Reno-Tahoe Odyssey Relay Run Adventure makes its makes its way from Reno up through Truckee and Lake Tahoe this weekend
Hundreds of runners will pound their way through downtown Truckee late in the afternoon on Friday, June 2, as the 13th annual Reno-Tahoe Odyssey Relay Run Adventure makes its way from Reno up through Truckee before heading toward Lake Tahoe.
Nearly 3,000 runners and 250 teams will take on the 178-mile course, which takes competitors on a loop from Reno around Lake Tahoe and down into the Carson Valley.
The course begins at Wingfield Park in Reno at 8:15 a.m., and takes teams of seven to 12 runners on a route through Truckee, Tahoe City, South Lake Tahoe, and then down into Genoa.
From that point runners make their way to Carson City, and then climb up to Virginia City. The race concludes back in Reno at Idlewild Park with some of the teams taking over 30 hours to complete the entire race.
Over the years, the relay race has grown from about 400 runners in its first year to a regional event with roughly 3,000 athletes from 30 states competing.
Race178, a race production company based in Reno, has put on the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey since its inception in 2005.
“It’s really been embraced by the community,” Race178 President Eric Lerude said. “It’s become a big regional event. About 70 percent of the 3,000 are residents of Reno, Tahoe, and Carson City. The other 30 percent come from around the country and even one guy from England.”
According to Lerude, over the past few years organizers have had to cap the race field at 3,000 runners because of “quality and safety reasons, even though we have a demand from more runners and teams.”
Since 2011, two teams, Runny Bums and Nutz, have dominated the race, with first- and second-place finishes over the last six races.
Runny Bums have won the past two Reno-Tahoe Odysseys, and finished last year’s race with a time 17 hours, 30 minutes, 44 seconds for a 5:54 per mile pace.
Nutz owns the course record, finishing the race with a time of 17:13:51 during the 2014 relay.
This year Lerude said the two should be pushed by a third team, Fueled By Isogenix, who could vie for a first-place finish.
The three teams won’t leave Reno until 4 p.m., but are expected to pass the entire field by the time the runners drop back into Reno for the finish.
“Even the teams that started nine hours before them — they’ll catch them,” Lerude said. “They’ll reach Idlewild Park before anyone else.”
On the women’s side, Cupcake Pirates will return to defend the title they’ve won for the last seven years.
Only one person has completed the course solo. Juan De Olivia accomplished the feat in 2014. There have also been four other runners who’ve completed every leg of the course by competing multiple times, with Carson City’s EJ Maldonado expected to join the club this year.
The Reno-Tahoe Odyssey is the first of five races put on by Race178. For more information visit Race178.com.