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Marathon brings out area’s best

Dave Orsman, Sun News Service

Local runners were impressed with the organization of the Lake Tahoe Marathon staged two weeks ago. Kellie Twomey, 33, from Tahoe City, said she thought the marathon was a “class act.”

“It’s a beautiful, challenging course,” she said.

Race director Les Wright said that on the whole, the event went very well.

“It was a great but trying day,” he said.

The day dawned cold but clear for the marathon.

A record number of walkers, wheelchair racers and runners set off from Tahoe City, seeking the sunshine and scenery of the west shore of Lake Tahoe.

Wright estimated about 1,800 entries had been received, although, he said, there were a number of no-shows on the day.

With the highway closed to traffic, competitors were able to enjoy the views without fear of collision with larger, faster moving objects.

Participants ran, walked and wheeled their way down the final hills and hit the finish line at Pope Beach.

Kevin Sawchuk, 33, from Alamo, Calif., won the men’s marathon in 2 hours, 51 minutes, 27 seconds. It was his first marathon win.

Carolyn Tovar, 37, of Farmer’s Branch, Tex., was the women’s winner at 3:30.11.

Aaron Pierson, 35, from Oakland, Calif., won the men’s half marathon in 1:14.49.

Truckee’s Kathy D’Onofrio-Wood took the women’s half marathon in 1:28.51.

In the 10-kilometer race, Fred Zalokar, 38, of Reno was the men’s winner at 34:55. Sandy Synder, 47, of Truckee was the first woman (16th overall) at 40:16.

The event was filmed by helicopter and lake-based film crews from the Fox Sports Network.

“This is a big step towards becoming a more professional event,” Wright said.

Wright said the television coverage of the event will be aired on Fox Bay Area Sports on Nov. 28 at 6 p.m.

The only problem, said Wright, was an overload failure in the computerized results system. The failure prevented the full results of the half and full marathons from being collected, a big headache for Wright.

“It was a real black eye for us and the computer operators.”

The lack of results was a temporary glitch. By Monday evening, the results had been retrieved in their entirety.

“It’s a major relief to get the results back,” said Wright.

A side-effect of the computer failure was the delay to the awards ceremony, Wright said.

“I couldn’t give out the 80 or 90 awards for different race categories,” Wright said.

He intends to rectify this by posting the awards.

If any Tahoe City competitors know they won an award, Wright asks them to contact him on 544-7095.

Full results from all race events have been posted on http://www.LakeTahoeMarathon.com.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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