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Finish line flap still unresolved

CHRISTINA PROCTOR, Sun News Service

Last year’s dust has settled but the finish line for the fourth annual Lake Tahoe Marathon, slated for Oct. 10, is still not set, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Les Wright, the race director, was cited last year for allegedly refusing to move the race’s finish line.

Forest Service officials claimed Wright failed to evaluate the impact of the race on a pair of nesting American bald eagles in the Truckee Marsh at Pope Beach.

In March, Wright was acquitted of the two misdemeanor charges.

Wright said this year, in response to feedback from runners, the ending has been moved so the participants will double-back the last half mile.

“Runners said they didn’t like the mile walk back from Pope Beach to the road, so this year they will go around the roundabout on the road and turn around and run back to the first bend, and finish right there at the beginning,” he said.

No meetings yet

Linda Massey, a spokeswoman for the Forest Service, said the Forest Service has yet to meet with Wright on this year’s route.

“We are still working on the bald eagle situation. It is a priority issue and everyone is working diligently to get it resolved this month, but we have not gone into negotiations with Les (Wright) yet on the final route.”

Massey said any final word on the race’s finish line would be premature.

Sign up for the 1999 marathon has already begun. Wright said around 100 runners have sent in their entry forms, some from as far away as Ireland, Morocco and Belgium. The race weekend is set for Oct. 8-10, and will be preceded by the first marathon race event week starting Oct. 3, it will coincide with the Kokanee Salmon Festival.

“Last year we had 1,600 runners. I’m working on getting a purse for the race, which will make it even more visible and credible,” he said.

Entry forms available

Entry forms are available at the Tahoe Daily Tribune in South Lake Tahoe, both Sports LTD locations, Footlocker, South Tahoe Parks and Recreation Complex, Red Hut, Sierra Athletic Club, and the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce.

For information, call (530) 544-7095 or access the Web site at http://www.laketahoemarathon.com


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