Inaugural Ultra Trails Lake Tahoe race set for Saturday at Northstar
A new endurance event is scheduled to get underway Saturday in the Truckee-Tahoe area.
The inaugural Ultra Trails Lake Tahoe race challenges participants to distances of 100 miles, 50 miles, 50 kilometers, or 25 kilometers on routes that begin and end at Northstar California Resort.
“The goal is to bring the world here to enjoy the trails and experience of Tahoe,” said Chaz Sheya, race director for Epic Endurance Events.
The weekend’s featured race, the 100-mile distance, starts out by taking runners from the village up to the summit of Mount Pluto, down West Ridge to Boondocks, back to the village, up Home Run and up Mount Pluto again. The first 12 miles of the race has roughly 4,800 feet of vertical gain.
From there, runners head down to the Western States Trail and onto the Tahoe Rim Trail and to Mount Baldy. Athletes then head back to Mount Watson Road before making their way back to the finish line at Northstar. In total the course features roughly 22,000 feet of vertical gain.
“Ultrarunners don’t want an easy journey,” said Sheya. “The hardest part is the first two loops at Northstar, but it’s really runnable in a lot of sections. The (Tahoe Rim Trail) is not super technical. You can sort of just cruise.”
Roughly 130 athletes will compete across the four distances, according to Sheya, including about 30 who will attempt the 100-mile course.
Runners will leave the village on Saturday at 5:30 a.m., and will have 33 hours to complete the 100-mile route, which serves as an Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc qualifier worth six points.
Weather conditions should be ideal this weekend for the athletes. Runners will also have the benefit of a nearly full moon on Saturday night. An awards ceremony at Northstar will take place Sunday afternoon.
Registration for the event is open and can be done at E3Running.com. Race-day registration will also be available.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.