2015 Ironman Lake Tahoe takes over North Shore, Truckee | TahoeDailyTribune.com

2015 Ironman Lake Tahoe takes over North Shore, Truckee

Athletes take to the water off of Kings Beach at the start of the Ironman Lake Tahoe on Sunday.
Courtesy Harry Lefrak / Lefrak Photography |

Clear blue skies and warm temperatures greeted roughly 2,000 athletes from across the globe for the Ironman Lake Tahoe triathlons on Sunday.

Gregory Lindquist, 33, from Boulder, Colo., raced to victory in the full-distance Ironman race, crossing the finish in 9 hours, 39 minutes, 23 seconds, while 36-year-old Sonja Wieck from Greenwood Village, Colo., topped the women’s field with a time of 10:28:55.

The triathlon consisted of a 2.4-mile swim off the shore of Kings Beach, a 112-mile bike ride that looped through the North Shore and Truckee, and 26.2-mile run through Olympic Valley and along the Truckee River.

The event also included the Ironman 70.3 Lake Tahoe, which used the same course but measured exactly half the distance of the full Ironman.

Stephen O’Mara, 33, who lives in San Rafael but is originally from Ireland, captured the win in the 70.3 with a time of 4:25:27. University of Arizona student Erica Clevenger, 21, was the top woman with a time of 4:54:25.

Raeleigh Harris, a 44-year-old Australian native who resides in Truckee, was the top local with her second-place finish among women in the 70.3 race. She recorded a time of 5:04:56, which was good enough for 35th place overall.

“It’s one of the most beautiful courses I’ve ever done,” said Harris, who, by winning her age group, earned one of 30 coveted slots to compete in the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Queensland, Australia. The World Championship will be the third for Harris.

Among other local finishers, 33-year-old Truckee resident Donatas Ereminas finished 49th overall in the full-distance Ironman, posting a time of 10:36:13, and Truckee’s Jeff Schloss, 57, was 197th overall in 11:59:15.

Ereminas said he suffered from cramps during the bike and struggled on the marathon-distance run — a result of not training hard enough for what he considered his strongest discipline of the three.

“When I was running I said, ‘I’m never going to do this again,’” said Ereminas, who won all three 70.3-distance races he entered this past summer. He also raced four Olympic-distance triathlons in preparation for Ironman.

Should he race another full-distance Ironman next year — he’s already leaning toward it —Ereminas said he’ll spend more time training for the run.

Schloss, head Nordic coach at the Sugar Bowl Academy, also competed in multiple triathlons over the summer, including three Olympics and the 70.3 distance of the Donner Lake Triathlon. While the events helped prepare him for Sunday’s challenge, he said he suffered from stomach issues on the run.

Nausea might have prevented him from finishing had he not powered through — thanks in part to the motivating cheers from his wife and Sugar Bowl Academy athletes who came out to support him.

“It (quitting) was probably in the back of my mind, but it was never any never serious consideration. I trained the whole year for it and I wanted to finish, even though I did not feel well at all. I just had to go slow and keep plodding along. You don’t want to quit when you have all those people supporting you,” said Schloss, who received an IV in the medical tent after his finish. “But I gotta tell you, the full is such a different animal than the half — it’s a lot more than twice as hard.”

Schloss also had to race with a brace on his arm after breaking his hand rock climbing two weeks ago.

“I was worried about swim the most,” he said. “You get kicked and bumped into all the time — and that happened — but the brace protected me.”

Complete results are available online from Ironman Lake Tahoe and Ironman 70.3 Lake Tahoe, as well as a photo gallery from Lefrak Photography.