(l to r) PETER, CHRIS, JESSICA, SEAN, LISA, SARAH, JOHN, GREG, LAUREL, DAVE, ROSEANN
(+ Daniel & Bridget of the DNR Next Generation 2026 – not pictured GENEVIEVE)
(photo by Steve Duke)
My previous post and my story about the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey (RTO) of 2009 serves to provide an understanding of the structure of this event. Or take a look at this informative article written by Roseann Keegan, one of my teammates who also Tweeted her way through the RTO. (Thanks to Ed Hudson of Chico’s other team, the Flying Monkeys, for sharing his Twitter expertise with Roseann.) Roseann also wrote a recap of her experience of the event in this article for the Tahoe Daily Tribune for which she works as Community Editor.
If you’re a runner, you’re probably already familiar with the 12-person, 36 leg, run day-and-night until you finish sort of relay. If you’re not a runner you may think anyone is flat-out crazy to do something like this in the first place. You may be right.
So I’ll skip further explanation of the event figuring you already know or otherwise wouldn’t even be reading this.
The relay went very well for my team, DNR. Our official finish time for the 177.6 miles was 23 hours 36 minutes 49 seconds, for an average pace of 7 minutes 58 seconds per mile. While not as quick over the course as we were last year (about 22 hours 55 minutes in ’09) we had a lot of personnel turnover to account for that. Of our 12 this year, 5 were altogether new to relays of this nature.
Our team – especially the young and sassy kids of Van 1 – is pretty swift but we’re more about having a good time and laughing, than kicking ass.
Furthermore, Van 2 – the older, wiser, and slower part of the team makes it its mission to take its sweet time in order that Van 1 be fully rested to tackle the toughest that RTO can throw at it. I mean legs 4, 15, 16, 29 and 30.
SARAH MONTEZ TEARING INTO THE FINISH IN VIRGINIA CITY
AT THE END OF LEG 30 (photo by Lisa Duke)
Not that Van 2 doesn’t have challenges of its own, what with legs 7, 19, the steep nothing-but-downhill legs of 20 and 21, and the endless Geiger Grade descent of leg 33.
The last leg of the three legs I run is the toughest for me. I’ve “enjoyed” Leg 35 for these past two years which is a mostly flat 7.5 miles, but not the prettiest stretch of the relay, as it’s run largely along McCarran Boulevard in the part of Reno east of the airport. It beats me up in more ways than one but I’ve decided to make this a personal challenge, at least until I can bring my time on this beast below an hour. (I ran my last marathon five weeks ago with a pace of 7:36 per mile but struggled mightily to do this leg at an 8:23 pace this year.)
DNR thanks Eric Lerude and his team for another great Reno-Tahoe Odyssey. 155 teams were registered in this year’s event, a nearly 50% increase over last year. It’s amazing what one person’s vision can lead to. His assistant Shelly Demaray, wife Stephanie, and all of the volunteers and sponsors can be proud of their involvement with an event that shines a very positive light on Reno. My partner Keith and I are coming back, and we’re not waiting to do so until RTO ’11.
Enough text. Let’s see some more pictures.
(Thanks to my teammates or their spouses for most of these pictures!)
DNR’s VAN 1 BEFORE THE RELAY BEGINS (l to r) JESSICA, PETER, SEAN, GENEVIEVE, LAUREL, SARAH
LAUREL HAMMANG (center) STARTS THE RTO FOR DNR WITH 2 OTHER TEAMS AT 1:30 P.M.
ON 4 JUNE. (photo by Steve Duke)
DNR’s VAN 2 BEFORE DEPARTURE TO THE FIRST VAN-TO-VAN HAND-OFF
(l to r) LISA, CHRIS, DAVE, JOHN, ROSEANN, GREG (photo by Steve Duke)
LAUREL AND GENEVIEVE VAMP IT UP WITH THE RHINO AT THE INTUIT HAND-OFF FROM LEG 6 TO 7 (photo by Sarah Montez)
JESSICA TAGS LISA AT THE FIRST HAND-OFF FROM VAN 1 TO VAN 2 (LEG 6 TO 7)
(photo by Sarah Montez)
JOHN MARETTI HANDS LISA DUKE WATER AT THE TOP OF A LONG ASCENT MIDWAY THROUGH LEG 7
WHAT ARE THESE GUYS SMILING ABOUT? JOHN, CHRIS AND DAVE IN VAN 2
10:42 P.M. HAND-OFF FROM GENEVIEVE TO SARAH, LEG 13 TO 14
(photo by Laurel Hammang)
PETER FINISHES TOUGH LEG 29 IN SILVER CITY TO HAND OFF TO SARAH WHO’S TACKLING THE EVEN TOUGHER LEG 30 THROUGH GOLD HILL UP TO VIRGINIA CITY (photo by Laurel Hammang)
SEAN IN VAN 2 CALLING GREG TO ALERT HIM TO VAN 1’s IMMINENT ARRIVAL IN VIRGINIA CITY – Doing these relays without cell-phones is unimaginable (photo by Laurel Hammang)
OF COURSE VAN 1 IS HAPPY – THEY’RE DONE!
And the Bucket of Blood’s Bloody Marys are mere steps away. (photo by Lisa Duke)
WHERE THE LONG GEIGER GRADE DESCENT BEGINS MIDWAY THROUGH LEG 32
CHRIS MILLER CANNONBALLS DOWN THE HOME STRETCH
OF LEG 33, THE GEIGER GRADE DESCENT (photo by Lisa Duke)
FLYING MONKEYS, THE OTHER CHICO-BASED TEAM CAPTAINED BY ED HUDSON
(photo by Steve Duke)
NDOT (Nevada Dept of Tranportation) CHAIN GANG TEAM (photo by Steve Duke)