Lake Tahoe Marathon returns to South Shore for 21st year, brings fun to running |

Lake Tahoe Marathon returns to South Shore for 21st year, brings fun to running

More than 1,500 runners will flock to the Tahoe for the 21st Lake Tahoe Marathon weekend next Friday through Sunday, Oct. 7-9. At an array of distances during the three-day event, most of them won’t be aiming for a top time.

“This is not a personal record course, it’s a PW course — personal worst,” event director Les Wright said. “People come here to have a good time, they’re not going to get a good time.”

The weekend’s title event begins at 8 a.m. Sunday, and runs from Homewood through South Lake Tahoe before ending at Lakeside Beach. The Lake Tahoe Marathon is one of 12 races during the weekend, in addition to a health and fitness expo Friday and Saturday at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel.

“It’s special because of the scenery,” Wright said of the races. “We keep it friendly and low-key — we have a lot of fun with it. It’s a great event.”

The weekend kicks off Friday morning with the Lakeside Marathon, which takes runners from Lakeside Beach to Incline Village. Friday also features the Nevada Half Marathon that starts at Spooner Summit, a historic fun run to Nevada Beach with Neal Chappell and the expo from 5-8 p.m.

On Saturday, the Cal-Neva Marathon from Sand Harbor to Homewood kicks things off at 7 a.m. The Carnelian Bay Half Marathon hits the ground at 9 a.m., and the Midnight Express 72 Mile Ultra starts in the dark 12 hours later — the expo runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The weekend comes to a close with six events Sunday, including the Edgewood Tahoe 10K and Super Hero 5K Pumpkin Run at 8:20 and 8:30 a.m. The course for both races features stretches on the scenic South Shore golf course, and those running in costume for the 5k event get a one-minute head start.

The kids race begins at 10 a.m. near the marathon’s finish line at Lakeside Beach, and is open to children between the ages of 1 and 10. The free event hosted by Optimist Club features distances that vary by age, from 30 yards to a half-mile.

“If folks in town have kids, bring them on down to run,” Wright said.

Some participants will aim to tackle a marathon each day to earn the “triple marathon” distinction by the end of the weekend. Those that attempt a half-marathon each day are recognized with a “trifecta” medal.

“We have a lot of people come back every year, and they come from all over the country and around the world,” Wright said, adding that this year’s field includes runners from Australia, Brazil, South Africa and Taiwan. “We have the usual suspects coming back.”

For the second straight year, Sunday’s marathon will run through South Lake Tahoe before finishing at Lakeside Beach. Wright suggested Lakeview Commons as a good site to view the race — nearby Revive Coffee and Wine will serve mimosas for spectators and offer obliging runners wine samples as the event passes by.

“It’s a nice little city course,” Wright said. “Anybody out in town that wants to come and help, we’ll find something for them.”

For more information on the Lake Tahoe Marathon weekend, visit Those interested in volunteering at the event can contact Wright at or 530-559-2261 for more details.

South Tahoe boys soccer blasts Fallon 9-0, notches second league victory

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The South Tahoe boys soccer team lit up the scoreboard with an unrelenting attack Wednesday, Sept. 28. The Vikings beat Fallon 9-0 in a 3A Northern League match at Viking Stadium, scoring a big win with a season-best offensive performance.

South Tahoe (2-6-1, 2-4-1 3A Northern) had goals from four different players in the first half Wednesday, and added five more after the break. The Vikings had scored eight goals total in their first eight matches, and exceeded that number in 80 minutes against Fallon (0-9, 0-7).

The Vikings opened the scoring in the 20th minute when senior Dillon King tapped in a shot at the far post off a corner kick. Three minutes later, junior Kevin Nunez put home a breakaway chance to make it 2-0.

Just before halftime, South Tahoe scored two goals a minute apart to take a commanding lead. Senior Gybran Marquez dribbled through the Greenwave defense following a turnover and scored in the 38th minute, then senior Lex Merrifield found the back of the net a minute later to make it 4-0.

After the break, South Tahoe extended its advantage to 5-0 in the 53rd minute. The Vikings scored five times in the last 27 minutes en route to a nine-goal win over Fallon.


FALLON, Nev. — The South Tahoe girls soccer team delivered a season-best offensive output and pitched a third straight shutout en route to road victory Wednesday, Sept. 28. The Vikings beat Fallon 6-0 in a 3A Northern League match, led by a hat trick from senior Ana Garcia.

South Tahoe (5-4, 5-2 3A Northern) scored three times in each half against the Greenwave. Garcia had three goals in the win, junior Lulu Gutierrez scored twice and junior Jocelyn Barajas added one.

