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!

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The Reno Truckee River Path

Truckee River PathSo with all the business at work this week, I didn’t have a chance to explore a new running trail, but it has been unbelievably sunny, warm, and beautiful in the Reno Tahoe area (which is slight depressing, since it’s February, and I want to see some snow this winter).  However, given the beautiful weather, I decided to run a nice favorite route of mine along the Truckee River Bike Path through downtown Reno.  A portion of the path can also be referred to as the Reno Downtown Riverwalk, with the entire length of the path at approximately 12 miles, following the banks of the Truckee River from Idlewild Park in Reno all the way to the Eastern end of the City of Sparks.  I modified my route a bit as the path actually extends West about four miles past Idlewild Park, all the way down to Mayberry Park, which is where I started my run.   Mayberry Park to Downtown Reno, approximately around Wingfield Park between the Arlington and Virginia Street bridges, is about the distance of a 10k (or 6.21 miles).  This is a great route to take if you want to get in shape for a 10k, but you can modify your run accordingly depending on what you’re in the mood for, as there are many places to enter and exit the trail.

  Crissie Caughlin Park     Truckee River

Quarter Mile MarkersStarting at Mayberry Park and running to downtown Reno, there isn’t a significant change in elevation and it is a very nice easy route to take for either solo runs, group runs, or even biking.  I don’t think I’ve ever run this route without seeing at least one other runner or a group of runners enjoying the same area.  It is also very well maintained and pet-friendly, which is something I definitely appreciate (reference my aversion to running with a bag of warm puppy poo from my previous post).  The path has 1/4 mile markers too, which are pretty nice if you like a visual indicator for your pace and you don’t run with a GPS device of some sort.

Downtown Reno Truckee River

This path is also incorporated into various running events that are put on throughout the year in Reno:

1) The start line of the Reno Tahoe Odyssey is actually in Wingfield park, where I ended my run, and takes the opposite direction going West towards Mayberry.  This relay is pretty amazing as it goes 178 miles around Lake Tahoe, Carson City, and Virginia City coming to an end on the same path at Idlewild Park.

2) The Downtown River Run hosted by Reno 5000 runs along this route as part of their Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10k events giving runners a great experience through Downtown Reno and all of the Truckee River path.

3) The Great Basin Brewery 4-person relay, a personal favorite of mine, also runs along this route from the Sparks Great Basin Brewery location to Mayberry Park and back.  I would try this relay if you like to have a post-run beer with your friends.

I hope everyone has a chance to try the Truckee River path at some point, whether it is in one of the events above or just on your own.  It definitely highlights Downtown Reno and the Truckee River, so for anyone that isn’t familiar with the area, I would recommend trying this running route before anything else.

If you have a favorite part of the River path you like to run, please feel free to comment and share.  Don’t forget to follow my blog for other upcoming run highlights in the Reno and Lake Tahoe area.