Squaw Valley ski resort will serve as the epicenter of activity for the world-class triathlon, with both the second transition and the finish being held at the resort.
More than 2,300 athletes will be in the North Lake Tahoe area this week for Ironman, a full triathlon that will have competitors running 26.2 miles, biking 112 miles and swimming for 2.4 miles. The sold-out event will have the events spread from Lake Tahoe to Squaw Valley and Truckee.
There are 13 age divisions from age 18 to 80 as well as professional and physically challenged divisions. Fifty winners from the event will qualify for the Championship Ironman in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii in October 2014.
Lyles lives in Reno and very familiar with the setup of the Ironman course. Squaw Valley sponsors Lyles, who skies with her family at Squaw during the winter to cross-train. She is expected to be a top finisher in the Lake Tahoe event.
At last year’s Ironman Wisconsin, Lyles already qualified for Kona earlier this year and will also be making appearances at the triathlon training camps to be held at Squaw Valley next summer. Fans could find Lyles training almost daily on Tahoe’s North Shore, getting ready for this Sunday.
Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resort have two employees competing in Ironman Lake Tahoe. Long-time Squaw employees Dawn Gaffney and Rob Kronkhyte will both compete on home turf in Sunday’s competition.
Gaffney is a mother of two who will be running her first official Ironman competition, though she completed the Vineman two years ago for her 40th birthday.
Kronkhyte is an accomplished ultra-runner who has competed in the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run five times and will also compete in the XTERRA World Championships off-road triathlon at the end of October..