Senior Claudia Janese stopped two shots in the Vikings’ shutout of Fallon (0-5-4, 0-5-3). South Tahoe won decisively despite missing four players and starting senior Emma Dayberry at center back instead of her usual role in attack.

Both teams conclude the first round of league play Friday, Sept. 30, against North Tahoe. The girls host the Lakers at Viking Stadium while the boys travel to Tahoe City — both matches are scheduled for 5 p.m.

Sports Roundup: Lake Tahoe CC soccer opens conference play with sweep at Butte


OROVILLE, Calif. — The Lake Tahoe Community College men’s and women’s soccer teams opened Golden Valley Conference play with a sweep on the road Tuesday, Sept. 27. The Coyotes swept Butte College, with each team holding the Roadrunners scoreless.

LTCC’s women’s team (4-3-2, 1-0 GVC) rolled to a 5-0 victory over Butte in the first game of the doubleheader. Goals from freshman Marlie Mandaguit, freshman Rebecca Niblett and sophomore Shawa Guererro-Escobedo gave the Coyotes a 3-0 lead at halftime.

In the second half, freshman Kenya Maltase found the back of the net and Guerrero-Escobedo scored her second. For the second straight match, sophomores Yami Jimenez-Ojeda (80 minutes) and Alicia Rea (10 minutes) combined to keep a clean sheet.

“It was definitely our most complete performance of the season,” Coyotes women’s head coach Jeremy Evans said. “This team has had an issue putting together two halves, particularly in games we held advantages at halftime. While goals are always nice, it’s the quality of play that led to the goals that was more impressive.”

The Coyotes men’s team (5-3-3, 1-0) capped the twinbill with a 1-0 win Tuesday. Sophomore Miguel Diaz-Ortiz scored the lone goal of the match in the 76th minute off an assist from sophomore Courtney Lewis.

LTCC prevailed against the Roadrunners despite playing with 10 after a red card in the 41st minute. It was the Coyotes’ fifth win of the season, after picking up a forfeit victory in a non-conference match they lost at Cañada College (Redwood City, Calif.) on Aug. 30.

Both teams return to action with a home doubleheader against Feather River College on Friday, Sept. 30.

The women’s game starts at 2 p.m. with the men’s game scheduled for 4 p.m.

South Tahoe volleyball hangs with league leading Truckee, falls in four sets

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The South Tahoe volleyball team battled a big-time opponent with a big hitter at home Wednesday, Sept. 28. In their first home match in three weeks, the Vikings hung tough before ultimately coming up short.

The Vikings fell to league-leading Truckee in four sets 21-25, 19-25, 25-18, 21-25 at the Blue Gym on Wednesday. The loss ended a six-game winning streak for South Tahoe and kept its rivals undefeated in 3A Northern League play.

“We definitely battled,” Vikings coach Kelly Racca said. “I can see that we’re there — we’re on that bell curve about to hit the top.”

South Tahoe (12-4, 5-2 3A Northern) had an 8-6 lead in the first set before the visitors took control. Truckee (12-5, 7-0) went on a 6-1 run and didn’t trail for the rest of the opening frame to take an early lead.

The Wolverines opened the second set with a kill from Maia Dvoracek as part of a 6-0 run — and stayed ahead the rest of the way. The Cal Poly-bound senior and reigning league Most Valuable Player was a force for the Wolverines throughout the match, turning power into points from the right side.

“In the first and second sets, we were a little bubbly and that’s what stopped us,” said Vikings senior Zoe Mosedale, who finished with 25 assists and three kills. “Once we clicked and realized they were stoppable, we really powered through it — a lot of it was nerves.”

After falling behind by two sets, the Vikings responded in the third. Senior Maya Brosch opened the frame with a kill and South Tahoe didn’t trail the rest of the way — Truckee pulled within two at 15-13, but the hosts reeled off four straight points after a timeout to stay in control.

“We were getting them out of system a lot,” Racca said. “Our game plan was to attack the right side so Maia had to take a second ball and it took her out of swing — when we did that it was great.”

Kills from juniors McKenna Brewer and Novel Moses on consecutive points put the Vikings a point away from taking the third set. On South Tahoe’s first set point Dvoracek unleashed a powerful swing from the left side, and Brosch got under it on the back line.

Brosch’s dig went back over the net in the direction of Dvoracek, who wound up and hit the ball into the net. The Vikings took the set, and were suddenly back in the match after becoming the second team to take a set off of Truckee in league play.

“I was pretty stoked,” Brosch said. “I was back there and thinking, ‘She’s coming to me right now.’ I knew it.”

