I think I’ll go climb a mountain.


This is the elevation map for the ET midnight marathon I’m going to attempt next month in the Nevada.
The lure for me,  was the chance to walk on the fringes of the infamous “Area 51 ” (aka Dreamland) in the Nevada desert at night,  but I signed up for the event before I really got a good look at the course map.  I knew the starting and finishing elevations were around 4900 ft , but I had no idea there was a big mountain in the middle.   For some reason I pictured the desert as being flat… what was I thinking?  Well, I guess it’s not a huge mountain  , but still,  it’s the highest I will have ever attempted to climb during a race.

Thankfully,  I’m only doing the half marathon portion which starts at mile 7 and ends at mile 20 on this chart, so the most I’ll have to climb is about 700 ft over 5 miles ( a pretty easy grade).  The whole thing takes place on Hwy 395, and I mean to tell you, it really is in the middle of nowhere ! I Google earthed it,  and the course is basically a 3-segment straight lined zig zag , which has only one curve .  It’s not all bad though, because from the half way point at Coyote summit , to the town of Rachel ( the finish line),  its a  straight shot, 7 miles…. and downhill all the way!

Recently , a friend of mine who has worse lung disease than I do, and who is oxygen dependent, did the Slacker downhill marathon in Colorado which has starts at an elevation of 10, 600 ft!   Apparently he had no significant problems, but he had to crank up his oxygen to 15 lpm. That’s a lot of oxygen, especially up your nose ( He may have used a mask , Im not sure).

I’ve lived and vacationed at these types of elevations,  but Ive never walked very far while there ,  and judging from last years posted finish times , this course is a challenge even for healthy people.

Oh..and this is the first time Ive received race instructions with the following caveats;

** All runners are REQUIRED to wear reflective clothing; carry a hand held flashlight or wear a headlamp; glow-necklaces will be provided.

*** All runners MUST exercise extreme caution as this highway is open range- meaning cows and other animals may be on the roadway! You may not provoke or approach these animals. Mind your own business and they should leave you alone.

A friend of mine who’s doing the event with me, has offered to mule my portable nebulizer and a small oxygen tank for me, should I need them.  Is that sweet or what?  He has really bad knees and I have really bad lungs , so this should be an interesting night….especially if we encounter any UFO’s along the way.

Two weeks after that,  Im back to Las Vegas to see Manilow ( for the 33rd time) . Ain’t life grand!

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6 Comments

  1. Joey says:

    Wow! That’s certainly a challenge…as you’ll have seen from my posts I do swimming as my form of excercise, only an hour a week, but it’s all I can handle with my M.E, FMS and BA to deal with and the only handicap accessable pool is not heated as much as the other pools in the area, so it’s definately a shock to the system, but we had fun. I’m allowed off the oxygen while I swim as the tanks aren’t waterproof and would sink!!

    Good luck with the training and the actual walk, I’ll be rooting for you!

  2. Asthmagirl says:

    A gain of 700 feet over 5 miles is a pretty gradual grade in my hiking vocabulary. However it’s important to note that I’m not doing it in race walk mode! I don’t think I could start anything at 10,000 feet… thank goodness your friend had oxygen!

    Here’s hoping you don’t run into any cows or “other objects”!

  3. Tammy says:

    Wow, what an adventure! I love the instructions about the reflective gear and the cows. Have fun!!!

  4. Hilary says:

    You are amazing and such an inspiration! And I like the new look for the banner. Great artwork!

    I wish you the best of luck and have a great time. That’s the most important part – having fun, enjoying the experience.

  5. Hilary says:

    BTW, are you doing the Las vegas Marathon in December? I posted discount codes good through July 16 at my blog.

  6. Kim says:

    This race sounds like a BLAST! The desert at night, now gorgeous is that going to be! Wow!

    And I hope your friend did wear a mask for 15 liters of O2, just thinking about that through a cannula makes my nose hurt!

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