Rock Tahoe Half Marathon

Photo Credit:  Epic Tahoe http://www.epictahoe.com/#!rock-tahoe-half-marathon/c24vq
Photo Credit: Epic Tahoe http://www.epictahoe.com/#!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 http://bit.ly/1HLqwTU
Photo Credit: Jim Vallee
http://bit.ly/1HLqwTU

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 http://bit.ly/1IgtK2l
Photo Credit: Tahoe South
http://bit.ly/1IgtK2l

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.

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

Photo Credit: Tahoe Trail Running Series http://bit.ly/1P8r4Wo
Photo Credit: Tahoe Trail Running Series
http://bit.ly/1P8r4Wo

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
http://bit.ly/1P8r4Wo

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 http://eliotlandrum.com/category/life/
Photo Credit: Eliot Landrum
http://eliotlandrum.com/category/life/

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!

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 http://bit.ly/1GGFrhE
Photo Credit:
FroYo
http://bit.ly/1GGFrhE

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.” — ascentruns.com

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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.

IMG_1126

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!

All signed up: Who should you train with in Reno/Tahoe for that upcoming running event?

Since I’m not a glorified personal trainer or running coach and everyone can enjoy the benefits of training for an upcoming run in in a one-on-one or group setting, here are some of the great running and training groups in the Reno area that may be of some interest.

Each groups provides specialized training plans depending on the distance you’re looking at running, whether that is an upcoming 10k, half marathon, or marathon.  All skill levels are welcome in these groups as well.  Therefore, you don’t need to be a conditioned runner to be included, since odds are there are people at the same level as you are.  It’s also a way to get to know the community of runners better in the Reno/Tahoe area!

Northern Sierra Endurance Training (NSET)
Photo Credit: NSET http://nset1.org/

NSET is a non-profit walking and running group based in Reno that provides training schedules, seminars, coordinated group runs and work out schedules, as well as general endurance training tips in an effort to help individuals reach their running or walking goals.

Runners are able to provide NSET with the event they are training for and the NSET coaches will make it a priority to coordinate group runs and training tailored to the best schedule for upcoming race.  It is the participant’s responsibility to register for the upcoming event and make arrangement for participating in such event, but NSET will provide a training regimen necessary to be ready if you’re looking for some structure and accountability when training.  Training for a specific event isn’t required but a specific goal in mind will help NSET coaches to provide a custom training schedule for whatever you desire.

NSET’s goal is “to achieve and maintain a healthy life style through endurance training and in the process achieve personal bests whenever possible”. They are a non-profit organization and operate only on tax deductible donations, so they aren’t out to make a buck on providing training, but rather to help people exceed in their endurance training goals and achieve overall health and satisfaction when it comes to running and walking.

EFAST
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EFAST provides endurance training at the next level with professionally certified coaches that have years of experience as athletes, coaches, and professionals.  Their mission is to “re-create the collegiate team environment for our athletes, who are mainly working professionals, helping them achieve competitive greatness and increased enjoyment in their day-to-day lives”.

EFAST was founded and is ran by Lauren and Ryan Evans who started the endurance-coaching hub for athletes that work full-time.  Together along with other coaches they help individuals to build endurance running strength by providing Body Circuit conditioning classes, Run Team group running sessions, individual personal training, as well as many more.  They even provide consulting on running form analysis, injury prevention training, and pacing analysis.

Their endurance fitness and scientific training courses are provided at various rates and many different packages depending on the exact type of training that is desired, but the cost is definitely well worth it as you can read from the many testimonials participants have written about the quality of training they have been given.

Endurance Reno
Endurance Reno Logo

Endurance Reno is an endurance coaching group for runners and triathletes in the Reno area specializing in training for 5k to Marathons and Sprint to Iron Man distance events.  This group, also known as the “E-team” is a diverse group of athletes that help to motivate and encourage runners through various group running team schedules and coordinated training plans.  Ranging from runners with 15 minute per mile pace, down to 5 minute per mile pace, the running groups with Endurance Reno have a lot of diversity.

