Jesus Lopez, Elizabeth Lyles win 16th Lake Tahoe Marathon |

Jesus Lopez, Elizabeth Lyles win 16th Lake Tahoe Marathon

Sun Staff report

Jesus Lopez raced to a first-place overall finish with a time of 2 hours, 55 minutes and 16 seconds in the 16th Lake Tahoe Marathon this past Sunday.

Lopez, 45, finished more than two minutes ahead of runner-up Blue Benadum, 31, of Malibu, who crossed the line in 2:57:22. Barry Smith, 52, rounded out the podium in 3:01:48.

Benadum also won the Triple Marathon, posting a combined time of 8:38:49. He finished the first marathon in 2:48:54 and the second in 2:52:33.

A total of 287 people finished the Lake Tahoe Marathon, which began in Tahoe City and ended at Pope’s Beach.

Elizabeth Lyles, 33, of Reno captured the women’s win while placing seventh overall in a blazing time of 3:08:44, which was just six minutes shy of the women’s record of 3:02:46, set in 2000 by Katie Gengler of San Luis Obispo. The men’s record stands at 2:30:55, set by Kenyan Joseph Maina Ngunjiri in 2001.

Liz Downing of San Francisco was the second woman and 16th overall in 3:43:09, and Letitia Dusich of Colorado Springs, Colo., was the third woman and 17th overall in 3:44:59.

Among the Tahoe-area contingent, 2009 Lake Tahoe Marathon champion Gretchen Brugman of Truckee finished sixth in the women’s field and 33rd overall in a time of 3:54:55.

Jeff Cowen of South Lake Tahoe placed 43rd in 4:03:58, and Jon Arlien of Incline Village was 44th in 4:04:23. Matthew Johnson (4:22:5) of Olympic Valley was 79th, Helen Pelster (4:23:34) of Truckee was 20th among women and 80th overall and Brad Taylor (4:26:31) of Truckee was 87th.

In the half marathon, which started in Rubicon Bay and ended at Pope’s Beach, Yusuke Inoue of Tokyo took the win in a time of 1 hour, 27 minutes and 10 seconds while Tawnie McDonald of Bend, Ore., was the top woman and seventh overall in 1:36:18.

Andrew Zachary of South Lake Tahoe was the top local finisher, placing 17th in 1:42:53. Simon Cuevas of South Lake Tahoe was 19th in 1:43:33, and Roger Pynappel of Truckee was 21st in 1:44:38. Kurt Heisinger (1:53:05) of Tahoe City was 36th and Sara Holm (1:53:13) of Incline Village was seventh among women and 37th overall.

In the 72-mile Great Lake Tahoe Bike Race around the lake, Justin Rossi of Reno won the men’s race in a time of 2 hours, 50 minutes and 53 seconds, while Amy Thornquist of Reno won the women’s race in 3 hour and 32 seconds.

Michael Larsen of Bend, Ore., was runner-up on the men’s side in 2:55:41, while Nate Freed of Tahoe City was third in 2:56:17, Jason Walker was fourth in 2:56:20, and Andrew Scott of Truckee was sixth in 2:59:48. Andrea Johnson of Tahoe City was fourth among women in 3:18:26.

Find complete results from all Lake Tahoe Marathon events at

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