Wright encouraged with backup help for marathon | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Wright encouraged with backup help for marathon

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

With or without the California Highway Patrol’s help, the Lake Tahoe Marathon will go on as planned Sunday, according to race director Les Wright.

Wright was more encouraged about his options to hold the event following a meeting with marathon volunteers Wednesday night and learning that South Lake Tahoe Mayor Kathay Lovell had contacted California State Assemblyman Roger Niello and the first senate district office of late California State Senator Dave Cox regarding Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent budget cuts that directly impact the marathon. Both are working with Schwarzenegger’s office to put a stay on his executive order, according to Wright.

The California Highway Patrol informed Wright on Wednesday morning that his encroachment permit to allow runners/walkers on Highway 89 had been revoked, and the nine patrolmen assigned to ensure safety and control traffic were no longer available to him.

“The fact is we have paid the CHP in advance for their services,” Wright said.

Wright indicated that if the CHP is unable to staff the biking events on Saturday or the running events on Sunday, the El Dorado County Sheriff and Placer County Sheriff Departments will police the event for several thousand participants.

“The show will go on, one way or another,” Wright said on his website. “Many thanks to them and Cal Trans for

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.

– Tribune Community Editor Roseann Keegan contributed to this report.

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