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Team Thin Air golden in Big Blue

Photo by Teresa JanssonLeft to right: Scots Jansson, Susan Bower, Thomas Bistis and Scott Bower of Team Thin Air hold a $7,000 check awarded to them for winning the Big Blue Adventure Series 6-12-hour championship.
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Team Thin Air knew going into the final Big Blue Adventure Series 6-12-hour race of the year that third place wasn’t going to cut it ” but second place would.

With that in mind, the four-person co-ed team crossed the finish line in Tahoe Vista Saturday in five fours and 20 minutes, five seconds behind team Silly Rabbits for second place and, more importantly, the overall Big Blue Series championship.



The reward: An oversized Happy Gilmore-style check in the amount of $7,000.

“We just flew the entire time,” said Susan Bower, a Team Thin Air member and Truckee resident of 10 years. “And we finally got a payoff.”



Bower called the finish exciting, as she, her husband Scott and friends Mats Jansson and Thomas Bastis raced neck-and-neck with Silly Rabbits, Team Thin Air’s nemesis and most closely matched competition since the race series began April 2.

But in the end, after a season of a half-dozen Big Blue Series 6-12-hour races, Team Thin Air aced Silly Rabbits by four points.

The Tahoe Big Blue Adventure Race ” the last in a string of multi-sport races in which teams compete in a variety of activities, including kayaking, orienteering, mountain biking, trail running and more ” landed on a brisk Saturday morning, beginning in Tahoe Vista and ending in the same spot hours later.

“It was a great course,” Bower said. “It was a blast.”

Competitors started with a two-and-a-half-mile run to awaiting kayaks in a choppy Lake Tahoe. After kayaking seven miles, from Kings Beach to the Coast Guard station at Lake Forest, racers were on their mountain bikes for a 24-mile stint, part of which was on the Tahoe Rim Trail, Bower said.

Then came the orienteering section, which sent competitors back toward the starting line in Tahoe Vista. Bower said Team Thin Air normally does well orienteering ” given a topographical map with plotted check points ” because of Jansson’s skills.

“He’s like a bloodhound,” Bower said of her teammate.

Jansson and Team Thin Air sniffed out the finish line in timely and clutch fashion, and they have $7,000 to show for it.

Team Thin Air’s next race will be the Tahoe Big Blue 24-hour, which was rescheduled from Sept. 10 to Oct. 15. Team Thin Air is currently tied for fourth place in the 24-hour Big Blue race series.


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