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!