The LAKE TAHOE MARATHON has been on my list of "races-to-do" for a long time. Lake Tahoe is an exceptional place so naturally it would have an exceptional marathon! The fall is a great time to visit the lake and surrounding area. We were blessed with some unseasonably warm weather which was great for hanging out but a little tough for running. Les Wright, the Race Director has done an excellent job of assembling a slew of events that comprise the near week long event. There is everything an athlete will love from a 72 mile Ultramarathon to Speed Golf (The winner of which scored a 113 and finished 34 min). The winner of the 72 Miler, Oswlado Lopez, finished in 11:39:45. John Weru ('03 and '04 champ) won the standard Marathon in 2:59:50. Les and his associates have also done a great job at creating a fun and friendly race environment. This is definitely falls into the "marathoner's marathon" category. Unless you live in Tahoe or at a comparable altitude this is probably not the best place for a first race.
I decided to run the Lake Tahoe Half instead of the full marathon this year because of my recent bout with Plantar Fasciitis (which btw, is healing nicely). I finished the half in 2hrs on the nose. Here's a pic of me on the big hill in the race dubbed, "Hill from Hell" (which is about 2 miles at a 4.5%) incline and me crossing the finish line.
Having not trained at all in altitude (i live at sea level) and showing up just 24hrs before the race I felt okay about my time even though it was my slowest Half Marathon to date. The elevation at lake level is 6225'. The marathon winds around the lake, along some serious hills that take you up and down between 6225' and 6800'. Overall, the Lake Tahoe Marathon is a feel good race. The views are exceptional and the course is challenging. The race was well structured with plenty of aid stations and a great intimate expo where I was able to meet Dick Beardsley (of Duel in the Sun fame) and buy his book "Staying the Course" which I will be reading and reviewing on the blog soon. Here's a link MY LAKE TAHOE MARATHON GALLERY 2010. You can see what I ate for dinner the night before, the post marathon treats, a visit to Squaw Valley, and some great shots of the starting line and race.