WINGFIELD PARK BY THE TRUCKEE RIVER, DOWNTOWN RENO
This is what Wingfield Park looks like this afternoon, Thursday, 3 June.
Starting tomorrow between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., the first runner from each of 153 teams will be leaving here on the 178 mile Reno-Tahoe Odyssey (RTO) running relay race.
Teams with a slower predicted finish time start first, while the fastest teams start last.
I’ve written about the RTO before, but to recap: relay runs like this consist of 36 legs of different distances and difficulty, contested by teams of 12 runners, each of whom runs 3 separate legs. For example, runner 1 would run legs 1, 13, and 25, runner 2 runs legs 2, 14, and 26, and so on.
You can look at the website but the basic course is like this: Reno to Truckee, Truckee via the west shore of Lake Tahoe to south shore, over Kingsbury Grade and then north to Carson City, up to Virginia City, and then back down to Reno to finish in Idlewild Park, close to where the relay began.
Typically each team of 12 is split into 2 groups of 6 in a van, that play a long-distance game of tag. When one van is out there running, the other one is resting, and then the roles are reversed when the baton (actually a wristband) is exchanged.
This is the sixth annual RTO (since ’05), and my team, DNR, has participated in all of them except the ’07 event, disrupted (but still held) by the big Tahoe fire that year.
Our starting time is 1:30 p.m. and we expect to finish roughly 22-24 hours later. (Yes, that means we run day and night until it’s over. Each runner can expect to run one leg while it’s dark.
7 runners on our team have run RTO before, while 5 runners are new to the event, and to 12-person relays of this sort.
For the first year we have a mixed (coed) team. In previous years, we’ve always had women but competed in the men’s division because we didn’t have the requisite minimum number of 6 women.
In our Van 1 we have Sean, Jessica, Lisa, Sarah, Peter, and Genevieve.
In our Van 2 we have Roseann, Chris, John, Lisa, Dave, and me.
There will be stories to tell, of that you can be sure.
Watch out, Nevada and California – here comes DNR!