DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK MARATHON (Saturday am, December 3, 2011):
Trail running doesn’t get any better than this wide, jeep road twisting through the towering red rocks of Death Valley’s Titus Canyon.
This is a scenic wilderness trail run on a gravel jeep road from Beatty, NV, through the picturesque Titus Canyon, to the finish in Death Valley (entire run is in Death Valley National Park). The desert is beautiful this time of year with mild temperatures; lows at night between 30 and 40 degrees and highs during the day from the low-60s to mid-70s. There are only a couple hundred of participants along the course that gains 3,000 feet of elevation gain during the first half of the race, and then hits you with a 5,000-foot descent for the last 13 miles.
Key Take-away: Bring the water belt and camera, leave the iPod at home!
LAS VEGAS ROCK AND ROLL MARATHON (Sunday pm, December 4, 2011):
This race could not be more different than Death Valley. It’s a road race that has been sold out for over a month with over 20,000+ participants and is a very flat course. It will start at 4:30 pm with fireworks. As part of the Rock and Roll series, there will be live bands playing every few miles. The first 13 miles take the marathon runners through old town Las Vegas before meeting up with the Half Marathoners one the end of the Strip. Then its six miles up the Strip and then back down to the finish. I am sure the atmosphere will be electric with so many people, lights and music.
Key Take-away: Prepare for a raucous crowd and likely, far too many running Elvis’s to count!