Rock Tahoe Half Marathon

Photo Credit:  Epic Tahoe!rock-tahoe-half-marathon/c24vq
Photo Credit: Epic Tahoe!rock-tahoe-half-marathon/c24vq

This year will be the first annual Rock Tahoe Half Marathon presented by Epic Tahoe Adventures and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Lake Tahoe.  The race is set to be held on Saturday, June 20th and presents a beautiful run along the Nevada side (East side) of Lake Tahoe.

Runners will have the opportunity to enjoy a nice point-to-point downhill course that drops 1,000 feet in elevation along Highway 50.  The event begins at Spooner Summit and finishes at the brand new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe at Stateline in South Lake Tahoe.  There will be plenty of epic scenery along the way as this area of Tahoe doesn’t fall short compared to any other parts of the Lake.  In fact, you will have the ability to run through Cave Rock and explore the newly constructed bike path through Round Hill Pines, Nevada Beach, and Rabe Meadow.    A stroller category is being offered in addition to the individual running categories, Shuttles will also be offered the morning of the run, so you don’t need to worry about driving up to the start line the morning of the race.

Photo Credit:  Jim Vallee
Photo Credit: Jim Vallee

I’m pretty excited about this race since it’s the inaugural event and the course follows a part of the lake that isn’t frequently incorporated into the amazing Tahoe running events that are typically offered.  It is also being hosted by the Hard Rock Hotel, which recently just opened in January of this year.  The Hotel is offering race expo festivities the night before as well as a discounted 2-night stay package for the weekend race event.  The Hard Rock Hotel will even have a pool party at the finish line, so runners can enjoy a nice relaxing swim afterwards and decompress after their race.

Photo Credit:  Tahoe South
Photo Credit: Tahoe South

Participants will receive a “fancy shmancy finisher race medal along with a sweet finisher race shirt you’ll want to rock everywhere”.  Soo… if the beautiful East shores of Lake Tahoe and running through Cave Rock aren’t enough to get you excited and you just want to collect some more running bling, this is your race.

Hope to see everyone come out and enjoy the first annual Rock Tahoe Half Marathon.  I’m thinking this one will be pretty amazing.  I know I’m excited to try it out!  If you want to register, here is the link.

Please feel free to share if you’re thinking of running it too.

The Journal Jog

Another great race from the production line of Race178 is set to take place on Sunday, September 13th, 2015!

Photo Credit:  Quincy Shanks & Race178
Photo Credit: Quincy Shanks & Race178

The Journal Jog is Reno’s oldest footrace and with this being its 47th Annual go-around, it’s safe to say that it brings a lot of history to the running community in the City of Reno.  From its namesake and presenting sponsor, the Journal Jog was originally started by the Reno Gazette Journal.

Photo Credit:  Quincy Shanks & Race178
Photo Credit: Quincy Shanks & Race178

It is pretty unique distance of 8k, which is approximately 5 miles.  This is perfect for runners that enjoy 5k races but aren’t too fond of the 10 runs.  It is also the best distance for a nice jog either solo or with a group of friends.  I enjoy running this event as it seems to kick of the fall running season perfect for me.  This is also probably the first running event I ever participated in Reno, so it is fun to see how it has evolved over the years.

Photo Credit: Race178
Photo Credit: Race178

This year’s course begins on Foster Drive in front of Reno High School.  It is a looped course that travels down Foster Driver, takes a left on Booth Street down to the Truckee River.  The course then goes through Idlewild Park, up to Mayberry Drive, and then back through Old Southwest Reno neighborhoods to finish back at Reno High School.   It is a relatively flat course with the only climb at the 2 ¼ miler mark, where participants run up to Mayberry Drive from Crissie Caughlin Park.  The rest of the course is flat or slightly downhill, so it is very fast event.

You are able to sign up individually or as a team for this event competing in either a 2 person, or 3 or more people, category.  Two person categories include Husband/Wife, Mother/Daughter, Mother/Son, Father/Daughter, or Father Son.  Three or more person teams can either be Corporate, Family, High School, or Middle School.  The times for teams will be a combination of each team member’s finisher times and teams will be competing in separate team divisions in addition to the individual age/gender categories.  There is also a Caterpillar category, which includes runners of 4 or more that travel the entire course fastened together in some way.  This category also includes a costume contest!

