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South African rewrites Guinness Book

Jeremy Evans

Regardless of whether Johan Oosthuizen set a new world record in Lake Tahoe, the South African certainly came to the United States with the right attitude.

“You can’t run like a coward if you want to break a world record,” Oosthuizen said. “It’s one thing to set the pace for the first two days. But lining up for the last race on that final day, you really don’t know what to expect.”

Oosthuizen expected greatness and achieved it on Saturday, finishing the Tahoe Triple in a record time of 8 hours, 10 minutes, 70 seconds. His three-day time is a Guinness World Record for “Fastest Aggregate Time – Three Marathons in Three Days.” The United Kingdom’s Raymond Hubbard was the previous world record holder, running marathons in Belfast, Ireland, London and Boston in 8:22.31 (April 16-18, 1988).



Oosthuizen, 33, ran the first marathon on Thursday in 2:43.36, going from Emerald Bay to Spooner Lake. He ran the second marathon on Friday in 2:43.31, going from Spooner Lake to Tahoe City. His third marathon was on Saturday in conjunction with the 11th annual Lake Tahoe Marathon. He finished in 2:44.03.

“I was quite consistent, especially for this last day’s race,” said Oosthuizen, whose personal best marathon time is 2:22.30. “I think the last day is the toughest because there are two bad climbs. On the first day, there is only one bad climb (to Spooner Lake).



“It’s much easier running at sea level, but then you have to find three marathons in a row and you have to travel. Logistically, it is much easier here because you can stay in South Lake Tahoe and rest up before each race. It’s a huge relief to get this record.”

Oosthuizen’s time of 8:10.91 broke the previous Tahoe Triple record by almost 45 minutes. Thomas Reiss ran a 8:55.02 last year, snapping four-time defending champion Sean Meissner’s record time of 9:28.01, set in 2004.

Meissner, who competed in the 72-mile Lake Tahoe Ultra, congratulated Oosthuizen once he caught his own breath.

“You are awesome, man. You are really awesome,” Meissner said.

And a world-record holder.

Meissner wins inaugural event

Sean Meissner, who won the Tahoe Triple from 2001-2004, is ready to start a new streak at the Lake Tahoe Marathon after winning the 72-mile Lake Tahoe Ultra in 10 hours, 28 minutes. He started his run from Pope Beach at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday morning and was the first person to cross the finish line later that day at his starting spot.

“The Tahoe Triple is hard because you have to get up for it mentally, physically and emotionally for three days in a row,” said Meissner, a Sisters, Ore., resident. “This race, you only have to do that for one day. It’s cool to run around the lake in the Tahoe Triple, but it’s even cooler to do it all in one day.”

Meissner encountered some odd events during his journey. Near Burger King in Stateline, he passed three drunk men fighting in a dark parking lot. Then in Kings Beach, his support team watched a bear cross the road, though Meissner never saw it.

“I was a little scared about the fight because I didn’t know if they were going to bring me into it,” Meissner said. “I seriously sped up to get past them.”

Meissner’s goal was to run a 9:30, but he battled a tough stretch between miles 42-58, near Dollar Hill outside Tahoe City. In addition to vomiting, he walked for a portion before regaining his strength.

Truckee runner claims 10K

Nathan Bristow ran cross country for the University of California, Davis, so Saturday’s 10K run at the Lake Tahoe Marathon was nothing more than old memories for the 26-year-old Truckee resident.

“In college, 10Ks are about the furthest you go,” said Bristow, who has lived in Truckee for three years. “I am planning on doing the Sacramento Marathon in December. I needed to work myself up to higher mileages.”

Bristow is on his way after winning the 10K in 34 minutes, 2 seconds. A forest service employee who also worked at Royal Gorge Cross Country Center last winter, Bristow was competing in his first event in the Lake Tahoe Marathon.

“The 10K seemed like a good one to do. It’s pretty cool, but that Tahoe Triple sounds like an eventual goal. You want to race and get better so you are ready when it comes to the big races.”


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