They have experienced coaches that will be participating in each training session with you and provide all of the information that is needed when preparing for an upcoming event.  Pricing structure ranges from $250+ per month depending on the desired level of coaching and length of commitment.

Reno Running and Fitness
Reno Running and Fitness Logo

This group is a personalized fitness and coaching program that aims to provide personalized weekly training programs, group runs, lecture series, and other support to all levels of runners.  They provide training programs for 10k, half marathon, marathon, and beginning runner groups.  The mission of Reno Running and Fitness is “to enable all individuals to achieve their fitness goals with proper training, advice, inspiration and enthusiasm, while providing a supportive, encouraging and social environment.”  All of their training programs are created with this mission in mind and they have helped many runners achieve their running event goals.

The pricing structure for participation in group runs and individualized training programs varies by the individual event that training is tailored to, but there is also an annual membership that can be purchased if individuals just want to participate in group runs.

Again, these are just some of the great running groups to look out for if you need some extra encouragement or motivation.  Feel free to share some others that you know of or are a part of!

Photo credit

Fall Marathon Planning: The Lake Tahoe Marathon

With the Reno 5000 Downtown River Run kicking off in 2 weeks on April 12th, it brings to mind some of the upcoming marathons and half marathons in the area this year, and what could potentially be a good run to plan for this summer/fall.  It is obviously a little too late to sign up for a spring Marathon or Half Marathon (unless you’re in epic shape), but you can definitely take advantage of planning now with enough time to be ready for a race by September-October. According to Hal Higdon marathon and half marathon training plans, it takes approximately 30 weeks to properly train for a marathon if you are brand new to long distance running.  An 18 week training plan is more of the norm for a marathon if you’ve had some experience running before.   Nonetheless, it is probably the perfect time to start getting ready for a nice long distance race coming up this fall.   Therefore, I thought I would highlight one of my favorites.

The Lake Tahoe Marathon
October 9-11, 2015 Lake Tahoe, CA/NV
Event includes:  Marathon, Ultra Marathon, 18 Miler, Relays, several Half Marathons, 10k, 5k and many, many others.

Photo Credit: Steve Dunleavy http://bit.ly/19jWycg
Photo Credit:
Steve Dunleavy
http://bit.ly/19jWycg

The Lake Tahoe Marathon Weekend of Events has a 3 day resume of running events ranging from a 72 Mile Ultra Marathon or the  classic Lake Tahoe Sunday Marathon, to a variety of half marathon courses offered each day of the event weekend.  In total, there are approximately 30+ events jam-packed into the fall weekend-of-fun at Lake Tahoe, making it a perfect event for all running skill levels.  Each race showcases the beauty of Lake Tahoe and with the extensive variety of events you can find the right race just for you.

Photo Credit: Lake Tahoe Marathon www.laketahoemarathon.com
Photo Credit:
Lake Tahoe Marathon
http://www.laketahoemarathon.com

If you’re looking to train for a marathon, I recommend running the Sunday Lake Tahoe Full Marathon as this is probably my favorite run of the weekend and is essentially the main event for marathons.  The race gives you the opportunity to soak in some of the best views of the West shores of Lake Tahoe, with Homewood Ski Resort, Emerald Bay, Pope Beach, Mt. Tallac, and South Lake Tahoe all featured on the marathon course.  The race provides a challenging, yet beautiful run and the trek up to, and out of, Emerald Bay is definitely a little difficult, but well worth it when you see some of the views.

Lake Tahoe Marathon - View of Emerald Bay Photo Credit: www.laketahoemarathon.com/
Lake Tahoe Marathon – View of Emerald Bay
Photo Credit:
http://www.laketahoemarathon.com/

There are also several different half marathon races offered as part of the weekend event if you’re looking to train for a long distance run, but a marathon sounds a little daunting for you at this point.  The half marathon races offered include the Emerald Bay Half Marathon, Cal-Neva Half Marathon, and Nevada Half Marathon.  Each course provides excellent views of Lake Tahoe and varies in difficulty based on the starting point.  You can sign up for a half marathon on each day and make it the Tahoe Trifecta if you’re feeling really ambitious.