Photo Credit:  Quincy Shanks & Race178
Photo Credit: Quincy Shanks & Race178

The team categories give this run some extra excitement in the event you want to run with other runners you know and increase the competition.

I hope that you take some time to enjoy this event.  I know it has always been a special one for me!

Please share and let me know if you are thinking of running this year!

Run to the Beach 5K & 10K (July 4th, 2015)

Photo Credit: Tahoe Trail Running Series
Photo Credit: Tahoe Trail Running Series

Planning ahead for July runs can sometimes be difficult given how hot it can be during that time of year in Reno and Lake Tahoe.  However, for those that are looking forward to a nice vacation escape to Lake Tahoe this 4th of July, this run would be an ideal candidate to fit in to your schedule.

Most people think of their 4th of July vacation as BBQ, beer, camping, and family (I know I typically do), so planning a race while you’re enjoying the sunshine at Lake Tahoe is a good way to keep that running motivation.  Especially if you have a longer race planned for this fall and you don’t want to get lazy (I know I definitely fall victim).  I mean… hopefully you are training for the Lake Tahoe marathon, so this race will keep you set on your goals and training schedule or at least give you a glimpse of how nice Lake Tahoe is during the summer.

Photo Credit: Vegpedlr
Photo Credit: Vegpedlr

The Tahoe Trail Running Series has both an excellent Run to the Beach 5k and 10k event planned at Kings Beach on the morning of July 4th with both races beginning at the North Tahoe Regional Park.  The 5k is a very fast downhill run, while the 10k has a fairly good climb, but both races should provide a nice beautiful 4th of July experience in the North Tahoe area. Both races do finish on the Beach at the Tahoe Vista Recreation Area.

The course “tours runners through scenic pine forest with breathtaking lake views and finishes on the beach in front of the North Tahoe Events Center in Downtown Kings Beach”.  A single dirt track is offered for 10k runners and 5k runners get to experience mostly quiet neighborhoods in the beautiful Kings Beach of Lake Tahoe.

Photo Credit: Tahoe Trail Running Series
Photo Credit: Tahoe Trail Running Series

The Kings Beach 4th of July Fireworks show is offered the night of the 3rd, so it may be a little bit of a struggle to get up for the race if you plan on staying out late, but it is definitely worth it for this race as it showcases the beauty of Lake Tahoe and it is a good reason to make it a weekend event up in Lake Tahoe!

Please share if you plan on attending or have done it in the past, I would love to hear about the experience!

Squaw Valley Half Marathon (Sunday, June 14th, 2015)

Photo Credit: Tahoe Trail Running Series
Photo Credit: Tahoe Trail Running Series

This event looks to promise some beautiful scenery from a not so far off destination near Lake Tahoe and Truckee, CA.  It may even be a unique experience for all those skiers interested in what the Squaw Valley resort looks like during the off-season, if you’re not familiar with some of the exciting summer activities it has to offer.

Starting at the Village at Squaw Valley, the Squaw Valley Half Marathon does an out-and-back course on a paved pathway through the Squaw Valley area and part of the Truckee River Path.  For those familiar with Leg 11 of the Reno Tahoe Odyssey, you know this route is a beauty as the majority of the course is in the same area that runs along the Truckee River Path next to Highway 89.

Course Map-Squaw Valley Half
Photo Credit: Tahoe Trail Running Series

I have personally had the pleasure of running Leg 11 on the RTO and I wouldn’t pass this up.  It is a nice flat run along the Truckee and with the remaining portion of the course running out and back through the valley, the scenery should spoil any runner.  My only hesitation with the Truckee River Path when I have ran it was the warm temps increased most of the bug activity and I had the unfortunate opportunity of having a mouth full of gnats.  I’m pretty sure this was probably due to running the path in the later afternoon though, so you should be in luck with the Squaw Valley Half Marathon as the race begins pretty early at 8:00am.

