Reno-Tahoe Odyssey a test of endurance
A total of 255 teams and 3,000-plus runners, including a handful of local entries, endured a non-stop through the night June 3-4 when the 12th annual Reno-Tahoe Odyssey Relay Run Adventure covered a 178-mile route that passed Lake Tahoe and Carson Valley.
Unlike most relays where participants only run once during the race, these participants hit the road an average of three times as they rotated through 36 legs, ranging from 2.6 to 8 miles and ranging in altitude from 4,500 in Reno to over 7,300 feet at the top of Daggett Pass on top of Kingsbury Grade.
The course began at 4 p.m. from Wingfield Park in Reno, ascended Interstate 80 toward Truckee and circled Lake Tahoe counterclockwise. From South Lake Tahoe, the course climbed up and over Kingsbury Grade, through Carson Valley, Carson City and Virginia City en route to the finish at Idlewild Park in Reno.
Carson Valley’s Bow Pitches took first-place in the club mixed division with a time of 26 hours, 48 minutes, 29 seconds. The 12-person team included Kara Cole, Jackie Geraets-Rauh, Paula Frey, Jay Frey, Joe Andrews, Niki Hamzik, Maria Wilson, Amber Walling, Linda Biaggi, Cathy Rieker, Erin Vaillancourt and Chris Vaillancourt.
“We did better than expected,” said Jay Frey, Douglas High School cross country coach. “We just wanted to have fun. Only two or three of us had done it (Reno-Tahoe Odyssey) before and we had a really fun and exhausting time with our team. It’s definitely a challenge … you might get close to one hour of sleep the entire time.”
The fastest local time of 23:41:49 — a pace of 7 minutes, 59 seconds per mile — was turned in by the Mountain Warriors from Coleville and the U.S. Marines Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center. The team’s effort was good enough to finish 19th overall and third in its men’s corporate division.
The Mountain Warriors included SgtMaj Steve Brunner, MGySgt (Ret) “Chunks” Padilla, Capt. Mike Nordin, GySgt Ben Dible, Capt. Josh Banker, Capt. Matt Linker, Capt. Ted Powers, Capt. Scott Gornall, Capt. Alex Cronstein, GySgt Collins, Col. Scott Leonard and Michelle Leonard.
Other local finishers included Minden’s All Forked Up took third-place in the club men’s division in 24:16:21.
Gardnerville’s “Get in the Van, We Have a Plan” placed 10th in the open mixed division in 25:14:39, while “Puke n Rally” was 16th in 25:46:51. “The Immortals” from Gardnerville also ran 27:38:41.
“Dudes Where is My Dirtbike” from Minden clocked a time of 25:09:46 to finish 12th in the open men’s division. Team Slap & Tickle finished 24th in the open men in 27:02:43.
Overall, the Runny Bums from Reno won for the second year in 17:30:44 (5:54 pace).