Family tribute in marathon | NevadaAppeal.com

Family tribute in marathon

Charles Whisnand column

After running her first marathon last year in Lake Tahoe, Carol Kuhn figured once may be enough.

But the date of this year’s Lake Tahoe Marathon changed all that for Kuhn. The marathon will be run on what would have been her mother’s 80th birthday.

Kuhn then asked her 15-year-old daughter, Rachel, and her 13-year-old son, Christopher, if they would like to run their first marathon on their grandmother’s birthday as well. So the Carson City family decided to run in this year’s Lake Tahoe Marathon in tribute to Kuhn’s mother, Hazel Hohn.

The marathon will be held this Sunday, Oct. 13. Hohn, who died in January, would have turned 80 this Sunday.

“I guess I’m glad I have something to do on her birthday,” said Kuhn about her mother, who served as a pilot during World War II. “It will keep me busy instead of being sad.”

Kuhn hasn’t run any marathons since last year’s Lake Tahoe event. “Once a year is enough,” she said.

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“I didn’t know if I was going to do it again this year. I thought it would be a good thing to do.”

Kuhn said the best part of preparing for the marathon has been the training in the Lake Tahoe area with her children.

“The training that we did is just incredible,” Kuhn said. “You go on just all these gorgeous trails. That’s what we enjoyed the most.”

Their training has consisted of runs from three miles long to 21 miles, so Kuhn and her children said they feel ready for the 26.2-mile race. “Physically we’re about as ready as we can be,” Kuhn said.

Even though he’s never run a marathon, Christopher is a competitive cross country runner and the avid runner of the bunch. His longest run in a competitive event has been 2.5 miles. “I love to run,” he said. “He’s actually the one that got us all into running,” Kuhn said.

Rachel and Christopher said they’re glad to be running on their grandmother’s birthday.

“We were pretty close,” said Christopher about her grandmother. “She used to baby sit us all the time.

“Like my mom said, we’ll be doing something on her birthday in her memory. It’s kind of nice.”

“I think it’s going to be special and fun,” Rachel said. “I’m happy that we’re doing something in her memory.”

Kuhn finished last year’s race in four hours, 44 minutes, 44 seconds. This year, Kuhn plans to cross the finish line with Rachel and Christopher.

The women’s race will begin at 9:03 a.m. and the men will take off at 9:30 a.m., so Christopher will have some catching up to do, “which he’ll do without a problem,” his mother said.

“We’re going to stick together once he catches up with us,” Carol said. “He could probably do it faster, but we felt it would be nice to finish together.”

FIVE-YEAR-OLD TOPS IN BMX

Five-year-old Dalton Butler knows what he likes about BMX racing, the motocross-style racing for bicyclists. “Finishing first,” he said.

Butler did just that at the prestigious Red Line Cup held recently in Chico, Calif. Butler became the first rider from Carson City to win a title in the event in four years. The American Bicycle Association featured riders from nine states in the Western U.S. Butler won the 5-year-old intermediate division in a race that featured 22 riders.

He competes for Carson City-based Demon Racing, which has riders from Northern Nevada and the Lake Tahoe area.

Butler qualified for the Chico event in the regional qualifier for Northern Nevada held in Carson City. “This was his first big win,” said Butler’s mother, Julie.

The next goal for Butler is to move up to the expert division. He has four wins and needs 20 victories to become an expert rider.

Butler’s mother said that shouldn’t take long “if he keeps riding the way he did” at Chico.

Butler, who has been riding since he was three, has also placed fourth in two national events. His next event will be the Silver Dollar Nationals in January in Reno.

Butler said he tries to pedal hard and stay low on the turns. “He got out of the gate real fast and hard had held them off,” said his mother about the Chico race. “He got out ahead and stayed there.”

Charles Whisnand is the Nevada Appeal Sports Editor.