Jesse, Eric and I departed Mammoth around 6pm Friday night and after a quick burrito stop we were on our way to Tahoe. The drive was incredible. I’d never been past June lake but the green pastures, snow capped mountains, rivers and sunset were spectacular.
We were able to get a room at Northstar Resort just a few hundred yards from the starting line, a huge plus when you need to register at 6am. I’d highly recommend it. Not a pro start time though. We woke up to temps in the upper 40s and things were chilly so make sure to bring some warm clothes. Shivering uncontrollably at the starting line brought back some serious Leadville memories. The shotgun went off and the pace was quick as we shot up the road for about a mile before looping through Northstar Village. From there we hit the first serious climb. More course data here: Tahoe Trail 100 Course
At 880 feet in 2.5 miles it hurt. The legs aren’t warm yet and the field started to blow apart. Levi, Dave, and Ted disappeared ahead while Jesse, Eric, Aaron and I played chase. We regrouped at the top of the climb and pace-lined the single track but the leaders were too far gone.
The course is beautiful- there are fire road and road sections interspersed with flowing single track through fields and pine forest. I wish I had more time to take in the scenery. There are a few super fast paved and gravel descents where you can hit 40+ mph and really get yourself in trouble. The whole course is pretty flowy with some single track punches about miles 12, 14 and 17. From there is a long descent and then another crushing 900 foot 2.5 mile climb then a mile of banked switchbacks back to the start. Super fun. It’s exactly my kind of course and I was really excited to finish 4th right behind Levi, Dave and Ted.
Overall the LT Tahoe Trail 100k is an amazing event, even once the race is over. There’s a fully catered finishers buffet, beer, bar, and festivities. Exactly what you’d expect from a LT Series Event. Eric and I had a hard time getting back in the car even though we had a 500 mile drive home. We wanted to hang out all day.