Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lake Tahoe Marathon: The Brief Recap

I'm not sure when, or if, I'll have time for the full blown LTM race report, so in case I never get around to it, here's the short and sweet version.

Sean and me at the finish (photo by Steve Yingling/TDT)

First, here's a link to the Tahoe Daily Tribune article, which they managed to get posted about 3 hours after I crossed the finishline. (Impressive!) You can read the exact same article at the Sierra Sun, but they give me the headline instead of Sean. Funny!

I'll tell most of the story via highlights. Let's get the negative over with first.

The Lows:

  • Arriving at the start with a swollen and sore throat, still feeling sick (although slightly better) after several days of illness.
  • Hearing Peter's tale of Super-Triple race cancellation.
  • The last three miles where I really, really didn't feel like running anymore.

Okay, that's it, now on to the "Hi's"

  • Catching a ride to the event with Reno legend Lynyrd Skynrod. (I mean, how lucky can a girl get, right?)
  • Seeing numerous friends at both the start and finish, including Peter, Turi, Sean, and Bryon, plus all the new friends I made out on the course.
  • Getting my own "pace car" (read: guy on a bike) while in the lead for the second half of the race .
  • Running along the shores of Lake Tahoe.
  • Winning, and taking home $500 for the effort. (Plus, I totally cemented the truth of my theory on shirtless chicks, right?)
  • Slicing over a half hour off my best time for the course.
  • Cheering on, and getting cheered by, so many awesome runners and walkers.
  • Swimming in Lake Tahoe.
  • Chilling with friends on the beach after the race on probably the last "summer-like" day of the year.
  • Lynyrd suggesting that he, Sean and I all pool our winnings and put it on "black" at the roulette table. (I about died laughing!)
  • Just getting to run after taking the whole week off due to illness.
  • The unending flood of well wishes after the race from people I didn't even know.

If you think it sounds like another beautiful, amazing Tahoe day, you're right!

I keep thinking about all the myriad of things I could say about this race, and it's just overwhelming to think about. This was the first race I ran in the Tahoe area, back in 2001, after having lived in Truckee for just a year. I won the Triple back in 2003 as my second ultra, and afterward swore I'd never run another road race again. (78 miles of pavement is no bueno! It was also 3 years before I ran another ultra.) My time on day 3 of the Triple, 4:12 I think, was still my course PR until this past race, despite having run "just the marathon" (or the "J.V event" as Sean called it) on two other occasions. My only real motivation for running it this year was the realization that I am supposed to be training for a road 50M and I haven't set foot on pavement in 4 months of running.

Even though it wasn't my goal, and I recognize that it is rather slow for a winning time, (last year's winner ran 3:05) there's still a certain amount of symbolism in winning what is essentially my home town marathon. Pretty nice.

I fell down on my picture taking duties on this one, but I noticed Peter and his crew taking plenty, so keep an eye on RunLakeTahoe for his race report. Turi also has a nice report up already with pictures.

Thanks to Les for another great race, and the fleet of volunteers. I'd like to give a special shout out to the kids at the Hogwarts themed aid station at mile 23. I felt way too awful to show them the enthusiasm that I really wanted to, but they were definitely my favorites. I believe getting handed a cup of water from the chosen one himself was key to my victory. Thanks Harry!


  1. I should've known you were getting serious when you showed up with the jogbra. Nice race!

    The Hogwarts kids made me smile, too...

    And the CAPTCHA for this comment is "chesties." Weird.

  2. But of course you won! You've been blowing the competition out of the water all summer- it was time for a big win! Congrats to you on getting in the headlines, and shattering your old PR~ :)

  3. Congrats! No matter the time, a win is a WIN! : )

  4. Awesome! You defended the house. Big congrats to you on a win (and a nice payday, to boot!). I'm not surprised you're starting to attract a lot of attention.

    Way to go, Chica. Very proud of you.

  5. Gretchen, you ran another fantastic race. I am glad I could run a few miles with you early on. Just don't forget your old friends now that you're part of the elite runners' circle ;-)

    Slideshow + Pictures (and new predictions for your HK50M) are now on the blog.

    Take care!

  6. Thanks for all the kind comments you guys! And Peter, I'm pretty sure we're all still in the same circle. ;)

  7. AMAZING!!!!


  8. You so fast! I think you need "bum huggies" now...all of the fast girrrrrls where them! :)

    Did Meissner bust out his skinny white torso to look fast and blind the competition? Or did he hold off to jump in the lake post-race?!?

  9. I'm with Sunshine. You've had too many top finishes now, and with a win at the marathon, it's time to step up the wardrobe and accept your place in the running elite!

    Congrats again, and I hope you're feeling better.


  10. Congrats on another fantastic finish. I'm so impressed with your accomplishments this year. Keep it up!

  11. Maybe you should do TransRockies with Lynrd Skynrod!?!

  12. Ooh, Leslie, I LOVE that idea! Wonder if I could convince him. Hmm...