The race coordinator, Big Blue Adventure, has gotten some pretty great sponsors as well including:  Salomon, Suunto,and  Klean Kanteen.  There will be a raffle for all runners after the race providing the opportunity to get some cool swag from some of the sponsors, so make sure to stick around when you’re done racing.

Race fees are pretty reasonable as well.  It looks like it is $61 to race if you register before June 12th.  Both Youth (under age 18) and Seniors (over age 62) receive discounted entry fees too at $46 and $52, respectively.

Photo Credit:  Eliot Landrum
Photo Credit: Eliot Landrum

Squaw Valley definitely is a beautiful place any time of year, so I would encourage runners to sign up for this race at least once. If you like to ski or snowboard Squaw Valley and this race sounds fun to you, please comment and share!

It’s the Weekend… Where to run?

Weekend runs are my favorite.  They’re typically my longer runs and it gets me started in the right direction for being productive when I get up on a Saturday and get a nice long run in.  I wouldn’t say I have a go-to weekend run spot since I try to mix it up a bit, but I do have those times when I can’t decide on what sounds good.  Sooo…  if you’re like me and just end up running a familiar route because nothing comes to mind, here are a couple of suggestions to consider.

Bartley Ranch Regional Park

Covered Entrance to Bartley Ranch Regional Park Photo Credit: Photo © Stan White
Covered Entrance to Bartley Ranch Regional Park
Photo Credit: Photo © Stan White

Bartley Ranch is  a 117 acre park that includes a “regulation-size equestrian arena and warm-up arena, the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater, the Western Heritage Interpretive Center and the restored Historic Huffaker School”.  The park has three different trails to explore:  the Flume Trail, the Quail Run Trail, and the Ranch Loop Trail.  However, only the Ranch Loop Trail is typically permitted for runners given the Flue Trail and Quail Run trail are fairly short and used more for hiking and used for interpretive panels by Washoe County to discuss ranching history and the local flora and fauna to visitors.

Quail Run Trail at Bartley Ranch Photo Credit: Photo © Stan White
Quail Run Trail at Bartley Ranch
Photo Credit: Photo © Stan White

The Ranch Loop Trail is approximately 1.5 miles in length but is connected to the nearby Anderson Park trail which is about 2 miles in length.  Both trails are really flat, which is perfect for a nice long run if you want to run a loop for both trails a couple of times.  There isn’t much shade cover for the Anderson Park Trail, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you are adverse to high temperatures, but for a nice weekend Spring run, it is pretty nice… especially early in the morning.

Photo Credit:  Washoe County Trails
Photo Credit: Washoe County Trails

Horseman’s Park (Steamboat Ditch Trail)

Horseman’s Park is located on Skyline Blvd about a ½ mile up from Moana Lane.  This trailhead is a part of the 43 mile long Steamboat Ditch Trail.  This trail spoils just about any runner giving amazing view of Reno while offering a pretty flat run.  I typically run about 2 miles out  from the trailhead just off Skyline Blvd and turnaround providing a nice 4 mile run, but you can run as much or as little of this run on the Steamboat Ditch Trail that you want.  It’s a good course for group runs or just running with a friend as well as mountain biking.

Photo Credit: Nevada Designs
Photo Credit: Nevada Designs

The Reno 10 Miler and Relay

Photo Credit: RGJ
Photo Credit:

For all of those that participated in the Downtown River Run yesterday, congratulations!  I hope everyone had a good run.  It seemed like it was a perfect morning for the event and I’m sure it was up to the normal excellence of organization.  If you completed your very first marathon or half marathon at this year’s event, I believe an even bigger congratulation is in order as it definitely isn’t easy to accomplish such a distance.  In fact, getting to the distance of a half marathon or marathon is definitely a challenge.  It can also be  a little daunting to transition from a run such as a 5k (3.1 miles) or 10k (6.2 miles) to that of a half marathon (13.1 miles), as it is double or even triple the distance.  Building up to that kind of distance takes a lot of work and if you’re just diving into 13.1 miles in a race-event style format off the bat, sometimes it can be a little nerve racking.

