Marathon faces last-minute policing issues |

Marathon faces last-minute policing issues

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

The California budget woes are now filtering down to impact the Lake Tahoe Marathon.

LTM Race Director Les Wright learned on Wednesday morning that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has revoked California encroachment permits and eliminated overtime for California Highway Patrolmen.

As a result, Wright won’t have the CHP’s help in controlling traffic and enforcing safety during the 15th running of the Lake Tahoe Marathon on Sunday. Schwarzenegger’s decision will also impact Saturday’s bicycle races.

“I have no intention of canceling our events,” Wright said. “City, county, and federal services are still available. And the common intelligence of our athletes will provide common-sense safety.

“We will bike and run as planned with some safety modifications.”

Wright said that he will ask the city of South Lake Tahoe and El Dorado and Placer counties to ensure safety for participants. The marathon starts early Sunday morning in Tahoe City and concludes at Pope Beach in South Lake Tahoe. Runners won’t be able to run on Highway 89 as they have in past years.

“It will be just like we did 15 years ago,” Wright said. “We will run on the side of the road facing traffic. Bikes will obey all traffic regulations as already stated in the rules.”

Wright planned to update participants and volunteers during a 6 p.m. meeting Wednesday at the Horizon.

Fran Clader, a spokeswoman for the CHP headquarters in Sacramento, confirmed the department is following Schwarzenegger’s directive, which came at the beginning of September and included a freeze on new hires and promotions.

The CHP sent a list of requested overtime exemptions to the governor’s office. All CHP field offices were notified Wednesday of the results.

Clader said exemptions include civil or criminal subpoenas, reimbursed film-related activities and escorts for large loads.

She emphasized that the reduction in overtime would not impact the CHP’s core public safety mission.

– Tribune Community Editor Roseann Keegan contributed to this report.

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