The fourth set began in back and forth fashion, and the Vikings appeared poised to continue their comeback. With the scored tied 9-9, a communication error allowed Truckee to take the lead and spark a run of five straight points — from there, the Wolverines closed out a seventh straight league victory.

“They were discombobulated and out of sorts,” Racca said. “If we could have just passed and given it to them, we would have had that set too — but we couldn’t do the things on our side we needed to do.”

Moses finished with seven kills, 14 digs and an ace Tuesday while Brosch tallied seven kills, 12 digs and a solo block. Brewer filled up the stat sheet from the middle with six kills, two aces, five digs and two solo blocks.

“It was definitely a step up from other games,” Mosedale said. “We had more connections and our passes were on point.”

Defensively, senior Ashley Bricker had a team-high 20 digs to go along with two kills and two aces. Senior Brynna Hembree finished with nine digs and three aces while sophomore Layne Hembree added three solo blocks and two kills.

For South Tahoe, passing made the difference against the Wolverines. The Vikings passed at a 2.0 in the fourth set — giving the setter two options — compared to a 1.6 average in the three they lost.

“When we pass well, we can run anything we want,” Racca said. “It’s a beautiful thing.”

South Tahoe concludes the first round of league play Monday, Oct. 3, when it hosts Fernley. First serve in the Blue Gym is scheduled for 6 p.m.

South Lake Tahoe man pleads guilty to Vallejo kidnapping

A South Lake Tahoe man pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping and could face life in prison for an abduction that was at first deemed a hoax by police.

Matthew Muller, 39, was accused of kidnapping Denise Huskins from her Vallejo home last year and demanding ransom amounts totaling $15,000, according to court documents.

Muller allegedly entered into the home of Huskins and her boyfriend Aaron Quinn on March 23, 2015. He bound, blindfolded, and drugged them before playing a prerecorded message to the victims that threatened face cutting or electric shock if they did not cooperate.

Muller is accused of putting Huskins in the trunk of a car and taking her to his residence in South Lake Tahoe where he kept her for two days.

Muller sent emails to Quinn demanding ransom and also to a reporter in San Francisco, claiming that the kidnapping had been carried out by “a group of elite criminals who were perfecting their kidnapping-for-ransom tactics,” according to the office of U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert.

Huskins was dropped off two days later at her parents’ home in Huntington Beach.

Authorities booked a flight for Huskins to Northern California to interview her about the abduction, but when she did not get on the plane, Vallejo police grew suspicious.

In a written statement filed in court documents, retired police Capt. James O’Connell said she “did not act like a kidnapping victim.”

““I found it unusual that she denied being a victim, did not wish to speak with Huntington Beach police, and instead wanted to speak with her lawyer,” said lead investigator Det. Mathew Mustard in court documents.

“Strangest of all, when law enforcement arranged to fly Ms. Huskins to Vallejo, where all her family had gathered, she rejected the offer. I found it odd that a recently released kidnap victim would not want to go to her family.”

Muller was ultimately identified as a suspect in the Vallejo kidnapping due to an investigation into a burglary that occurred in Alameda County on June 5. He was arrested by Dublin Police Services, and a search of his South Lake Tahoe residence and storage locker in Vallejo revealed evidence pertaining to the case.

Aerial drones referenced in emails to the reporter were uncovered, along with a sound recording consistent with the one described by Huskins and Quinn. A video recording of Muller with a blindfolded Huskins in his residence was also found.

Muller, once an immigration attorney at a San Francisco law firm and a U.S. Marine, was disbarred in 2015 after filing for bankruptcy. In a sworn federal affidavit, he told investigators he suffered from psychosis and bipolar disorder.

He previously pleaded not guilty to the kidnapping charge.

Muller is set to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley on Jan. 19, 2017 and faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

If he “accepts responsibility and adheres to his promises in the plea agreement,” then the government will recommend a sentence of no more than 40 years, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert.

“Muller committed a serious and violent crime that terrorized the victims in this case. He violated the sanctity of their home and caused fear and panic for all those affected by the kidnapping,” said Talbert.

“We are committed to continuing to seek justice in this case as it continues to sentencing.”

South Lake Tahoe Warm Room consequences (opinion)

I would like to preface this by saying these are my personal observations only and do not represent the views of any institution or organization. I have worked as an emergency physician at Barton since 1979. Every year I have witnessed the seasonal ebb and flow of homeless people in South Lake Tahoe. They drift into town when the weather gets nice, live in the woods and by the river, become distressed when the snow falls, and leave in the winter. The total number of homeless with their attendant alcohol, drug, mental health, and other social issues have gradually increased, but generally police, fire / ambulance, and the hospital were able to provide the needed services without adversely affecting care of rest of the community.

