Stateline runners to race in inaugural event |

Stateline runners to race in inaugural event

By Jeremy Evans

Tribune staff writer

Usually when friends negotiate, one person pleads and the other either accepts or rejects the plea.

After Ron Nageotte convinced Ted Smith to participate in a 185-mile relay race this weekend, Smith isn’t sure who got the better end of the deal.

“Ron kind of talked me into it,” said the 53-year-old Smith. “His friend from Reno was looking for people and he talked me into it. But I’m excited. I hope this is something that they keep around for a while. I guess no matter what happens we’re going to make history.”

When Smith and Nageotte – both Stateline residents – begin the inaugural Reno-Tahoe Odyssey Relay Run Adventure today in Reno, history will indeed be made. Their 12-person team is the oldest in the field, with not a single member under 50. In fact, there isn’t another team in the field with a runner over 40.

“Our team is called the ‘Galloping Geezers,'” said Nageotte, 55, a craps dealer at Horizon. “Everyone on our team but Ted and I have run several 100-mile runs. They are ultrarunners pretty much. But we’ve done some 50-milers. We got a pretty good team.”

Modeled after the Hood to Coast Relay in Oregon, which is the largest relay race in North America, the Reno Tahoe Odyssey has a similar race structure. The course starts at Reno’s Whitewater Park, heads west toward Truckee, then south along Highway 89 along Tahoe’s West Shore. It then winds its way through South Shore, over Kingsbury Grade and into the Carson Valley, up to Virginia City before ending at Idlewild Park.

In all, the course travels 185 miles. There are 36 teams, with 12 runners on each team. Each team member runs three legs, totaling about 15 miles. All teams must have two vans for transporting members and will be equipped with refreshments, first-aid kits and other logistical features.

The first team begins racing today at 9:15 a.m. and the last will leave Reno at 6:15 p.m. All teams must complete the course in less than 33 hours to be considered official finishers.

“I think we have to finish under 33 hours, but I don’t see that being a problem,” Smith said. “It’s new and different. I think it’s going to fun. I’m excited to meet some of the other team members because I haven’t met them before.”

Nageotte’s first leg is from Glenshire to Truckee, a moderate 4.2-mile stretch. Smith’s first leg is from Truckee and heads toward Tahoe City along Highway 89, a distance of 3.3 miles. Then the legs get more difficult for the two South Shore runners.

Nageotte’s second leg is 4.2 miles long and goes from Heavenly Village up Kingsbury Grade to Daggett Summit. His final leg is 3.1 miles and travels north from the historic Bucket of Blood Saloon in Virginia City along Geiger Grade.

Smith’s second leg is 3.7 miles and starts on Kingsbury Grade and ends near Foothill Road in the Carson Valley. His final leg is one of the longest on the course – 7.1 challenging miles that involve descending Geiger Grade until it meets U.S. Highway 395 in south Reno.

“It’s kind of neat that I get to run by where I work because I did have to take Friday and Saturday off work to do this,” said Nageotte, who runs with the Silver State Striders and Tahoe Mountain Milers. “It’s just kind of cool that I get to run the leg that goes through Stateline by the Horizon and up Kingsbury because this is where I live. That’s the cool part.”

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