With more than 8,000 athletes competing in 30-plus events, the 18th annual Lake Tahoe Marathon wrapped up another successful run this past weekend.
Athletes from Lake Tahoe to Europe, from toddler to octogenarian, gathered in the Basin to compete in the annual three-day event beginning Friday and ending Sunday. Participants swam, ran, paddled, walked and biked around the lake.
Bring it on home
The main event was the final of three marathons, known as the Lake Tahoe Marathon, which began at Commons Beach in Tahoe City and ended at Pope Beach near South Lake Tahoe on Sunday.
Charlie Johnston of Sparks and Kristin Walstad of Alta took top honors.
Johnston, 30, easily claimed the overall victory in the field of 171 runners. He crossed the finish line with a winning time of 2:50:21, an average of 6:30 a mile, to runner-up Samer Slim’s 3:10:35.
Walstad, 40, took third overall in 3:13:16 and first among women. Ryan Montalbo (hometown unknown) was fourth in 3:17:00.
Trey Griffin was the top Tahoe-area finisher, as the 37-year-old South Lake Tahoe resident placed fifth in a time of 3:27:12, while Tara Purinton, 34, of Incline Village was the second woman finisher and 13th overall in 3:40:27.
Julie Rueckheim, 29, of Truckee placed fifth in the women’s field and 21st overall in a time of 3:48:49, Todd Tanis, 43, of Norden was 24th in 3:49:20, Carol Halberstadt, 51, of Truckee was the ninth woman and 36th overall in 4:03:50, and Brian Hunt of South Lake Tahoe was 38th in 4:04:12.
Among those Tahoe-area names was Kang Lee.
A runner named Kang
The Lake Tahoe Marathon has become a tradition for Lee of South Lake Tahoe. Every year his name is among the few who complete in all three marathons. This year was no different.
The 60-year-old ran a total of 78.6 miles in three days. He didn’t shatter any course records, but by Sunday he had once again pushed his way along every mile around the lake.
More than 30 events took place between Friday and Sunday, including biking, swimming, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding races.
A full-distance marathon was held each day, in addition to a 72-mile ultra and a couple of double and triple options around the lake.
The full-distance marathons kicked off with the Emerald Bay Marathon on Friday, continued with the Cal-Neva Marathon on Saturday and wrapped up with the Lake Tahoe Marathon on Sunday. There was an accompanying half-marathon each day.
There was also kayaking, swimming, a Historic Fun Run, triathlon options, a 5K, a 10K, an Optimist Kids Fun Run and of course, the bike options.
A Great Bike Ride
The Great Lake Tahoe Bike Ride, which offered two different distances — 35 miles and 72 miles — was held Saturday.
Bill Hudson of Olympic Valley finished sixth in the 72-miler in a time of 3:05:40, while John Hancock of Sacramento took the overall win in a field of 138 cyclists in 3:02:51. Jeff Hamilton of Truckee was 12th (3:06:55) and Steven Walton of Tahoe City was 19th (3:16:12).
Among other top local finishes, Jackson Shaw of Homewood took sixth in the 10K race Sunday in a time of 47:33 and Ryan Heisinger of Tahoe City was 11th in 48:42, while Richard Mallett of Tahoe City captured the win in the 20-mile race in a time of 2:55:24.