DeCelle Memorial Relay Saturday |

DeCelle Memorial Relay Saturday

Tribune staff report

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The 48th DeCelle Memorial Lake Tahoe Relay will be held Saturday, June 9, featuring 117 teams in the oldest distance relay in the country according to race director, April Carter, in a press release. 

The relay started in 1964 when Skip Houk of Reno and his friends decided to race around the Lake while training for the Olympic Trials at Echo Summit. It was then officially sanctioned by the AAU and taken over by the DeCelle family who continues to organize this event. In 1971 Capt. Robert DeCelle II was hit by enemy fire while trying to protect troops on the ground in Vietnam, eventually succumbing to his wounds a week later. The race was then changed to the DeCelle Memorial Lake Tahoe Relay.

Racers will line up at 7 a.m. at the junction of Highway 89 and Highway 50, better known as the “Y.” Each team consists of seven runners, each covering 10 miles. 

Chico State had won five consecutive years until BYU won by 14 minutes last year in a time of 6:39:49. BYU will not be participating this year since they qualified for the NCAA finals the same weekend. Teams from Oregon, Utah, California and Nevada will be running. The race record is held by the Stereoscope Loafers out of Reno, who ran a time of 6:16:28. 

McFarland High School out of Bakersfield has the top high school time with a time of 7:24:09. The Tahoe Tessies have the second fastest Masters Woman’s overall time of 8:54:37.

This is a non-profit event with proceeds going to youth and high school running programs. In 2010 funds were given to Bijou Community School for their playing field. 

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