In the last year, this changed. Police, Fire, and Emergency Department staff noticed it. It is visible on the street. There is a marked increase in the number of the homeless, because a substantial number wintered over. Now, rooms are tied up in the Emergency Department by these people being treated acutely and being held for psychiatric placement. Because of this, waiting times for everyone else are increasing. Ambulance and police are running numerous calls on these folks, placing subsequent calls on hold. We can expect this trend to continue.

I am asked on a frequent basis by providers and members of the community to say something about the Warm Room. No one wants to be the first person to speak up and get hammered in the paper and elsewhere for being an uncaring redneck. I am a liberal Democrat. I am happy to provide any needed services to anyone who presents without regard to ability to pay or whether or not they are a productive member of society. And I am quite aware that there will be splatter from making this statement. But I care very much about our town, and I am not quite sure I like the direction it has turned.

I have no intention of being a spokesperson for this issue. But I have seen numerous examples this year including assaults on a teen-aged girl, grab and run theft from the Hospital cafeteria, and arson by some of our well-known homeless this year that are really unprecedented. So I will take the hit and be the first one to at least bring the issue up for discussion as to whether or not South Lake Tahoe is becoming a magnet for the homeless. These people with their drug, alcohol, mental health, and criminal justice issues are beginning to overwhelm the limited local resources.

Citizens of South Lake Tahoe need to make informed choices, need to know that there are consequences of their actions, and accept those consequences. If the Warm Room is to be continued, then there also needs to concomitant increases in mental health, police, and fire department services. And we will need more space in the Emergency Department at Barton.

Steven D. Leman, M.D., works for Barton Health and lives in South Lake Tahoe.

Letter: Goodbye, old friend

We’ve been friends for over 60 years, yet we’ve never met

You were my friend who introduced and explained the game and joys of baseball. Yes, I played, my children played and now, my grandkids. A great gift in life is to pass down joy from generation to generation. You helped. Thank you!

On hot summer nights back in the 1960s, you would talk baseball and tell me stories about the history of our national pastime between pitches of the Dodger game as I would drift off to sleep.

A great memory for me was when you called Willie Davis hitting an inside the park homerun with a close play at the plate. My dad said, “Did you see that?” Yes, you had such a beautiful way to use words to allow us to “see” the game without a TV! Thank you.

You were always inviting, starting off each game with, “It’s time for Dodger Baseball!” “Hi everybody and a very pleasant good evening to you wherever you may be, please, pull up a chair and spend part of your evening with me.” I would, and loved every time I did. Thank you.

It is very sad you are leaving yet I am very happy for our time together.

You made calls that will live in baseball history. You memorialized Henry Aaron’s 715th home run to pass Babe Ruth, Bo Jackson’s All Star game home run and who will ever forget Kirk Gibson’s walk off home run to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. “In a year that has been so improbable the impossible has happened.”

Thank you, again, Vin Scully for the happiness and joy you have given me and my family.

Your friends, Rob and Steph Evans

Zephyr Cove, Nev.

Experts: Tahoe tourism shows room for growth

It’s not a secret that tourism and real estate are the bread and butter of the Tahoe-Truckee economy. Anyone who’s spent a holiday weekend in the region has seen how busy it can get, and those who have stayed have seen just how much traffic dies down during the week.

The real challenge facing the local economy, according to those in the tourism industry, is figuring out how to get visitors to stay more than just the weekend.

The North Lake Tahoe Resort Association hosted the annual North Lake Tahoe Tourism Summit last week in Kings Beach for industry pros to network and gain insight into the state of the local economy.

Marily Mora, president of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority; Caroline Beteta, CEO of Visit California; and Ralf Garrison, director of the Colorado-based firm Destimetrics, were among presenters at the North Tahoe Event Center.

“This last year, tourism recovered for the first time since the recession,” Garrison said.

Destimetrics only provides data to subscribers, and the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association wasn’t able to provide long-term data before publication of this article.

But according to the most recent Destimetrics Mountain Market Briefing on Sept. 16, industry-wide data from participating resorts (which include dozens from six states including Colorado, Nevada and California) shows bookings for the upcoming winter season are already up 10.9 percent compared to last year.

Meanwhile Placer County’s Transient Occupancy Tax for the North Tahoe region on the California side, which is levied on visitors via hotel rooms and other lodging options, also shows tourism has been on the rise.

The county reported in August that last year’s TOT revenue was up to more than $15 million, an 18 percent increase from the previous year, and data obtained by the Sierra Sun shows consistent increases in TOT revenue since the 2011-12 season.

While local tourism is up, there’s always room for improvement. The Destimetrics data revealed two key areas for the local industry to grow: occupancy and non-peak periods.

