Donner Triathlon turns 20 |

Donner Triathlon turns 20

Using one of the jewels of the Sierra as its centerpiece, the Donner Lake Triathlon drew the largest crowd in its 20-year history last Sunday.

“The turnout was great, it was the first time this triathlon sold out,” said Jeannine Henderson, marketing director for the event’s organizer, Change of Pace of Davis. “We had great weather and between 1,500 and 1,600 participants.”

Henderson said Donner Lake Triathlon’s mountain topography is likely responsible for the increased participation.

“One of things that sets it apart from other triathlons is the location,” Henderson said. “This venue is unique.”

The Donner Lake Triathlon consists of four distinct events, including an international triathlon (1.5K swim, 40K bike and 10K run), a sprint triathlon (400 yd. swim, 6 mile bike and 2 mile run), a 10K run and 5K relay run.

Participants in both triathlons swam in Donner Lake before finishing by running around all or part of the lake.

The biking segment of the International triathlon sent riders up to Kingvale on Old Highway 40.

Several locals did well in the event, which drew participants from all over.

Incline’D To Win, the triathlon team consisting of Incline Village swimmer Keoni Smith, biker Scott Vaughan and runner Drew Casselberry, took first place in the international triathlon.

Truckee local Colleen Cassidy was the top female finisher in the 10K run, while Sharon Rahlves, also of Truckee, placed second overall among female participants in the international triathlon.

On the men’s side, Truckee’s Conrad Snover finished third in the 25-29 age group in the international triathlon with a time of 2:27.13.

Perhaps the standout performance of the day was turned in by 74-year-old Charley French of Ketchum, Idaho. He finished the international triathlon in 3:30.36.

“He did it in under four hours. He had a great time,” Henderson said.

Donner Lake Triathlon Results: Top Finishers, all age groups

International Triathlon


1. Maria Monica, 34, Walnut Creek, 2:31:51

2. Shannon Rahlves, 26, Truckee, 2:33:04

3. Jean Harvey, 29, Danville, 2:37:03


1. Tim Sheeper, 37, Menlo Park, 2:11:21

2. Chris Hauth, 31, Mill Valley, 2:16:36

3. Jeff Henderson, San Francisco, 2:16:42


1 Incline’D To Win, 2:15:01 #43

2 The Redbone Coonhounds, 2:17:42 #2

3 Team Kayak Cafe, 2:18:31 #38

Sprint Triathlon


1. Michelle Deasy, 29, San Francisco, 40:59

2. Tory Valentine, 34, San Francisco, 44:50

3. Karen Simontacchi, 34, Forest Knolls, 44:59


1. Mike Scarborough, 41, Reno, 40:27

2. Scott Witthoff, 34, San Francisco, 40:34

3. Mark Welch, 29, San Francisco, 40:41

10 k Run


1. Colleen Cassidy, 20, Truckee, 39:13

2. Kristi Arthur, 32, Reno, 39:44

3. Christine Brighton, 35, 40:41


1. Mike Fretz, 33, no location given, 36:01

2. Robby Mcclendon, 21, no location given, 36:34

3. Josef Neff, Jr., 31, Berkeley, 36:37

5 k relay

Mixed Teams

1. Backfromcamp N Jim, 44:23

2. Team Legras/Frampton, 48:41

3. Team Manuel, 50:24

4. Old Endorphins, 54:10

Male teams

1. Team Walsh/Johnson, 40:19

2. Team Redford/Laba, 1:07:10

Female teams

1. Team Lewis/Luedtke, 52:32

2. Boc Sis, 58:41

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