CALIFORNIA  -  Lake Tahoe Marathon
09/25/2011              http://www.laketahoemarathon.com/
State #9
Finish time:  5:31:08
My friend Cynthia had planned to run the
Tahoe Triple.  Three marathons, on three
different days, so you end up running the
entire way around the lake.  I wasn't up to
running three marathons in a row, so I just
signed up for the "main marathon on the
final day.  It was easy to make an excuse to
run this one since Richard's son lives in
Reno.  We arrived the night before to pick
up my race packet and find out what
Richard's job would be, since I had signed
him up as a volunteer.  On our way in to
get our packets, we saw lots of folks in
Tahoe Triple shirts limping around after
their 2nd day of marathoning.  Yikes!  
Shortly before we flew to Reno for the run,
I had made the sad (and embarasing)
realization that this run would not count for
Nevada, as I had originally assumed, since
it is ran entirely in California.  It never
occurred to me that Lake Tahoe was in
California, since every time we visit, it is from Reno - which is in Nevada!  Shoot.  I
didn't have California yet, so not a big problem, but there are so many fun runs in
California, and not so many in Nevada.  Oh well.  What I didn't realize until we were
driving from the airport to Tahoe was that this run was at elevation!  What?  A lake?  
That should be at sea level right?  Nope, 6500' of elevation, which I found out the
night before the run.  I tried not to let it worry me.  

Race morning was very laid back.  No starting line, just a small group of runners
lined up on the beach.  I found Cynthia and she and I ran the first 3 miles or so
together.  Normally she is faster than me, but she was on her 3rd marathon in three
days, so when she stopped to take a bathroom break, I headed off without her.  
About mile four, not too many other
folks on the course.  Beautiful scenery
About mile 18.  Still beautiful scenery
About mile 18, just after the huge "Hill
from Hell" with fun motivational signs.
The scenery was gorgeous, the weather was perfect, the aid
stations couldn't have been better.  I was feeling great and
having a great run.  I kept passing people, but the folks I was
passing were still doing better than me.  This was the first event
I've done where I had to keep saying, "I'm JUST running the
marathon." There were folks running the Tahoe Triple - three
marathons in three days, the Ultra - 72 miles starting Sunday at
12AM, and I even passed two who were doing the Tahoe Super
Triple - that's right, a marathon Friday, a marathon Saturday,
and 72 miles starting Sunday at 12AM. And you thought I was
crazy...
About mile 24 I caught up to a trio of triplers.  They were looking
strong and obviously had been running a nice easy pace for
them.  I made the mistake of saying to them that I really wanted to
finish in 5:30, but it obviously wasn't going to happen.  All of a
sudden they are hauling ass, hollering at me to kick it in, telling
me I can handle anything for a mile.  They put me in front, fell in
formation behind me, and pushed me to the finish.  I didn't quite
make it in 5:30, but I was very close, my 2nd fastest time yet, and
on huge hills in high elevation.  I was very happy with my
performance!  I finally found Richard.  He had been handing out
finish line medals, but hadn't expected me so soon, so he was
taking advantage of the free food for volunteers.  Too bad he
hadn't been able to be the one to give me a medal, that would
have been fun.  
We headed back up the course, and I got my shoes back on just
in time to run Cynthia in to the finish line.  After three marathons
with her running back to get me and run me in, it was fun to be
able to be the one running her in.  She wasn't in a happy mood
as she finished the third of three in a row, but she finished
strong.  Definitely a great run.  I loved every minute of it, and
could easily be persuaded to run this one again.  
About mile four, not too many other
folks on the course.  Beautiful scenery
About mile four, not too many other
folks on the course.  Beautiful scenery
Me and my trio of
encouraging Tahoe Triplers
Finally, finishing feeling worn out.  
I definitely pushed to the very end.