Trail racing finale brings in $2,250 for Tahoe Nordic and Rescue

Classic Course winner Ryan Herhusky (center) and Luca Robillard (right) look to track down Michael Medina during the Great Trail Race on Sunday Oct. 8.
Courtesy of Harry Lefrak / Lefrak Photography |

The second annual Great Trail race was held last weekend, challenging runners and mountain bikers with a course from Truckee to Tahoe City.

The year’s race brought in more than 200 competitors, and raised $2,250 for the Tahoe Nordic and Rescue Inc., which conducts rescue missions throughout California and Nevada, and educates the public on winter safety.

The race took place on Sunday, Oct. 8, and was won by Chris Lemke, 35, of Northeim, Germany, who finished the 21.55-mile Elite Course with a time of 2 hours, 56 minutes, 44 seconds. Lemke defeated the field of 23 runners, and topped second place, Gregory Bowyer, 32, of Auburn, Calif., by nearly 6 minutes.

“The Great Trail Race was very nice … the route from Truckee to Tahoe City is beautiful,” Lemke said. “I recommend the race to every nature lover.”

The race was broken into two distances (Elite and Classic) with each route taking runners and mountain bikers on trails and fire roads from Truckee to Tahoe City.

Steve Hammond, 37, of Alpine Meadows, was the top local athlete with a time of 3:28:22 for fifth place.

Abigail Blake, 23, of Campbell, Calif., took the women’s Elite Course title with a time 3:17:54, which was also good enough for fourth place overall.

Ashley Hall, 35, of Reno, was the second female finisher, finishing with a time of 3:30:48 for sixth overall.

“I signed up last minute for this race was super glad I did,” Hall said. “The course was really well marked with lots of aid stations, and really pretty. It was great to go point to point to see more territory and trail.”

Chelsea Simmers, 35, of Incline Village, was the top local female, and finished with a time of 4:43:32 for sixth place out of the women’s division.

Ahead of the runners were 77 mountain bikers competing on the course. Jonas Buchot, 33, of Villarembert, France, made it a sweep for the Europeans on the Elite Course, finishing with a time of 1:37:51. Troy Deibert, 47, of Truckee, was next, crossing the line with a time of 1:47:07.

Jennifer Holden, 31, of San Francisco, captured the women’s title with at time of 2:16:46. Anna Voegele, 43, of Truckee, was the top local, and finished the course with a time of 2:46:50 for third place out of the women’s division.

The Classic Course was contested on a 17.17-mile stretch of fire roads and trails, and featured a field of 52 runners and 64 mountain bikers.

Tyler Courville, 22, of St. Ignatius, Mont., was the top runner with a time of 1:56:25.

Raeleigh Harris, 46, of Truckee, was the top local and women’s winner with a time of 2:33:46. Harris finished the race third overall. Kelly Nourse, 40, of Tahoe City, gave locals two top-five finishers with a time of 2:35:26 for fourth place.

For the mountain bikers, no one would be better than 14-year-old Ryan Herhusky of Carnelian Bay. Herhusky, who also competes in the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) for the Incline Village Composite Team, blasted through the course with a time 1:19:38, to edge Truckee’s Luca Robillard, 15, by 4 seconds.

“The Great Trail Race was a really fun event,” Herhusky said. “I hope even more high school racers from the NICA league will come out to race next year. I definitely want to race the elite course next year.”

Susanne Rowland, 38, of Granite Bay, Calif., won the women’s division of the race with a time of 1:30:50. Denise Bremer, 47, of Incline Village, was the top local female with a time of 1:55:22 for third place out of the women’s division. Nancy Barrett, 60, of Incline Village, followed closely behind, finishing 3 seconds later for fourth place.

The Great Trail Race marked the finale Big Blue Adventure’s Tahoe Trail Running Series. The series champions will be announced at a later date.

Chaco Mohler contributed to this report

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