All of the races offer a unique finishers medal and are about 28 weeks away, leaving you plenty of time to get in shape, even if it is your first marathon or half marathon.  The Lake Tahoe Marathon was my first marathon and provides a really great experience, so I am definitely a supporter of this race!  If you now feel inspired to sign up, you can register here.

Photo Credit: Run Tahoe http://on.fb.me/1GF1XHX
Photo Credit:
Run Tahoe
http://on.fb.me/1GF1XHX

Feel free to comment and share whether these events sound interesting to you!  I’d love some feedback.

Why you should sign up for a running event

So, as I’m encouraging others to experience the various running events in and around the Reno Tahoe area, I’ve started to think to myself… why would you want to participate in a running event?  I mean, what motivates somebody to go out and run a 5k, 10k, half marathon, or even marathon?  Here is a quick rundown of some of the the reasons I participate in running events:

Photo Credit: CafePress http://bit.ly/1GlKMZr
Photo Credit:
CafePress
http://bit.ly/1GlKMZr

1. Motivation:  This may be true for others too, but if I am signed up for a run that I know is a few weeks down the road, I’m going to make sure I run so I’m ready for it.  If I’m not signed up for a run, even if it is just a 5k, I will let myself slack off and get out of shape.  I also don’t want to be that guy out there running who looks like he just hopped off the couch to run the race and needs someone to carry him to get water at the finish line.

2. Fat:  You’re going to lose it, which is typically a good thing.  Going hand in hand with the motivation deal is losing weight.  If I’m running constantly, I’m losing any unwanted pounds and overall, that just makes me a happy guy.  I also get to eat more and not feel guilty.

3.  Friends:  Believe it or not, you can meet a ton of cool people when you go out and run a race.  Everyone is out there doing the same run at the same time, and probably for some of the same reasons you are.  Most people at an event don’t care if you just started running or have been running your whole life, therefore you’re going to walk away with some type of encouragement, because that’s what it’s all about.  Whether it’s a high five or a slap on the booty, it just feels good.

If you want to get some really good friends, run a relay.  Nothing makes you get to know a person better than being stuck in a cramped van, sweaty, tired, and smelly.  I’ve met tons of people the day of a relay event and walked away knowing more about them than I probably would have ever cared to.  Running makes friends, relays make good friends.  Give it a try.

4.  Swag:  When you participate in a running event, you have the opportunity to get some cool s***.   I probably have TOO many running shirts for each of the races I’ve done, but I still get giddy to see what new one they’re going to give out.  Sometimes, even now, I run a race just for the simple reason that I know I’m going to get some good FREE stuff at the race expo the day before.  Even more so if I’m looking to add to my collection of running medals.  This next weekend, I’m stoked for the Leprechaun Race in Midtown Reno because it’s an amazing 5k run, but I’m even more excited for the awesome Pilsner glass I will get when I beat the Leprechaun.  So the point here is, running swag is cool, it’s better when it’s free, and the best if you can poor beer into it.

Reno Tahoe Odyssey Relay Medal Photo Credit: VisitRenoTahoe.com
Reno Tahoe Odyssey Relay Medal
Photo Credit:
http://bit.ly/1HrjuCa

5.  Fundraising:  You have the chance to support a worthy cause when you sign up for a running event.  Whether you’re participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k to support breast cancer or the Spring Forward for Autism 5k to support autism research, you know you’re out there helping a cause.  So you’re doing something for yourself while doing something for others…. double bonus if you ask me.

6.  Stress Management:  I love running because it gives me some time to think about something else than the normal daily struggles of life.  I tend to zone out when I’m overwhelmed anyway, so running is a good technique for me.  If I’m signed up for a race, it’s even better because I have a goal to work for other than the usual stuff I have to deal with.

These are just some of the reasons I participate in running events, but it’s definitely unique for everyone.  Feel free to comment and share yours too.