Runners’ destination is Tahoe |

Runners’ destination is Tahoe

Susan Wood
Jim Grant/Tahoe Daily Tribune Members of the Tahoe Mountain Milers, from left, Georgia Turner, Dave Cotter, Sheryl Ferguson, Anjanette Hoefer and Deni Sullivan, take a scenic run past mortar rock during their lunch break.

Even at age 9, Cassidy Cichowicz may have pounded the pavement more than most job seekers.

The young South Lake Tahoe runner, who’s logged a handful of 5-kilometer races, started jogging two years ago because it’s both fun and hard.

“It gives me a challenge,” she said Wednesday.

Cassidy is not alone in her quest.

“Sometimes my friends come with me,” the Tahoe Valley Elementary student said.

They either participate or support her from the sidelines, she said.

She dreams of running a marathon someday.

She and her running sister, Courtney, 13, will attend the 47th annual Road Runners Club of America’s National Convention staged at the Horizon Casino Resort May 12-16. It’s hosted by the Tahoe Mountain Milers and Sagebrush Stompers of Lake Tahoe and Carson City, respectively. The Mountain Milers have grown to a membership of 160 people since 1995. The Stompers have an equivalent membership.

This year’s convention, which is expected to bring 400 runners to the lake from all over the nation, will feature a theme “Running through the History of Lake Tahoe.” Forest Service ranger Don Lane will give runners a glimpse of that in his whimsical style.

A diverse lineup of seminar topics includes one that reviews the ins and outs of getting children on the running kick.

Cassidy said she’s quite comfortable with competing in events, adding her second wind comes a while into the run. Following in the footsteps of her 13-year-old sister, Courtney, the youngster plans to join the track team at South Tahoe Middle School. The two girls also snowboard, rock climb and dance, as well as play softball and soccer.

“I like being in shape. It helps my soccer game,” Courtney said.

With all that, Cassidy and Courtney said her full slate is still manageable.

On the other end of the age spectrum, Sacramento area runner Helen Klein, 81, will declare “It’s Never Too Late To Start” during her presentation.

All runners may find the usefulness in how to choose the best running shoe in 77 steps. Other seminar topics range from athletic health to the mystique of the Western States 100. The 100-mile endurance challenge winds through the Sierra Nevada.

The convention will also feature an auction, barbecue, a Tahoe Queen dinner cruise and trail runs.

Mountain Miler President Dave Cotter expects to impress attendees from out of town and locals alike. Cotter notes about half the people have never been to Tahoe.

“And people (who live here) are still surprised by the beauty of this place,” he said.

He was reminded of a few training runs in which local club members admitted to being unaware of the captivating overlooks of Marlette Lake from Snow Valley Peak.

“During marathon training, I tell people that I guarantee we’ll take them places they’ve never been before,” he said.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at

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