Lake Tahoe Marathon is coming up |

Lake Tahoe Marathon is coming up

After 30 years of teaching physical education at South Lake Tahoe Middle School, Les Wright started the Lake Tahoe Marathon as a way to fill his retirement days.

The first race, held in 1996, was put together in three months. More than 350 runners showed up. The following year, 1,200 racers participated.

Since then, the numbers have continued to climb. This fall’s event, in its ninth year, is expected to draw approximately 3,000 runners, Many of who will come from as far away as New York, Florida, Germany and New Zealand.

Wright’s concept for the Lake Tahoe Marathon was to hold a great event for runners and walkers in one of the most spectacular fall settings in the country. To accommodate all ages and abilities, he offers a number of different races in addition to the marathon, such as the marathon relay, half-marathon, 10k, 5k and free kids fun run. There’s also the Tahoe Triple, three marathons in three days, as well as the Three-Day Triathlon, 72-Mile and 35-Mile Bike Races and more.

This year the Lake Tahoe Marathon is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 9. For more information about the Lake Tahoe Marathon or to register (fees vary), call (530) 544-7095 or click to

The Lake Tahoe Marathon is also featured in the free twice-monthly electronic newsletter Endurance Sports News, which is hosted by veteran endurance athlete and accomplished writer James Raia. The site includes features, interviews, opinion and links to global information about running, cycling, triathlon and other endurance events. For details, visit the website at

Since its inception nine years ago, the Lake Tahoe Marathon has honored finishers with some of the best schwag in the racing industry. This year, with a variety of events scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 5 through Sunday, Oct. 10, is no exception.

All Lake Tahoe Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K finishers will receive a medal and a long-sleeved wind shirt (perfect for winter workouts), with the top 25 men and women receiving a specially designated wind shirt in each race. The top three in each age group for all races will also receive awards, as well as those in the masters, seniors and veteran divisions.

Unlike other marathons, here the first man or woman marathoner to cross the finish line wins $1,000, with the women getting a 27-minute head start. These winning athletes are compensated for housing and free entry for life in future Lake Tahoe Marathon races.

In addition to wind shirts and medals, Tahoe Triple finishers, those participating in the event’s three marathons in three days, will receive a hooded sweatshirt, license plate holder, commemorative wall plaque and racing singlet. The first man or woman to cross the finish line will receive $500 and the leader for day two and three will wear a yellow singlet to signify their lead.

Sam Bauman is a Nevada Appeal Staff Writer. Contact him at or 881-1236.