of two aid stations with an Irish pub theme (and beer if runners wanted it).
Now we're on the other "leg" of the course on our way back to the finish at Spooner Lake SP. This is still the Tahoe Rim Trail.
We still have great views of Lake Tahoe and Marlette Lake as we climb the gentle grades to Snow Valley Peak.
Looking back where I just climbed. Since we didn't go out on this trail, I want to see what I'm missing behind me!
Marlette Lake in foreground, Lake Tahoe in the distance
Two 100-milers approach me on the climb to Snow Valley Peak.
Cute aid station sign reads, "Food, fuel, lodging: exit one mile." There were lots of signs in the next mile as we approached the Snow Valley aid station.
There are great views in every direction from Snow Valley Peak.
Looking back to Marlette Peak: been there, done that
We will skirt just a little below the summit of Snow Valley Peak (9214').
Nice, gradual uphill on Snow Valley Peak
The last push to the high point of the race
Another look back where I came from
One last good view of Marlette Lake; we'll continue to see Lake Tahoe as we skirt the west and south sides of Snow Valley Peak.
Good -- there's the Snow Valley aid station below! Elev. 9000'
The aid station was enthusiastically staffed by a Boy Scout troop.
Now we begin a mostly downhill 7+-mile trek to the finish.
The next mile was my second-favorite part of the course, with beautiful flowers, views of Lake Tahoe on the right, and a very runnable trail.
I took a gazillion photos along here, slowing my progress. No one in the 50K passed me the last seven miles, though -- just fast 50- and 100-milers.
A few of these views are looking back.
I didn't take any photos for several miles once I reached the forest again. I was on a mission and everything looked the same at that point.
This kilted runner passed me just before the last aid station at Spooner Summit.
Spooner Summit aid station (elev. 7150') -- a huge THANK YOU to all the wonderful volunteers in this race!!!
Back in the aspen zone, with less than two miles to go
I could see the finish area on the other side of the lake but still had about a mile to run around to it.
Three more views of pretty Spooner Lake . . .
This angle is good enough for a postcard! That's probably why they put a bench here.
The finish line is in sight!! Jim got here in 9:01 hours, well ahead of me. He measured the 50K course at almost 34 miles.
50K and 50-mile runners finished to the left. 100-milers ran through the right and back out again.
Because of my very slow time of 10:25 hours, I was amazed to discover I won the Old Lady age group! There were three other F60+ behind me.
This is the back of the beautiful silver medal above that was awarded to age group winners in the 50K and 50 miles. It served as the center of the handsome 100-mile belt buckles.
SUNDAY, JULY19: Hwy. 28 from Mt. Rose Campground (and aid station) to Spooner Lake was stop and go with all the tourists and people wanting to swim in the lake.
The finish line on the second day, about 1PM
Now there is just one finish chute, for the 100-milers. The timers were able to tell us Jim's son, running his first 100-miler, was only about one mile out.
John Machray finishes in 32:28.
Leslie Carboni finishes in 32:31.
Two pacers step aside as Jimmie and Jim approach the finish line.
Jim walked backwards on the course until he "ran into" Jimmie. It was great to see them together at the finish.
Jimmie (L) finished in a fine 32:33 in his first 100-miler. He deserves that beer!
It feels soooo good to sit down . . .
Jim (L) and Diane Vlach talk with Jimmie (center) after the race.
Gene Bruckert and Jim relax at the Capitol Plaza on Sunday afternoon, waiting for the awards ceremony.
Jimmie O'Neil, Jr. (L, Jim's son) and Frank Bartocci, who I played leap-frog with the last ten miles of the 50K race
Runners and crews gather for the awards ceremony at the Capitol Plaza in Carson City.
We were treated to our second build-your-own burrito bar before the awards ceremony.
Erik Skaden won the 100-miler in 20:27.
L-R, race committee members Dave Cotter (RD), George Ruiz (asst. RD), his wife Rhonda, and the RRCA rep
Women's 100-mile winner Bree Lambert receives her awards.
2nd female Michele Jensen in pink top
Jamie Sinclair from NZ finished in a fine 25:59
Jimmie O'Neil, Jr. receives his 100-mile buckle from RD Dave Cotter.
Good job, Jimmie!!
Proud father and son
The TRT buckle is one of the nicest we've ever seen for a 100-miler.
Each finisher's name and time were engraved on the back of the buckle, which is a nice feature. (End of TRT photos)