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.

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!

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.

Race Sponsorship in the Biggest Little City

If you have ever run in an organized running event, you will notice there are typically company logos plastered across the back of your commemorative event t-shirt.   Although most consider this to just be a way for a company to slap their logo on an event, there is much more behind-the-scene details that play into running event sponsorship.  So, with that in mind, I thought I would dive into what race sponsorship contributes to both runners as well as businesses and the impact that can be made in Reno’s “Biggest Little” community.

Photo Credit: Danny Damiani http://bit.ly/1EIECWe
Photo Credit:
Danny Damiani
http://bit.ly/1EIECWe

Race sponsorship at a glance:

For Runners:

Safety:  All of the road closures, traffic enforcement, water and first aid stations, and on-site medical personnel are not free.  However, these are some of the most crucial components of a running event.  There may be a race fee that you pay to participate, but it certainly doesn’t cover all of the costs for these essential items.  Hence, sponsors are the “sugar daddies” of running events and what help make all of these things possible.   Without sponsors, there probably wouldn’t be any runner safety, and ultimately, no race to run.

Exposure:  If you like the free food samples you get when walking the aisles at Costco, you’re going to like a running event.  Well, I guess it’s not that simple, but sponsors help runners get a taste of the products they are offering.  Providing free samples at the event expo, as part of a runner’s race packet, or even at the finish line is a quick way for runners to know what a company is about.  Take Nature’s Bakery for example, I didn’t know who they were until I saw them offering out samples of fig bars at the Downtown River Run.  But now I’m hooked.

Fun:  The contributions received by sponsors effectively allows for the resources to run a well-organized event.  You don’t realize how much you appreciate an event is that is well-organized, on time, and properly planned until you’ve had the unbearable experience of participating in an event that isn’t.  Having only one porta-potty for a 1,000 runners, having a delayed start after you’ve already warmed up, or getting an incorrectly posted race time are just a few examples that make runners never come back.  All of these things can be effectively eliminated with the proper resources that sponsors provide and, as a result, providing runners with a FUN race.

For Businesses:

Return:  By promoting your business, you’re increasing potential for future returns.  The running community is big in the Reno area and with 1,000’s of runners participating in most events, it’s easy to reach a lot of potential customers at one time.

Reputation:  When considering reach and promotion of your company, especially in a booming startup community such as Reno, you should be looking to increase your business in return for the exposure that the running event provides you.  However, you’re also participating in the experience that runners are getting.  Therefore, sponsoring well-organized events such as the Downtown River Run or the Leprechaun Race, help to associate your company brand with a positive experience.  Runners by default will think of your company in the same positive manner they do with the event they participate in, which boosts company reputation.

The Reno and Lake Tahoe area is widely beginning to be considered a mecca for new businesses and growth.  The area has long been known for its beauty with the outdoor activities and fitness opportunities it provides; therefore, bridging the gap between the area’s businesses and the fitness community seems advantageous in many respects.

If you’re a new business owner in the area, I strongly suggest considering sponsorship of a running event as part of your marketing plan.

The Reno Tahoe Odyssey

I know I’ve commented on this relay race before in some of my earlier posts, so I figure I might give a quick recap on how awesome, exciting, and fun it is and why you should do it.

First off, The Reno Tahoe Odyssey (RTO) is a relay run on a 178 mile course around the Reno-Tahoe region.  It is the product of and premier running event of Race178, a local professional race production company headquartered in Reno, NV that was founded by Eric Lerude in 2005 during the inaugural RTO.  Since then, it has evolved to produce a variety of races throughout the Reno area and has successfully turned the RTO into one of the premier running events in Northern Nevada & California.

The structure of the relay typically consists of 12 runners running 3 legs each for a total of 36 segments in the 178 mile course.  Teams can and do have less than 12 runners, as I’ve witnessed both Juan De Oliva, a solo runner, and Charlie & Daniel Anderson, a team of two brothers, complete the course.  The course is pretty challenging just running 3 legs with the typical 12 runner structure, so witnessing and (in some parts) running by these guys was pretty amazing.

