Lake Tahoe trail runners will have a few more options for organized competition, including a more than 30-mile race through the Spooner Lake backcountry, when the Tahoe Trail Running Series returns this weekend.
The 2014 series begins with the Truckee Running Festival at River View Sports Park on Saturday. The festival includes 5K, 10K and half-marathon distances, as well as kids races.
The Squaw Valley Half Marathon, new this year, is the second event in the series and takes place June 15. That race starts and finishes at the Village at Squaw Valley and includes an out-and-back course along the Truckee River.
Also new to the series this year is the Marlette 50K, which will be based at Spooner Lake and feature Marlette Lake in the middle of the course. The more than 30-mile race offers a gateway to endurance running and will provide participants with plenty of beautiful scenery, said Todd Jackson, director of Big Blue Adventure, which puts on the trail-running series.
The running scene at Lake Tahoe has grown in recent years and the new events provide athletes additional opportunities to get on the trail, Jackson said.
“Tahoe is pretty awesome for running,” he added.
Following the completion of the series, overall awards will be given to the first-, second- and third-place male and female series participants. Winning is based on the total number of points accumulated by each participant from his or her top four finishes in the series.
Even if people aren’t gunning for an overall title, they’re still invited to participate in the series.
A portion of the proceeds from the 5K at this weekend’s Truckee Running Festival benefit Girls on the Run, which seeks to inspire girls to be healthy and confident using a curriculum that integrates running. The festival takes place at the River View Sports Park at 12304 Joerger Drive in Truckee and starts at 9 a.m., with registration beforehand. A barbecue with live music and raffles starts at 11 a.m.
For more information on the series, go to www.tahoetrailrunning.com.