Kokanee trail run receives state distinction | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Kokanee trail run receives state distinction

Kicking off a two-week spree of running at Lake Tahoe, the Kokanee 5K, 10K and Half Marathon Trail Runs will likely bring some of Northern California’s top trail runners to South Shore.

Presented by the Tahoe Mountain Milers, the Kokanee, for short, is recognized as the trail half marathon state championship by the Road Runners Club of America. It’s the first time a Mountain Milers’ race has received that distinction.

“Obviously in California there are various running clubs throughout, so we’re glad to see that happen …” said Dave Cotter, president of the Mountain Milers. “We like to share the fact that we have some of the most beautiful trail runs in the world.”

The designation bears little significance to those who have been running in the race for the last decade, but it does mean that the 2002 half marathon competition on Oct. 6 could be a little bolder.

One returning runner is Dominique Westlake, the 10K and half marathon record holder.

A cross country coach at South Tahoe High School and teacher with the middle school, Westlake finished the 10K in 36 minutes in 1993. Six years later he set the half marathon record in 1 hour, 23 minutes and 26 seconds.

The event is organized in conjunction with the nearby Kokanee Salmon Festival, which will be held at Taylor Creek Visitor Center along State Route 89. Also that weekend is Oktoberfest at Historic Camp Richardson.

All three runs begin and end at Taylor Creek Sno-Park, located about four miles north of the “Y” on S.R. 89.

The half marathon course follows trails along Fallen Leaf Lake and eventually climbs Tahoe Mountain. It turns near South Tahoe High School and winds back to the Sno-Park.

About 200 people were signed up for the event as of Monday, but that number will likely double. More than 600 have participated in the past.

More well known as a pleasurable trail run than state championship, the event typically has a large percentage of participants from the Lake Tahoe community, around 50 percent.

For more information or a registration form, see http://www.tahoemtnmilers.org.

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