Tahoe 200: Ultrarunners set to take on the lake | SierraSun.com

Tahoe 200: Ultrarunners set to take on the lake

Runners will make their way through darkness around Lake Tahoe for as many as four nights during the sixth annual Tahoe 200 Endurance Run.
Courtesy of Scott Rokis

Many of the world’s top endurance athletes will be at Lake Tahoe this weekend, testing body and spirit across 205.5 grueling miles in a race around the basin.

The sixth annual Tahoe 200 Endurance Run will be held mostly on the Tahoe Rim Trail with a deviation around Mount Rose Wilderness, Granite Chief Wilderness, and Desolation Wilderness, and will begin Friday morning with a cutoff 100 hours later on Tuesday.

This year’s race, which is part of the Triple Crown of 200s, has roughly 250 entrants, who will pound along trails day and night until they either reach the finish line or the physical and mental toll of the race forces them to drop out. The 200-mile event reportedly sold out in a little more than five weeks.

Last year, the course record was obliterated by more than nine hours as a pair of athletes from Colorado, Kyle Curtin and Courtney Dauwalter, became the first to break the 50-hour mark. Curtin caught Dauwalter down the final quarter of the race to win with a time of 49 hours, 27 minutes, 22 seconds. Dauwalter finished in 49:54:36 to claim the women’s title. Both runners competed two weeks ago in the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in Chamonix, France. Dauwalter captured the women’s title, while Curtin was 43rd overall. Neither will be defending their titles this weekend at the Tahoe 200. However, San Diego’s Sean Nakamura, 40, who set a course record in 2017, is scheduled to again compete in the race. Nakamura was 19th in last year’s Tahoe 200. Taylor Spike, 41, of Harrisburg, Oregon, finished third last year with a time of 60:01:35, and is slated to be in this weekend’s field. Ryan Wagner, 41, of Makoti, North Dakota, will return as well after claiming fourth overall last year. Last year’s runner-up on the women’s side, Mika Thewes, 28, of Royal Oak, Michigan, is slated to return as well after finishing with a time of 72:22:55 a year ago.

The Tahoe 200 Endurance Run will begin at 9 a.m., on Friday at Homewood Mountain Resort. Runners have until 1 p.m., Tuesday, to finish the race. Last year, 62% of the field reached the finish line back at Homewood.

Live race tracking will be available at Tahoe200.com as soon as the field leaves the start line.

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