Photo Credit: Quincy Shanks & Race178
Photo Credit:
Quincy Shanks & Race178

Luckily, for all those in the Reno-Tahoe area, Race178 hosts the Reno 10 Miler and Relay.  It is “just beyond a 10k, but not quite as far as a half marathon” which gives runners the perfect race event distance to be comfortable when building up towards a half marathon or jumping from  a 5k or 10k.  It takes place on August 16, 2015, which is perfect because there aren’t usually a lot of events to select from between the Spring and Fall season events.  Even better… it’s not just an individual event, but also has a relay component for anyone still wanting to run a shorter distance with friends or family.

The course is strategically mapped to showcase both Downtown Reno and the University of Nevada, Reno campus.  The race start and finish is located at the Virginia Street Bridge above the Truckee River in downtown Reno and heads north towards the UNR campus.  Much of the run incorporates landmarks on the campus such as the Quad, Lawlor Events Center, Mackay Stadium, and many others, as it loops through the University providing a very scenic first 5 miles or so.  The course then head back towards downtown and the Truckee River giving runners the opportunity to see Wingfield Park, Reno High School, Idlewild Park, and the Reno Court House.

Photo Credit: Quincy Shanks & Race178
Photo Credit:
Quincy Shanks & Race178

The relay for the event has 3 different legs and runners can be in teams of 3 or less.  The first year I ran the race I participated in the relay event.   I really enjoyed it as it turned out to be about the distance of a 5k for each person and, as a result, turned it into a fairly fast course so it was exciting to see my teammate sprinting towards the exchange.  The only downside to the relay was that I only saw the portion of the course for my leg and didn’t get a chance to run through the UNR campus at all.  I did run it last year as an individual runner though and it was nice to get a chance to see the entire course.  The relay is really cool though if you still want a shorter distance and enjoy the team events.

Photo Credit: Race178
Photo Credit:

Registration is open for this event but prices do go up after June 30th.  I encourage everyone to give it a try, as it is pretty exciting to run through both downtown Reno and the UNR campus.

The Silver State 50/50

For all those long distance trail runners out there, Silver State Striders hosts an exciting event each year in May called the Silver State 50/50.  This event includes three different endurance distances:  a 5o mile, 50k, and half marathon.  This is definitely one of the more challenging trail events hosted in the Reno area each year, but for those looking for a longer distance endurance run, it is a perfect course.  Each event incorporates a variety of climbs and descents and gives a good taste of the country terrain in the Great Basin area and is widely known as a good training event for the Western States 100-miler and Tahoe Rim Trail 100-miler  This year’s event will be hosted on May 16, 2015.

Photo Credit: Daily Adventures
Photo Credit:
Daily Adventures

The course for all three events begins at Rancho San Rafael Park, which I have highlighted as one of the more memorable parks for running routes in the Northwest Reno area in my previous post.  Runners begin the course near the Great Basin adventure area, next to the Arboretrum, and start out going up through Evans Canyon.  The half marathon follows the same route as the 50-mile and 50k, but turns back around at mile 7 and loops back to the finish at Rancho San Rafael.  Both the 50-miler and 50k events extend beyond Peavine Summit and really showcase some of the Nevada desert and Sierra Nevada foothills, while providing a fairly challenging run that tests mental toughness as much as physical toughness.   There is a nice little highlight of the run by Trail Live that gives some good clips and testimonials from runners that participated in last year’s event too!

I haven’t ran the 50-miler or 50k event for this course before, but I did participate in the first annual half marathon that was offered.  If you are in the market for a challenging half marathon and are a fan of trail runs, this is right up your alley.  The half marathon course has a pretty steep first 7 miles, but once you reach the turnaround and the downhill it is actually a lot of fun to the finish back at Rancho San Rafael Park.

“START” 2008 Silver State 50/50 Half Marathon

I’m not going to lie though… there definitely isn’t much shade cover on this run.  It does showcase the Nevada desert in all it’s glory, but that definitely doesn’t mean there are a lot of trees.  The year I ran this (way back in 2008), it was definitely a warm one and I was feeling it at the end of the race.  Don’t get me wrong, the trail run was awesome, but you could see it on my face that I was struggling at the finish.

