Truckee’s Donatas Ereminas wins XTERRA Tahoe City | SierraSun.com

Truckee’s Donatas Ereminas wins XTERRA Tahoe City

Truckee’s Donatas Ereminas runs to a first-place finish at XTERRA Tahoe City on Saturday, June 29. For more race photos, visit LefrakPhotography.com.
Courtesy of Harry Lefrak / Lefrak Photography

The annual XTERRA Tahoe City off-road triathlon was held last Saturday at Commons Beach, challenging athletes with an open-water swim in Lake Tahoe, a 22-mile mountain bike ride, and a roughly 5-mile run.

The day before the race, Truckee’s Donatas Ereminas, 37, was busy digging out his mountain bike in order to look it over for the first time this season. He then signed up for the triathlon, which is organized by Big Blue Adventure, the following morning, and proceeded to leave the field of 80 other athletes in the dust, winning the race by more than 12 minutes with a time of 2 hours, 37 minutes, 51 seconds.

“I wasn’t training for this or anything,” said Ereminas, who plans on competing at the Ironman World Championships this September in Nice, France.

“I’m from Europe so I’m going home,” added Ereminas, who is from Lithuania.

Ereminas has competed at XTERRA events in past years, including last year’s race in Tahoe City, but this is his first year he’s picked up a win at one of the off-road triathlons.

The race began with a chilly swim in Lake Tahoe, and Ereminas was the 11th athlete out of the water, trailing the leader by more than a minute.

“It wasn’t bad at all,” he said on the swim. “Last year, my fingers were frozen.”

Ereminas went on to post the fastest bike time by more than four minutes as he moved into first place. He added to the lead during the running portion, besting the next fastest athlete by more than 90 seconds.

“When I was running I was thinking, ‘No way can I win this,’” said Ereminas on winning his first XTERRA race. “It felt good.”

Evan Rudd, 34, of Aptos, was second with a time of 2:44:37, followed by Kyle Simmons, 28, of Santa Rosa, with a time of 2:45:28. MMA fighters Nate Diaz, 34, of Stockton, and Kron Gracie, 31, were also in the field of competitors. Diaz was 52nd overall with a time of 3:47:16, and Gracie was 62nd wit ha time of 4:05:41.

On the women’s side, Jennifer Todd, 44, of Cool, California, captured first place with a time of 3:00:09. Truckee’s Sian Crespo, 38, was second, finishing the race with a time of 3:02:30. Jessica Koltz, 30, of Reno, was third place with a time of 3:08:15.

The day’s racing also included a shorter, sprint version of the triathlon course. Truckee’s Jessica Starr, 34, placed second in the women’s division, finishing the course with a time of 2:21:23.

Saturday’s competition also featured the first round of the Sierra Open Water Series, the Tahoe City Swim, which was won by Truckee’s PJ Madigan, 48, with a time of 21:37 for first in the 1,600-meter wetsuit division. Tesla Profumo, 42, of Santa Cruz, won the women’s race with a time of 22:47.

For full results or to register for upcoming Big Blue Adventure events, visit BigBlueAdventure.com.

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