“Our challenge is to create demand during other times of the year,” Garrison said.

In a later interview with the Sun, he said Lake Tahoe’s geographic location is what makes it such a popular weekend destination.

“All the things you’d ever need are right there on the West Coast,” he said.

That means visitors can get to Tahoe on short notice, but it also means they’re not staying as long.

“Other destinations, people have to travel longer distances to get to, so people have things like three and four night stays,” Garrison said. “Mostly resorts like those longer-stay guests.”

Another point he mentioned is that while Tahoe is a popular destination for West Coast residents, people in other parts of the country actually have to fly over other ski resorts like those in Colorado to get here.

These challenges, paired with concerns about snowfall, provide a lot of insight into how local resorts are working to maintain visitation.

“Our collective thinking is not how to grow more during the busy times but to grow during slower times … it’s a smarter business decision,” he said.

Garrison explained that since resorts have improved snowmaking efforts, beginner and intermediate skiers (and snowboarders) are still able to have fun even when the weather isn’t as favorable for winter sports.

Plus, there are other things to do. While lift ticket sales might decline during a bad snowfall record, he said retail sales actually go up — and that’s important, since it also increases county tax revenue.

Foxworthy headlines Reno’s Silver Legacy Casino

Renowned comedian and television personality Jeff Foxworthy brings his stand-up comedy tour to Reno’s Silver Legacy Casino for a two-performance night on Saturday, Oct. 1.

“Jeff Foxworthy is one of the most respected and successful comedians in the country. He is the largest-selling comedy recording artist in history, a multiple Grammy Award nominee and best-selling author of 11 books.

“Widely known for his redneck jokes, his act goes well beyond that to explore the humor in everyday family interactions and human nature, a style that has been compared to Mark Twain’s,” states Foxworthy’s online biography.

Marked by his “You might be a redneck if …,” jokes, Foxworthy was a member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, which included comedians Bill Engvall, Ron White and Larry the Cable Guy. The stand-up comedian is also known for his stints on “The Jeff Foxworthy Show” and “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”

“Never in a million years would I ever have expected myself up on stage with people actually wanting to hear my jokes and what I have to say… I mean, all that ever got me growing up was a D- in conduct!

“I consider myself a regular guy and I do my best to live my life through the guidance of God, keeping my friends and family close, and treating people the right way,” states Foxworthy’s Facebook biography.

Saturday’s first performance begins at 6:30 p.m., with the second following at 9:30 p.m. Silver Legacy Resort & Casino is located at 407 N Virginia Street in Reno.

Tickets start at $52.75, plus tax and fees. For more information, visit

— Lake Tahoe Action

Three South Shore projects named in TRPA’s Best in Basin Awards

Three projects on the South Shore were recognized by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency in its annual Best in Basin program.

The Best in Basin program, now in its 26th year, showcases projects that are in line with Lake Tahoe’s environment and communities.

Of the nine projects recognized this year, three were in South Lake Tahoe: Bijou Bike Park, Sawmill 2B Bike Path and Erosion Control Project, and Angora Burn Area Restoration Phase III.

“These projects illustrate the progress our partners are making to restore and conserve our environment, improve our communities, and make our region more sustainable,” said Joanne S. Marchetta, executive director of TRPA.

The Bijou Bike Park was created by the City of South Lake Tahoe and volunteers from the Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association (TAMBA). The bike park includes a world-class BMX track, two pump tracks, three slopestyle jump lines, and a loop trail within the five acres of forest land in Bijou Community Park.

South Lake Tahoe Mayor Pro Tem Austin Sass recognized Assistant Public Works Director Jim Marino and Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association President Ben Fish as the driving forces behind the Bijou Bike Park.

The Sawmill 2B Bike Path and Erosion Control Project was spearheaded by El Dorado County and partners. Together they built 1.2 miles of Class 1 bikeway, connecting South Lake Tahoe and Meyers.

The project included water quality improvements to reduce erosion and stormwater pollution. Thick forested areas long the bikeway were also thinned to help reduce wildfire risk.

Lastly, the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit was recognized for the work accomplished over the last nine years in the 3,100-acre burn area from the Angora Fire.

Since 2007, the Forest Service, in conjunction with community and government partners, has reforested 672 acres, restored 44 acres of aspen and meadow, and completed 1,400 acres of fuels reduction and forest thinning to reduce the risk of wildfires.

They have also relocated roads and trails out of stream zones, installed new signage, and restored 2,000 feet of stream channel.

Winners of the Best in Basin were announced at the TRPA Governing Board meeting on Sept. 28 in Kings Beach.