The sun won’t even have been up this morning when the first runners were set to begin the climb from Spooner Lake to Marlette Lake at Tahoe.
They’re the ambitious ones who signed up for the full 100 miles of the annual Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Run.
George Ruiz, who is managing the event this year, said they will leave at 5 a.m., followed by the nearly-as-ambitious runners competing in the 50-mile and 50-kilometer runs at 6 a.m.
Despite the grueling nature of the event, Ruiz said there is no shortage of folks who want to participate.
“People sign up online,” he said. “We sold out in eight hours January 1st.”
Six-hundred people will compete this year.
“That’s pretty much our maximum,” Ruiz said.
David Cotter organized the first event on behalf of the Tahoe Mountain Milers Running Club in 2001.
“It’s truly become one of the top events of its kind in the nation,” he said.
Ruiz said Outside magazine placed the race on its bucket list for the top 10 trail races worldwide.
Runners will head north from Marlette to Tunnel Creek and the Red House Loop before continuing north to Diamond Peak Lodge. Then it’s up the Crystal Peak Ski Run before heading back south on the rim trail and up Snow Valley Peak.
That’s 50 miles, Ruiz said. Those doing the full 100 miles then will do the run a second time.
The fastest runners, he said, probably will compete the course in about 18 hours. The average runner in the event will take 27 or so hours, he said, adding that 35 hours is the cutoff.