2003 Lake Tahoe Relay

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The Salt Lake Flats team, coached by Joe Straley, assembled at the starting line shortly before 7:00 AM on June 14.  The race starts in South Lake Tahoe and makes its way 72 miles around the lakeshore road counterclockwise in seven separate legs, returning to the Start/Finish Line that afternoon.  Team members this year were:
Leg Miles Runner
1 9.6 Joe
2 8.2 Rich
3 10.3 Carlos
4 12.3 Chuck
5 10.6 Jayne
6 10.5 Sandy
7 10.5 John
Immediately after the start, the team went for a breakfast of Carrow's famous Cinnamon Loaf Freedom Toast while Joe established our position in the field. Rich took the photo at the right through the front window of Carrows as Joe sailed on by.
After the first handoff, Rich was tasked with climbing the biggest hill on the course.  Starting at about 7000 feet elevation, this is not an easy climb.
Carlos had the luxury of running back down the other side of the hill that Rich climbed.  Here's a photo of Carlos looking chipper at the beginning of his leg.  Chuck was up next with a long leg of rolling hills.  By this time we knew that three other teams in our division were ahead of us in the standings.
Jayne took the handoff in the early afternoon and started us on the way back down the west shoreline of the lake.  During her run, John and Caitlin took time out to feed the large trout that always gather under the bridge at the lake's outlet, Truckee River.
Sandy was waiting at the next exchange point to take the handoff from Jayne. Leg 6 is a beast, ending in a difficult hill climb to the final exchange point on the course, which is located at the top of the hill.
When John took the handoff for Leg 7, we were in 4th place in our division, Mixed (Men/Women) Masters (40+). The team took a short break to visit Eagle Falls. Meanwhile, John screamed down the first hill, then up a steep climb, and finally back down a very steep descent to near the lake level (6300 feet above sea level). Then he cruised the last few miles to the finish line in South Lake Tahoe.
Despite starting well behind the first three teams, John caught the last one, launching us into a third place finish in our division.  At the finish line we celebrated our win with a team photo, while an all-girl band played classic tunes way too loud.

Thanks, Coach Joe!