Local women shine at XTERRA Tahoe City triathlon
Over 200 triathletes entered the waters at Commons Beach in Tahoe City for the start of the XTERRA Tahoe City off-road triathlon.
The competition began with a 1,500-meter swim. Racers then made their way to the transition point for the 22-mile mountain bike course that took them over to Tunnel Creek, onto the Tahoe Flume Trail, past Marlette Lake, and then on a descent down a section of the Tahoe Rim Trail. The race then finished with a roughly 5-mile run back to the finish line at Commons Beach.
Local women had a strong day on the course, capturing the top-four places within the division.
Carnelian Bay’s Genevieve Evans took the overall win in the women’s race, finishing with a time of 3 hours, 9 minutes, 51 seconds.
“This is kind of like my backyard,” Evans said. “It feels good. It’s a hard run, but the best part was the lake was really warm. I’ve done this course when it’s like 50-degree water (temperature) and like 55-degree air (temperature). It just makes it a lot harder.”
Evans would be the fourth female out of the water, with Truckee’s Jessica Koltz hitting the beach in first place, with a time in the swim of 25:03.
Evans made up the ground during the mountain biking portion of the race, finishing the section with the fastest time of any of the female competitors to move into first place.
From there, Evans would hold on to first, finishing the running section with a time of 50:42 to capture the win.
Evans said she had entered the race coming off of a recent foot surgery, and didn’t start running again until last April.
“It’s nice to come back and feel strong,” she said.
Evans said she plans on next competing at an XTERRA in Beaver Creek, Colo., and will then head to the Dominican Republic for Another XTERRA race.
Also from Truckee, Sian Turner crossed the finish line just over 7 minutes behind Evans, with a time of 3:16:54 for second place.
Koltz would finish next with a time of 3:24:03. Raeleigh Harris out of Truckee was next with a time of 3:27:13 for fourth place.
On the men’s side, Niels Vande Casteele out of Cardiff, Calif., took home the overall win, with a time of 2:53:54.
“The race was awesome,” Casteele said. “It was my first XTERRA … the whole experience was awesome.”
Casteele was the third athlete out of the water, but finished the mountain biking portion more than 3 minutes faster than the next closest competitor to take over first place.
“There were some seriously skilled mountain bikers,” Casteele said. “Full suspension mountain bikes, both girls and guys, and just blasting on the downhills. I think that’s definitely a skill you need to master for doing XTERRA well. That’s something I need to work on. I was grinding up the hills, catching guys, and then they would always catch me on the downhills again, so it was a good battle. I really enjoyed it.”
Casteele then put down the second fastest time on the running section, finishing the run with a time of 44:51 to claim victory.
Incline Village’s Ross McMahan was the top local male, with a time of 3:04:25 for a fourth-place finish.
Daniel Rose out of Truckee and Incline’s James Rawie were the two oldest competitors in the field. The two, 70-year-old triathletes each broke the 5-hour mark.
In the shorter sprint race, Truckee’s Jessica Starr was the top female with a time of 2:25:01; while Steve Dalal out of Saratoga, Calif., was the top male, and only runner to break the 2-hour mark, finishing with a time of 1:59:32.
The race was hosted by Big Blue Adventure and is part of the XTERRA America Tour.