Photo Credit: Reno Gazette Journal http://on.rgj.com/1F6w5v0
Photo Credit: Reno Gazette Journal
http://on.rgj.com/1F6w5v0

The course begins at Wingfield Park, an island park in the middle of the Truckee river in downtown Reno, which is also home to Reno’s Whitewater Park.  The loop course travels along the Truckee River towards Verdi and Truckee, making its way to the West shore of Lake Tahoe.  Runners then travel around the lake and down through part of the Carson City Valley, through the State’s capitol and historic Viriginia City back down into Reno.  The end of the course comes back through downtown Reno with a final finish in Reno’s Idlewild park for a post-race festival.  The race spans two days given the distance traveled and by the end of the race, a beer at the Finish Line Festival couldn’t sound much better.  There are also tons of food trucks, entertainment, and people to cheer you on at the festival, so the last push towards the finish line with your whole team feels even better.

RTO MAP

The main premise of this run is to have fun.  From personal experience, most runners are not there to be absolutely competitive but to have a blast with friends, family, or co-workers.  Prizes are even offered to teams with the most spirit, best costumes, best team name, and best van decorations, among others.  This type of attitude is encouraged throughout the course with themed parties at exchange points and a bunch of other celebration shenanigans along the way.  Teams of all ages, backgrounds, and locations participate in the relay and you can sort of feel the excitement from everyone while you’re there.  Costumes and team themes are encouraged, so be prepared for a little bit of craziness and definitely some laughs.

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RTO 2014 – Eclectic Company at Virginia City exchange

I’ve had the pleasure of running with Eric Lerude in the past and you can tell he is really passionate about hosting each event produced by Race178.  It is even more noticeable in the way each run is organized, promoted, and run.  Therefore, I would highly encourage running this premier event that is offered in Reno and Lake Tahoe.

The 2015 relay is sadly already sold out since registration fills up fast each year, but you can still come down and support the runners on May 29-30, 2015 or even sign up as a volunteer.  Click here for volunteer sign ups or just cheer on some runners!

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.

Running and the Team Meme

If running has, or ever will, become part of your life, understanding what it is that makes it so special is definitely important.  I get a lot out of running, whether it is from just staying active or just having the peace of mind that comes with being alone with my thoughts and removed from all of life’s normal problems.  Running, in a sense, has always been very personal for me and provides a great deal of energy and satisfaction.  Recently dawning on me, though, is how I can relate to others through running.  The ability to relate to other people that share a similar interest in running and being able to share experiences adds more excitement and ultimately a lot more meaning.  For me, it comes down to the simple fact that it’s much nicer to share a beer with a group of people that are just as tired and sweaty as you are after a long run.

Fortunately, growing up in the Reno and Lake Tahoe area I’m lucky that there are a ton of events and organizations that inspire running comradery and help share resources to make running an experience for everyone to enjoy.   There are training groups like NSET (Northern Sierra Endurance Training) Reno Running and Fitness, and Silver State Striders that help build personalized fitness coaching programs. Then there are organizations that coordinate running events throughout the region such as Race178, which organizes the Reno Tahoe Odyssey, and Reno 5000 which hosts there annual Running Series including the Downtown River Run.   Knowing that all of these great organizations and events are out there when living or even visiting the area is difficult, which is why I want to be able to promote a place to share running events and stories.

During my short time running, I have tried to participate in pretty much every event in or around the Reno and Lake Tahoe region.  Whether it has been a 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon, team relay, or fun run, each of the events I have run have been memorable in their own special way.    I wouldn’t say I am a running expert by any means, but when it comes to knowing what events are in the Reno/Tahoe area, I certainly have a pretty lengthy resume.  I’m also not trying to say that I know EVERYTHING there is to know about running in the area, so I will try and highlight some of my favorites as they come up, but I hope to hear suggestions from anyone that’s interested.