Now in its 9th year, the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey is back and bigger than ever. With team names like "Crop Dusters" "Scrambled Legs N Achin" and "Kick'n Assphault" the 178-mile course is a serious challenge with a humorous side. "We have a lot of out of town people," says Assistant Race Director Ryan Evans. "Probably 30-35 states are represented, and we have participants from 4 different countries. Actually 5 including the US."
Runners in brightly colored costumes gathered in Reno's Wingfield Park Friday. Every 15 minutes a new group starting the first of 36 legs along the course. They head out of town towards Verdi, up to Truckee and along the west side of Lake Tahoe. Then it's down the hill toward Carson City, and back up again to Virginia City before the runners finally make their way back into Reno sometime Saturday. Its an intense 24 hours, with no rest for the weary.
Despite the demands of the relay race, the mood surrounding the event is festive. This year organizers even had to cap the number of entries for the event. "This year is actually our biggest year ever," says Evans. "We actually sold out in February. This year we have 259 full Reno Tahoe Odyssey teams which is a record." That also means a lot of bodies on the streets, running and resting alongside the road team vans. Organizers work with law enforcement for traffic control. They're also asking drivers to share the road.
The event also benefits the community. A portion of the proceeds from the Odyssey support the Northern Nevada Children's Cancer Foundation, and the Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway. For more information, check out the link below.