"FINISH" Silver State 50/50 Half Marathon
2008 Silver State 50/50 Half Marathon

Don’t forget to post a comment if you’re going to be running this event this year!  Or you can post a comment that you’re now looking forward to running it simply based on my amazing highlights!

Reno-Tahoe to Boston

The Boston Marathon, one of the most prestigious marathon events in the nation, is coming up on April 20, 2015.  Most avid runners aspire to participate in this event each year and in some ways, it is the pinnacle of marathon events for some.  With that in mind, it brings up the question… what qualifications do you actually need to participate?   Most runners hear “Oh, I’m training for Boston…” or “I’m looking for a Boston qualifier”.  It is obviously an elite marathon event given the exclusivity and popularity.  Therefore, what are the requirements and is it something feasible for the “regular” runner and competitor? And how do you qualify with the events offered in the Reno and Lake Tahoe area?

Photo Credit: Lussier Photography
Photo Credit:
Lussier Photography

First off, history lesson….

The Boston Marathon is held on the third Monday of April each year in honor of Patriot’s Day.  Beginning in 1897, it is the world’s oldest annual marathon and one of the most well-known road racing events for professional and amateur athletes.  Participants in the race come from all over the world and it attracts nearly half a million spectators each year, which makes it the most widely viewed sporting events in New England each year.  I know… I would’ve thought Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, or the Boston Celtics would be dominating here… but no, running prevails.

The requirements…

Given the popularity and history of the running event, it is obviously also recognized for it’s exclusivity.  Each participant is required to participate in a marathon event that has been determined to be certified by a national governing body affiliated with the International Association of Athletics Federations within approximately 18 months prior to the date of the desired Boston Marathon.

That’s not all… participants are also required to be over the age of 18 and have specific qualifying times based on an age-gender time scale.  The event is capped at 20,000 spots and the fastest qualifiers are given priority for registration.  The following are the minimum times for each age-gender group (2016 Marathon Qualifier):

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

There are exceptions to these qualifications as some runners will be admitted to run the event based on a certain amount of race entries designated to charities, sponsors, vendors, local running clubs, marketers, and other groups.  I wouldn’t bank on these exceptions though, as the accomplishment really lies in achieving the qualifying time within the designated 18 month window prior to the annual event.

If you’re looking to qualify for the event, one event really comes to mind as a certified Boston Qualifier and that is the Downtown River Run.  Conveniently this event is being held this weekend, April 12th.  If you’re looking to participate in a close-to-home event, or an event that just offers some beautiful scenery for the Truckee River and downtown Reno, and qualify for the Boston Marathon, I would suggest this one!!

Photo Credit: Scott Lacey
Photo Credit:
Scott Lacey

Please share if you’re running this weekend and it’s your shot at a qualifier.  It would be great to hear from those that are looking at getting to Boston.

Fall Wish List: The Lake Tahoe Flume Trail Fall Classic Half Marathon

After getting an idea of what running events there are this year and which ones I want to do, I can’t help but come across some runs that I haven’t had the pleasure of participating in.  Therefore, I thought I might highlight a Lake Tahoe Half Marathon that’s been on my wish list for a little while:  The Lake Tahoe Flume Trail Classic.

Photo Credit: FroYo
Photo Credit:

If you’re familiar with the flume trail at all, you will know it is an excellent mountain biking course.  That is, after all, how I discovered this beauty of a trail at Lake Tahoe.  I hadn’t thought of running the course until recently, but was forwarded the link for this upcoming half marathon from a teammate on the Reno Tahoe Odyssey, and it struck me as somewhat of a surprise that I hadn’t heard of it before.

