The run course for the Inaugural Lake Tahoe Ironman has reportedly been changed to two laps of out-and-back from Squaw Valley to Tahoe City along the Truckee River bike path. According to information on local triathlete Bruce Aldrich’s website, “The change was made due to major, multi-year, construction project on the original course. This project was not anticipated when the original course was designed and announced.”
While it is undeniable a bummer to have a two-lap course, the good news is that this is still a beautiful and relatively flat course. Also, you will be able to preview the entire course by running only a quarter of the distance (6.1 miles) if you have a shuttle available. It looks like the course is almost completely off-road – which is great – but there could certainly be some crowding on the 8-foot wide bike path. Incidentally, there is a narrow dirt shoulder for about half of the course, but it is not particularly smooth or level.
The course will start up in Squaw Valley, cruise down the bike path to Highway 89, then follow the Truckee river most of the way to Tahoe City before turning around to complete the first lap. Athletes will then turn around and do it all over again.
I ran the out-and-back earlier this week on Tuesday, April 2, 2013. At that time, there was only a small (~1/4 mile) section of snow pack on the path behind the Squaw Valley fire station. The bike path along Highway 89 has been plowed and is completely clear of snow, though it is a bit dirty and not yet “officially open.”
Lake Tahoe Ironman Run – Route Notes
Click here for interactive map, GPS track, and elevation profile. (Elevation profile also picture below.)
Click here for a detailed route description and more photos (does not include section from Squaw Valley down to Hwy 89).
I don’t have first-hand knowledge of the course route, but I can provide some insight into the existing bike path network. Leaving downhill from Squaw Valley (see driving directions and parking notes below), the bike path is easily found on the right hand side of the road, just after the green “Squaw Valley Meadows” sign.
The paved, off-road path gently descends alongside Squaw Valley Rd., and at mile 1.5, it crosses the Squaw Creek Rd. to continue descending. This section goes behind the Squaw Valley fire station, soccer field and park, and pops out at Highway 89 at the bottom of Squaw Valley Rd. at mile 2. From here, the path resumes on the opposite (east) side of 89. Paved path continues for 5 miles to Tahoe City, though the turn around will, of course, be a bit sooner than Tahoe City to make the appropriate mileage for 26.2 divided by 4.
Lake Tahoe Ironman Run – Elevation Profile
By popular request, below is the elevation profile of the bike path from Squaw Valley, down to Highway 89, then onto Tahoe City. This accounts for one quarter of the course – the “out” portion of the two-lap out-and-back course.
Ample free parking is available at the Village at Squaw Valley.
From Truckee: Drive south on Highway 89 from Truckee for 10 miles. Turn right at the light onto Squaw Valley Rd. Continue up Squaw Valley Rd. until you reach the end (about 2 miles). Turn left into the huge Squaw Valley lot.
From Tahoe City: Drive north on Highway 89 from Tahoe City for 5 miles. Turn left at the light onto Squaw Valley Rd. Continue up Squaw Valley Rd. until you reach the end (about 2 miles). Turn left into the huge Squaw Valley lot.