Truckee, a sanctuary for runners, to host first-ever marathon this weekend
If you go
What: Truckee Marathon
When: 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 25. Registration is from 6-7 a.m.
Where: Downtown Truckee
Cost: By Sept. 24: Marathon: $110; Half marathon: $95; Marathon relay: $220
TRUCKEE, Calif. — With striking views of the Sierra Nevada at every turn, and an extensive trail system spidering throughout the region’s forests, it’s no secret that Truckee is a sanctuary for runners — whether they like to rove the roads, tackle the trails, or both.
Yet, Truckee, despite being a popular race destination, has never hosted, arguably, the most popular type of running event: a marathon.
Put on by Big Blue Adventure, the inaugural Truckee Marathon will cut the tape Sunday in downtown Truckee.
Along with the 26.2-mile run, course options include a half marathon and a marathon relay, with all distances starting and finishing in Historic Downtown Truckee.
“We got a lot of great trail races, but we’re lacking some awesome road and trail races,” said Bryan Rickards, director of operations at Big Blue Adventure. “There wasn’t a marathon here, and we think it would be great for the town and great for the athletes who want to come up and run.
“We figured a marathon and half marathon could really showcase all of Truckee, and that’s what we’re trying to do with this course.”
Heading west from downtown Truckee, runners will circumnavigate the clear waters of Donner Lake. Then, at the 11-mile mark, they’ll face their toughest climb of the course — running up Northwoods Blvd. For the half mararthon, the final mile is a down slope on the brand new Trout Creek Trail.
Marathoners, meanwhile, will continue to the eastern stretch of the course on a scenic section of single-track towards Gray’s Crossing and Old Greenwood.
Back-dropped by jaw-dropping views of Mt. Rose and swaths of sagebrush, runners continue toward Glenshire before turning onto the Legacy Trail along the Truckee River, which leads them back to downtown Truckee where a finish-line celebration will be in full swing.
“We wanted to showcase some of the major landmarks and scenic vistas in Truckee,” Rickards said. “The course is basically highlighting, from east to west, the length of the town and incorporating all the major landmarks. It’s on the roads, but also highlights the trails in Truckee.”
The marathon will feature five miles of non-paved surfaces while the half marathon will have two miles of non-paved surfaces, according to Big Blue Adventure.
“We worked with the Truckee Trails Foundation,” Rickards said. “There are miles of trails that we wanted to utilize with the course, and we got to do that.”
Currently, Rickards said, roughly 250 people — ranging from locals to runners migrating from the East Coast — are signed up for the Truckee Marathon.
“What we hope to accomplish is really the establishment of an iconic annual event,” Rickards said. “It also helps out the businesses. It brings people to Truckee for another event and to go to the restaurants, stay in the hotels and kind of keep the season going in what used to be the shoulder season.”