Photo Credit:  James Ripsom
Photo Credit:
James Ripsom

A little background on the Flume Trail at Lake Tahoe though…

“In the late 1800s, Sierra Nevada Wood and Lumber Company (SNW&L) provided timber during the mining boom to the nearby Comstock Lode in Virginia City. The SNW&L transported its raw lumber via a wooden flume located 1600 vertical feet above the shores of Lake Tahoe. The path used for the wooden flume is now the setting for one of the most scenic and spectacular trails in the world. While the wooden flume has long since been disassembled, remnants can still be seen today along the trail. Max Jones, a two time National Mountain Bike Champion and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame Member, aware of its history, cleared and opened the Flume Trail for mountain biking and hiking in 1983. Since that time, the Flume Trail has become world renown for its jaw dropping views of Tahoe.” —


The Course:

The half marathon starts at Spooner Lake, Nevada State Park, which is located on the east shore of Lake Tahoe.  A shuttle will transport runners to the start line as this run is point-to-point.  It follows up the Marlette Lake Trail (which is a typical go-to hiking spot with the puppies) for about 3 miles.  This stretch of the run is the steepest as runners gain approximately 1500 feet in elevation through aspen trees groves, but it is well worth it once you are at the top, as there is a half mile descent down to Marlette Lake.  Once you arrive at Marlette Lake, you merge on to the Flume Trail after about a 1 mile stretch on an old Jeep road.  Dropping down onto the Flume Trail it is basically all downhill from there with beautiful views of Lake Tahoe on a single track path.  The race finishes almost at lake level at Tunnel Creek Station after the breathtaking downhill on the Flume Trail.


This run is going to take place on October 3rd at 9am and hopefully turns out to be part of my fall running schedule.  It is just a week before the Lake Tahoe Marathon, so it may be a little difficult to do both.  You can plan to do back to back weekends of half marathons though and soak in the beauty of Lake Tahoe from both sides of the lake.

“All registrants will receive a high quality technical shirt from Patagonia, an event photo from Scott Rokis Photography, and a free local brew at the finish!”

I’m definitely excited about this one, so let me know if you plan to run this event!

Reno River Festival and the Biggest Little 5k Birthday Run

If you plan on attending any spring event in Downtown Reno this year, I would recommend this one…

The Reno River Festival will be presented on May 9-10, 2015 at downtown Reno’s Truckee River Whitewater Park and presents a weekend of “world-class whitewater competitions, live entertainment, food from around the region, and an outdoor expo featuring some of the industry’s top retailers”.  The event has typically brought more than 30,000 people to the area each year and features many other weekend events to complement the main whitewater kayaking competition including a wide array of music, food, yoga, fly fishing clinics, and of course… running.

The premier running event of the weekend is the Biggest Little 5k Birthday Run.  In honor of the City of Reno’s 147th birthday, this is the 2nd Annual event to help showcase Reno’s Riverwalk District.  The event also helps raise funds for the Riverwalk District’s Beautification Program.

“Every dollar raised from the 5K Run will go towards the Riverwalk District’ Beautification Program to help establish a safer, cleaner, more colorful and lively downtown area including better signage, landscaping and public art.”

Photo Credit: The Riverwalk District
2014 Biggest Little 5k Birthday Run Start at the Arch
Photo Credit:
The Riverwalk District

The 5k route starts at the Reno Arch, similar to the Downtown River Run, and follows a similar course down the Truckee River Path towards Idlewild Park.  It is an out-and-back course that turns around at Idlewild Park and comes back towards the finish line in front of Wingfield Park and Sierra Tap House, close to where the main festivities for the Whitewater Competition are located.

2014 Biggest Little 5k Birthday Run Photo Credit: Riverwalk District
2014 Biggest Little 5k Birthday Run
Photo Credit:
Riverwalk District

The event starts at 9am on Saturday, May 9th and is a 5k (3.1 miles!).  It isn’t one of those early races, so there shouldn’t be any excuse not to participate in this one.  The registration fee is $30 + a $2.85 processing fee, but every dollar raised is going towards making the Riverwalk District a more beautiful place for locals and visitors, so you will be contributing to that cause.

I ran the inaugural Biggest Little 5k Birthday Run last year and it just so happened to fall on MY birthday, so it was definitely exciting (like everyone came to celebrate my birthday with me… but not really).  Sierra Tap House was also positioned at the finish line last year with some delicious beer to get the celebration started, so kudos to them for helping make it a blast.

It was also one of the few races I came in as an overall top finisher, so I was pretty stoked to say the least!

See... That's me on the far right! Photo Credit: Riverwalk District
See… That’s me on the far right!
Photo Credit:
Riverwalk District

Hopefully I will see everyone at the race this year!