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Katie and Katie Run the Tahoe Rim Trail
The Experience of  a Lifetime

$5,600 donated. 200 miles of running.  136 days of summer.  14 days of Rim Trail running. 500 photos taken. 1 million memories made.

It all began one day when Katie T. was running her routine loop around the Glenshire trails.  The thought popped into her head that there had to be something more… The Tahoe Rim Trail.  With a quick search on she found a way to break the trail up into 14 day hikes (runs).  The next day at work she presented the idea to Katie C. that they would run a section of the Tahoe Rim Trail once a week until they made it all the way around.  Without hesitation, Katie C. said YES!

That’s not it!  For each run they would run for a local cause or charity and donate money as they celebrated each piece of the Tahoe Rim Trail completed. There were many pieces to this 165 mile puzzle that we worked through as we ran our way around Lake Tahoe this past summer, and we’d love to share them with you here.

Who to Donate To

Both Katies compiled the list of local causes/organizations/inspirations that they felt strongly about donating to.  The first one of course being the Tahoe Rim Trail Foundation!  We felt that it was great motivation to be running for something bigger than just us.  Each week we would reflect on the chosen cause and relate this back to our run.  On the #FightHardy day, we wanted to send Whitney all our love to get her back on her feet and running.  On the Keep Tahoe Blue day we could not have been more appreciative of that Big Blue Lake that we continued to see in front of us.  On the Max Krieg day we got to remember his love for life and his laughter.  For each an every day we are thankful for these organizations who are making Tahoe/Truckee a better place to be, as they care for others and protect the environment that we live in, and for the people who are no longer with us but have touched our hearts.

Each run = $ Donation:

Section 1: Tahoe Rim Trail Association
Section 2: Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe
Section 3: Whitney Hardy #FightHardy
Section 4: Girls on the Run Sierra
Section 5: League to Save Lake Tahoe (Keep Tahoe Blue)
Section 6: The Sivao Family- Jonathan Sivao fighting cancer
Section 7: In Memory of Greg Tiller: Tahoe Forest Hospice
Section 8: Project MANA
Section 9: Truckee Donner Land Trust
Section 10: Tahoe SAFE Alliance
Section 11: Truckee Trails Foundation
Section 12: In Memory of Max Krieg: Excellence in Education
Section 13: In Honor of Dr. Brooks Bloomfield 
Section 14: High Fives Foundation

Mapping out the Course

Where do we start?  Do we jump around the various sections around the lake, or go on a consistent path?  Where are the trailheads?  How do we get there?  What do we do for food and water? Due to Forest Service gate closings, knowledge of the trail, and proximity, we decide to start at Mt. Rose Meadows and run to Tunnel Creek.  This began our adventure running clockwise around the lake, and we had decided we wanted to do it all in one direction and in the correct order so that we wouldn’t leave all the toughest sections until the end of our 14 weeks.  This proved to be a bit harder on some days as running the opposite direction would have been easier, but we felt moved to do it this way thus we made it a ‘rule’ for journey- no short cuts.

Training for the Run 

It was Tuesday, May 20th when Katie T. came to the office with this idea.  Katie C. was so pumped on it that she wanted to get started right away!   How about Thursday? …Well, there happened to be a huge storm that day, so the run was cancelled, and the Katies were super bummed.  Was this going to be the beginning of the end for our adventure?  No, the run was rescheduled for Tuesday, May 27th.  Bright blue skies, warm sun shining, Katie T’s birthday, it was a perfect start to our adventure.

Prior to this day, Katie T. had been starting to ramp up her running as she was thinking about a marathon in November.  An average run for her was about 5-7 miles.  Katie C. was getting back on her feet after a long running hiatus due to pregnancy and was up to an average run of about 3-4 miles.  So, our first run of 12 miles was the longest run for both of us in a long time.  The 18 mile run the following week shaped us up real fast.  We were diving into this full speed and training as we went.

Getting to the Trail

The first couple weeks we shuttled ourselves by driving all the way to the end of our run section, dropping a car, driving to the start, running, and then driving back to the start to pick up the other car.  When we drove an hour, one way, to get to Spooner Lake for the second run, we knew that we were going to need help getting to the next sections.  From here on out we are so thankful to our family who helped get us to and from the runs.  Katie C.’s mom, Ann, was a huge help for most of our runs.  Katie C.’s Aunt, Nancy,  stepped in to take us to the end to drop a car and the start to drop us off for run #8.  Katie T’s husband, Brad, took a whole day to get us to run #5 and Katie T.’s mom, Sue, got us to our furthest point at Echo Lake for run #7.  We are so thankful to these people for helping us make this goal a reality.

Mom Takes a Day to Run

Sometimes these run days would start early in the morning and we wouldn’t make it home until well after after 5 at night.  This happened especially when we were doing the South Lake sections.  Katie T. has 2 children and Katie C. has one, so this meant childcare needed to be arranged for the day from daycare to babysitters to Grandparents to Daddy duty.  Some days this also meant an extra day at daycare or another day with the babysitter and the dads were always there to take on some early mornings alone and a few late nights with the kiddos.  Again we are thankful to have such great support from these people that helped make things work so that we had enough time to run these long sections.

Work Balance

The real estate world doesn’t have set hours-it is always active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  For a day of running we would need to schedule around meetings and appointments but could always finish the follow-up after running, dinner, kids bath time and bedtime, usually into the late hours of the night.  As for phone calls, emails and urgent matters, we would stop on the trail and Katie T. would take care of business.  This was just yet another piece of the puzzle that had to fall into place to clear the day for a run. Fortunately we have some extremely accomplished runners at work who understood our addiction, and helped us out at the office while encouraging us on our journey (Thanks JB & JT).

The Puzzle Comes Together

There were a lot of reasons why this pipe dream of Katie T’s could not work, but we threw all those reasons aside and focused on the ways that it could work.  Each week we would put our heads together, compare work schedules, life schedules, and driver availability and most weeks this summer we made a Tahoe Rim Trail run happen.  No matter what it took to get out on the trail, once we were out there, all our troubles seemed to melt away as we climbed, weaved, and bobbed through the forest surrounding Lake Tahoe.  Each and every run left us with a great appreciation for the trail, the outdoors, the Big Blue Lake in the middle of where we call home, and for running itself.  With such a large area covered we got to experience many different landscapes that this area has to offer.  Highlights from our run included the unbelievable views of Lake Tahoe, wildflowers that towered over our head, rock formations that could be sculptures in a city museum, mountain cliffs that towered above, and bald mountaintops that reminded us of vast deserts.  The sights were always in front, behind, and surrounding us leaving us with a “WOW” around every corner.

We feel very fortunate to have been able to experience and complete this epic journey. We hope that you are inspired to get out on the Tahoe Rim Trail too, we promise it will be worth it!  Stay tuned for news about plans for our next great running adventure.