Tahoe mountain bike race highlights end of Adventure Sports Week | SierraSun.com

Tahoe mountain bike race highlights end of Adventure Sports Week

Adventure Sports Week in Tahoe City concluded last weekend with the Lake Tahoe Mountain Bike Race and Burton Creek Trail Run.

Each year, Big Blue Adventure brings a week of competition to the area, featuring challenging events from an off-road triathlon to an eight-hour mountain bike race on the trails north of Tahoe City.

The race organizer's Adventure Sports Week concluded last weekend with a pair of events in support of the Tahoe Fund.

After missing a year, the Lake Tahoe Mountain Bike Race returned to the area, challenging riders to see how many laps could be pounded out on the 12.8-mile course during eight hours of biking.

"We brought it back this year," said Director of Operation Bryan Rickards, who cited other major events in the area during the scheduled bike race as reason for not hosting the event last year. "We moved up XTERRA Tahoe City a week early this year and moved back Burton Creek."

Riders pedaled out of the Highlands Community Center in Tahoe City on Saturday morning, beginning the first of what would be roughly eight hours on the bike as they made their way around a loop of single track and fire roads to the north of Tahoe City.

Dave Hays, 54, of Roseville, brought out a single speed bike and threw down the only two, sub 1-hour laps in the eight-hour race. Hays would finish seven laps on the course — equaling 89.6 miles — in 7 hours, 22 minutes, 2 seconds, to take top honors in the single speed division. San Francisco's Carl Russell, 34, won the 8-hour sport division, completing six laps in 7:44:27. Finishing shortly after, and taking the win in the master's 50-and-over division, was Ron Dickenson, 60, with six completed laps in a time of 7:44:50. The day's racing also included a 4-hour race and a two lap cross-country race.

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One of Northern California's mountain biking legends, Don Myrah, 52, made the trip to Tahoe City to compete in this year's cross-country race. Myrah's resume includes winning the inaugural Mountain Bike World Championships in 1989 and becoming one of two riders to represent Team USA in mountain biking at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta where he finished 20th. Myrah, who raced in the master's division, put down the fastest time of the day, regardless of division, finishing the course in 1:39:28. Myrah was also one of two riders on the day to finish a lap in less than 50 minutes.

According to Rickards, several riders continued making laps after the race concluded in preparation for the Centurylink Tahoe Trail MTB on July 14, followed by the Leadville Trail 100 MTB this August.

"The Lake Tahoe Mountain Bike Race is one of the best races you can do at altitude," said Rickards.

Burton Creek Trail Run

The following day in Tahoe City brought a close to Adventure Sports Week with the annual running of the Burton Creek Trail Run.

The half marathon distance was won by Nick Sigmon, 32, of San Leandro, California, with a time of 1:25:30. Incline Village's Neil Klinger, 28, was second with a time of 1:27:39.

Tahoe City's Kristin Walstad added to her haul this year, claiming first place on the women's side with a time of 1:41:40. Walstad was third in the women's class at last month's Truckee Running Festival Waddle Ranch half marathon.

The day's racing also included 12 and 6-kilometer races. Philippe Mickelson, of Grass Valley, took first in the 12-kilometer distance with a time of 1:00:00. Anthony Marrone, of Kings Beach (1:02:59), and Tahoe Vista's Katie Zachariades (1:03:56) were the top locals.

This weekend will mark the first since the beginning of June that Big Blue Adventure won't host an event. Instead, the company will bring a midweek race to the area for the Fourth of July. The annual Run to the Beach will take place on Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and will take runners on either a 5 or 10-kilomter course from North Tahoe Regional Park to the finish line on the beach at the Tahoe Vista Recreation Area.

Registration ranges from $45 to $55, depending on age and distance. To signup visit TahoeTrailRunning.com.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com.