South African on his record pace |

South African on his record pace

Jeremy Evans

With hip replacement surgery scheduled in two weeks, Bud Barela isn’t running as smoothly as he’s accustomed to. But that didn’t stop the South Lake Tahoe resident from completing the first leg of the Tahoe Triple on Thursday.

Barela finished the 26.2-mile course from Emerald Bay to Spooner Summit in just over eight hours, a far cry from the record-setting performance by Johan Oosthuizen, who was the first finisher in 2 hours, 43 minutes.

“It was tough,” said the 60-year-old Barela, who is one of four runners to participate in all six Tahoe Triples. “I am getting older, but it’s still a beautiful race.”

Oosthuizen, a South African native, is attempting to break the Guinness World Record for “Fastest Aggregate Time – Three Marathons in Three Days” at this week’s Lake Tahoe Marathon. The current record holder is the United Kingdom’s Raymond Hubbard, who ran marathons in Belfast, Ireland, London and Boston in 8:22.31.

Oosthuizen’s time on Thursday was a Lake Tahoe Marathon record for the first day of the Tahoe Triple. While Barela realizes he’ll never challenge that record, he’s just happy to extend his streak of consecutive Tahoe Triples.

Barela, Conrad Daniel, Bob Keeffe and Dan Marinsik are the only four athletes to have competed in every Tahoe Triple since the event’s inception in 2001. Marinsik, 47, finished Thursday’s first leg in 5:12, while Daniel and Keeffe crossed the finish line together in 5:32.

“The four of us are so thankful we are still running together,” Barela said. “It’s not an ego thing with us. We’ve become very close friends over the years. Hopefully after my hip surgery, I will get back to where they are at next year.”

The 26.2-mile second leg of the Tahoe Triple is Friday from Spooner Summit to Tahoe City, then the final leg is on Saturday from Tahoe City to Pope Beach in conjunction with the 11th annual Lake Tahoe Marathon.

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