Human powered | Big Blue fills niche for adventure racers

Story by Tim Hauserman  |  Photos by Harry Lefrak | Big Blue Adventure  ·

 

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Over the last 100 years. Tahoe has attracted visitors for a variety of reasons. First, they came for the resources: lumber to feed the miles of mine tunnels under Virginia City, and forage for cattle in the cool mountains. Later it was quiet recreation: slowly cruising along the lakeshore in a wooden boat or pondering Tahoe’s splendor from its shores. These days, a growing number of people come to Tahoe to challenge themselves, by participating in a human-powered outdoor sporting event. These events give people the opportunity to not only be outside enjoying Tahoe’s beauty, but also checking items off his or her bucket list while getting a good workout. Tahoe is meeting that desire by providing an increasingly interesting and varied calendar of competitions.

Big Blue Adventures is a small, local organization that is presenting outdoor events this summer and fall.

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Big Blue Adventures owner Todd Jackson says all of the event types it presents – running, trail running, mountain biking, on- and off-road triathlon, and paddleboarding – are growing in popularity at Tahoe.

“More people considering Tahoe as the place to go to take on a triathlon or XTERRA event,” says Jackson.

In addition to the obvious fact that Tahoe is a pretty sweet place to ride a bike or go for a trail run, this trend has been helped by the local community marketing associations focusing its efforts and money on bringing events to the area.

“There is a new awareness of coming to Tahoe as a destination,” Jackson says. “Tahoe is becoming more of a brand” for these types of events.

He said that he is finding that many participants are now looking at the calendar as early as November and planning what fun competitions they want to be a part of at Tahoe the following summer.

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The inaugural Lake Tahoe Ironman last year has been a boon for local competitions, as well. Folks who come to Tahoe to train for the September Ironman, are finding events such as the Donner Lake Triathlon, the Lake Tahoe Triathlon and the Open Water Swim as high altitude stepping stones to the big event.

Along with increasing the number of outdoor events, there also has been a focus on creating events that appeal to every ability level from challenging one’s limits in a Half Ironman triathlon event, or having a social get together with friends by setting out on an easy run. There also are enough events every year for racers to find several competitions that will strike his or her fancy.

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The season kicks off with Adventure Sports Week from June 19 to 29, featuring paddleboard, swimming, running and mountain biking races for all levels.

Aside from the substantial Big Blue Adventure calendar, there also are a host of other events scheduled in the area, including the Tahoe Sierra and Tour De Manure Century rides, as well as several Tough Mudder events. So, get out there.

For detailed information or to register for any event, visit bigblueadventure.com or call (530) 546-1019. Also, read the Wet ‘n’ Dirty section in every edition of The Weekly for details on upcoming races in the Tahoe-Truckee region.

 

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ADVENTURE SPORTS WEEK

June 19

Pre-ride
Check out the Lake Tahoe Mountain Bike race course with a pre-ride & run starting at 5 p.m. at Tahoe Cross Country Center.

 

June 20

Pre-run
Check out the Burton Creek Trail Run race course with a pre-ride & run starting at 5 p.m. at Tahoe Cross Country Center.

 

June 21

Lake Tahoe Mountain Bike Race
Chose the 4- or 8-hour race, solo or teams. The winner completes the most laps around the 12-mile course in the allotted time.

Big Blue Waterman Challenge
Combined swim, run and standup paddleboard. The short course is designed for a range of abilities.

SUP demo & clinic
Willard’s Sport Shop hosts a SUP demo and clinic from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Commons Beach. Topics include safety, board design, beginner techniques, and intermediate and advanced techniques. Free.

 

June 22

Salomon demo
Salomon hosts a demo from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Burton Creek State Park.

Burton Creek Trail Run
6K, 12K, Half Marathon and 50K run on the trails of Burton Creek State Park/Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area.

 

June 26

Pre-ride XTERRA course
Check out the XTERRA bike course with a pre-ride starting at 5 p.m. at Commons Beach.

Nutrition clinic
Join a sports nutrition clinic presented by PowerBar at 7 p.m.

 

June 27

XTERRA clinic
Jamie Whitmore-Cardenas hosts a clinic for all levels from beginner to seasoned racers at 5 p.m. at Commons Beach, covering the courses, transitions, tire pressure, fueling, and racing in altitude.

Open Water Swimming Clinic
Rob Laurie discusses way to improve technique at 6 p.m. at Commons Beach. Bring wetsuit and swim cap.

Bike Rally
Tahoe Teas Cruiser Bike Rally is at 5 p.m. at Commons Beach. Dress up your favorite bike and cruise the lakeside bike path.

 

June 28

XTERRA Tahoe City
Off-road triathlon. Swim in the lake, then hit the woods for mountain biking and trail running. Various levels of length and difficulty.

Bike Demo
Felt Bicycles hosts a bike demo with a variety of mountain bikes at Commons Beach.

 

June 29

Salomon demo
Salomon hosts a demo from 8 a.m. to noon.

Run to Squaw
7.9-mile run along the Truckee River on the bike trail from Tahoe City to Squaw Valley.

SUP demo & clinic
Willard’s Sport Shop hosts a SUP demo and clinic from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Commons Beach. Topics include safety, board design, beginner techniques, and intermediate and advanced techniques. Free.

Triathlon Clinic
Tahoe LUNA Chix hosts a triathlon clinic at West End Beach at Donner Lake from 9 a.m. to noon covering transitions, tips on efficiency and more. Bring swim, bike and running gear. Free, $15 donation to Breast Cancer Fund.

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Tim Hauserman
Tim Hauserman wrote the official guidebook to the Tahoe Rim Trail, as well as “Monsters in the Woods: Backpacking with Children” and the children’s book “Gertrude’s Tahoe Adventures in Time.” Most of the year he writes on a variety of topics, but you will find him in the winter teaching cross-country skiing and running the Strider Gliders program at Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area. He has lived in Tahoe since he was a wee lad and loves to be outdoors road and mountain biking, hiking, paddleboarding, kayaking and cross-country skiing.