There may not be a finer off-road triathlon course in the country.
More than 150 people took advantage in the scenic and challenging XTERRA Lake Tahoe on Saturday.
Racing on the former XTERRA National Championships course, the event began with a 1,500-meter (long course) or 750-meter (short course) swim off the shore of Incline Village.
It then sent competitors up Tunnel Creek on their mountain bikes and onto the Flume Trail, where they were treated to jaw-dropping views above North America’s largest alpine lake.
After the 22-mile bike — the same distance for both the long and short course — athletes finished with a relatively flat 6-mile or 3-mile run through Incline Village.
Reno resident Matthew Balzer, 34, took the win in a field of 109 participants in the long-course triathlon, posting a time of 2:49:41. He was followed by 19-year-old David Duncan (3:02:25) and 33-year-old Donatas Ereminas of Truckee, who finished in 3:06:24.
Wayne Best (3:08:51) and Nathan Brown (3:13:34) rounded out the top five.
In the women’s field, Janet Soule, 53, of Davis claimed the win while finishing 22nd overall in 3:36:57. Soule placed second in the Donner Lake Triathlon Half-Ironman distance last month.
Soule was followed by Kimberly Larson, who was 38th overall (3:50:12), and Heather Horton, who was 58th (4:06:32).
Hometowns were not listed on the results.
In a field of 45 racers, Stefan Laursen, 45, claimed the victory in the short-course triathlon with a time of 2:44:35. That was just one second faster than Marc Rancourt, 43, of Incline Village (2:44:36). Joey Figone, 41, was third (2:45:46).
Samantha Shields, 44, topped the women’s field and was eighth overall with a time of 2:57:33, and Shaena Berlin, 24, finished runner-up among women and 13th overall (3:03:22).
Dorea Shoemaker (3:06:53) and Sarah McMahan (3:07:26), both of Incline Village, finished third and fourth, respectively.