Tahoe team relay championship presents views and challenges | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe team relay championship presents views and challenges

Chad Sellmer, Tribune staff writer

The seventh annual America’s Most Beautiful Relay around Lake Tahoe Saturday didn’t disappoint as competitors were dazzled with spectacular views and plenty of challenges on the 72-mile loop.

In addition to eight-person relay teams, four individuals attempted the “Solo Ultra” by running the whole thing alone.

“There were four people who ran the entire 72 miles on their own,” said Race Director Dave Cotter. “One ended up dropping out at 49 miles, one only ran 50 miles to get a Western States qualifying time and the other two finished.”

Mark Williams finished first at 12 hours, 58 minutes and 12 seconds. He also won the event last year. Paul Fick was second at 14:22:16.

The eight-leg race, officially titled the 2003 Road Runners Club of America Cal-Neva Bi-State Team Relay Championship, began and ended at Rockwater Bar & Grill in the South Shore.

A Bay Area-based, mixed open team, D.M. Express, finished first with a time of 8:10:40, while Team El Dorado High School was the final team to cross the finish line at 12 hours, 33:01 minutes. One team was disqualified for missing part of the route.

“The weather was absolutely incredible,” Cotter said. “Even though there were not as many teams this year, it was very tight competition for first place. Even back in the pack there was some competition. We had people come in just three or four seconds apart, which was pretty incredible since they had been running for 72 miles.”

About 100 volunteers helped staff 16 aid stations for the non-profit event, which is put on by Tahoe Mountain Milers and Sagebrush Stompers running clubs in partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Tahoe Sierra.

All of the net proceeds go to non-profit organizations, including Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, Special Olympics, Lake Tahoe Reading Council, El Dorado County Search and Rescue, South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center, Tahoe Youth and Family Services and Sierra Recovery Center.

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