Monday, June 1, 2009

Reno-Tahoe Odyssey

The 5th Annual Reno-Tahoe Odyssey Relay Run 2009!

Woo! Hoo! Jell-O Shots!!

Here's my version of a shout out to the 12 team members, appropriately named "Powered By Shots Of Jell-O", who's hard training and enthusiastic teamwork made this an unique event event..I don't think my son, Wes and my daughter-in-law, Amber will soon forget. They ran representing Amber's Engineering Firm PBS&J. You have got to know.. although they have been training, building muscle and losing weight since October for a triathlon ..this is their 1st marathon run.

Their feelings of accomplishment came from this being a 178 mile course relay race that started in our little downtown city of Reno, here in Nevada along the beautiful Truckee River. We are proud of our small river, as it offers all kinds of summer fun. The course begins at 4490 feet elevation and reaches a maximum elevation of 7334 feet.

The scenic course travels through the high mountain peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains along side of gorgeous mountain lakes , streams and rivers, including the shores of the one and only.... breath-takingly clear-blue waters of Lake Tahoe.

Here's Amber's corporate boss, Dave, waiting for his hand off! He even runs the Boston Marathon and he likes this race.

The course runs along the emigrant trails of the Donner might remember this famous wagon train from the history books. In 1840, these migrants were going over the Sierras Nevadas ..on their way to California and got snowbound, ran out of food..and some people ended up cannibalizing each other!! But that's a sad story.

"Wes.. you look sleepy.....have you been up all night?" Yes..they run continuously and all night.....starting on day one ....... and ending the next day. They eat little and catch cat-naps where and when they can. Usually the naps are taken unintentionally on someone's else's shoulder! Showers are optional?
At 225 lbs, Wes is build more like a weight lifter- which he is..and has been for awhile..he weight trains and benches 370lbs. I know..impressive..Huh? Geezzsh..I love my son. But...does he look like a marathon runner to you?

Wes started his 1st 6 1/2 mile leg by getting a hand-off from fellow Jell-O Shot, Lee, at the picturesque Tahoe City. The runners were required to wear fluorescent vests and carry their own flashlights as they run at night along the side of some of the highways.
Some runners acclaimed at how beautiful it was running under the stars, past the neon's of the South Lake Tahoe's casinos, looking down at the bedecked lights of the famous Tahoe Queen as she makes her nightly dinner cruise around the Lake, and then watching the peaceful sunset over viridescent Emerald Bay, a beaconing cove with an island where the clear water has many shades of green.

Here's Amber receiving the baton and taking off again on Kinsbury Grade. The relay is divided into 36 legs with varying lengths and difficulty. Each runner has 3 legs. (ok..not literally..but I bet they wish they DID!)

While descending Kingsbury Grade..a runner can look down at the enticing lights of the Carson Valley. They go past the quiet and historic old town of Genoa, (known for it's annual fund-raising Candy Dance) and they can run along side of some of the largest generational- family owned ranches in the beautiful pasture lands of Jacks Valley.

Runners are now circling back through the Northern Nevada High Desert, full of pinion pines and sagebrush....and on to Reno again. Some even get visited by the wild mustangs and their cute litttle they lift up their tails and take off for the hills at the sight of a sole person running by.

Who's the guy in the crazy hat?

The course climbs the Comstock Highway into the historic Ghost town of Virginia City.....

then drops down Geiger Grade, where you can get an eyeful of Reno's backdrop..Mount Rose.

The course passes through Virginia City and neighboring ghost towns, where once the Comstock Lode Silver mines roared..where once miners and Mark Twain frequented many a saloon .......many still open.

A Fun Place! Home of the famous Camel Races and Rocky Mountain Oyster Eating Contest. This is Basque sheep now you know what oysters are ..don't you?

The old ghost town of Virginia City is still hopping and full of excitement. So it really is not a ghost town at all. Yes... it's the same cowboy town depicted in the TV western "Bonanza". (I'll hafta take you on a tour in another blog.)

One of Amber's relay legs was this 6 1/2 mile run up and down these about shin splints! Thank gooodness she also works out 2 hours aday!

Woo! Hoo!'ve got buns of Steele! Feel the burn!

Amber...Are you having fun yet?
You go..... Girl! We are so proud of you!

The runners also travel along the Pony Express route. Neat huh?

The course ends back through the Biggest Little City in the World!

This race was dedicated to the Angel Kiss Foundation that helps all families of children with cancer in Northern Nevada and the Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway-a future multi-use Recreational Trail from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake.

I hope Wes and Amber had Fun, as they met up with old friends, shared laughs, stories, tips, and encouragement in the 2 days spent together in close quarters with team members as the camaraderie among competing teams and team members isn't something easily forgot.

Well... these two have gotten me inspired as Iam now walking at a fast pace every day and may be on course for my own little walk-athon.....LOL!

But for sure.. I hope to be at the finish line again next year to see Wes and Amber come across the line in 2010. Already the sore calves and injured feet, and the little sleep deprivation are all but gone..... and they are off training for their .... 15 mile bike ride, 3 1/2 mile run and 1/2 mile swim.... Triathlon Sprint...planned for this summer. Good luck you guys!


little apple tally said...

Are you serious? I'd be doing good to WALK even a hundred yards of this! Especially at those altitudes.

But what a beautiful route it must be! Your description and photos make me want to see it all.... but in my car, please!

And what a beautiful girl Amber is. She obviously loves activity and benefits from it. And a weight lifter who runs! Yes, they must be an action-packed couple.

Joy Heather said...

What fantastic pics..i'd love to see those places..but U.S. as some awesome 'little apple tally' i would have to go by car..just the thought of all that excersise, makes me feel tired..she is a lovely looking girl, i didn't think a weight lifter would be able to do a run like that..they both did so well...for a very deserving cause.

The Wife said...

Very cool run. But I would want to stop and look at all the scenery and Virginia City (I still watch reruns of Bonanza every weekend!) I ran a half-marathon a few years back and after I was done, I vowed never to run that far again!

Faithful said...

little apple~ I know... when they called and told me about the race.. I wanted to throw up! he!he! and yes they are quite the busy pair, I was so glad when Wes found Amber cause he's just alittle hyper-active and he focuses on her.

Joy~ We are so lucky to live in such a diverse area..we have the heat of the desert, the very cool nights, and the beautiful green mountains and lakes just 15 miles up Mount Rose. I'm so proud of those two..they have been working so hard and both have recently lost alot of weight and continue to stick to it. They are an inspiration.

Wife~ V.C. is a special place with it's tales of real ghosts, the boothill graveyard, opera house, churches, etc and everything is alive and thriving. Friends were raised up there and many still live there.. one owning the Delta Saloon and The Wasy It Was Museum, ..the town trys to stay true to it's authentic hertitage. As kids we used to cut school and explore the old mines-can't do that now!

Like I said to Apple Tally.. I really want to throw up when I hear the word 'marathon'..probably 'cause I do..throw up whenever I run!! got to get over of my goals.

Peter Lubbers said...

Great report and great pictures. I might have to sign up next year!

Faithful said...

Peter~ There are many runners who come from many other states as Nevada and Ca boast as being a fun vacation spot with so much to do after your run is thru, but what i thought was so neat was the fun and comraderie everyone talked about..amongst all the teams and individual runners. That was special. Here is the address if you so desire to join next year! Thanks for stopping by!