South Tahoe hosts popular, fun Retro Races |

South Tahoe hosts popular, fun Retro Races

South Tahoe junior Christopher Hoefer leads the field out of Viking Stadium Thursday, Sept. 28, at the start of the Retro Relay race.
Courtesy photo |

South Tahoe recently held its Retro Relays, so if anyone saw a slice of bacon running on a path near the high school, it was probably involved in those cross country races.

The Retro Relays are run in conjunction with South Tahoe Middle School and the event Thursday, Sept. 28, drew hundreds of kids, many dressed in costumes.

“It’s a pretty relaxed meet,” said South Tahoe senior David Holmes, an individual Nevada state qualifier from a year ago. “It’s kind of a break from the super intense, like ‘oh man we gotta win right now.’ It’s a goofy meet where we get to have fun. But at the same time we really don’t ever take it easy. But it is a more relaxed environment. It’s fun.”

Vikings cross country head coach Mark Hoefer doesn’t know the full history of the event, but for the past 10 to 12 years he’s been watching kids dress up as bears, gorillas and even bacon.

“But the deal is, you’ve gotta be able to run in what you’re dressed in without tripping and falling,” Hoefer said.

The middle school had sixth and seventh grade boys and girls races and eighth grade races for both boys and girls. Hoefer figured there had to be 300 hundred kids participating along with another 300 prep runners in the event.

They ran before the high school athletes who chose to run in either an individual boys or girls event or a four-person tag team race. There also was a coaches division, but the Vikings coaches were a little busy directing the event.

South Tahoe sophomore Carissa Buchholz, who finished third in the state last year as a freshman, ran as part of a four-person girls’ team that finished first, although the final standings aren’t the most important, she said.

“Everyone is out to have fun. Everyone still tries to do well, but it’s more of a team effort,” said Buchholz, whose team finished second in the costume contest by dressing up like grannies. “We had a cool, fun skit. It’s fun, you don’t feel the pressure you usually do when we go race somewhere else, it’s more laid back. It’s always one of the races we look forward to.”

The four-person tag team relay is four 1-mile loops around the campus. One member of the team would run a lap than tag a teammate who would take off for a lap.

South Tahoe’s boys top team finished in third, behind two teams from Spanish Springs. Holmes, who was part of that team, dressed up in retro style with his teammates, wearing Vikings team jerseys form the ‘80s.

Hoefer said the event is kind of hit-and-miss probably due to the date and time not being the same every year, but if a date can be nailed down, the event is sure to grow.

Said Hoefer, “It’s turned into a really fun race and it seems like every year we’ll bump into high schools that want to know when our race is gonna be.”

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