Sunday, December 07, 2008

Death Valley Borax Marathon - Dec. 6, 2008

Christmas in Death Valley!

Early in the year, Tim and I planned the back-to-back marathons in Death Valley and Las Vegas this weekend as our final high(er) mileage week in preparation for Across the Years. We didn't plan then on having some grumbling injuries, but those are par for the course and we had to roll with the little punches.

We arrived in Vegas and made the 2-1/2 hour drive to Death Valley, my favorite place in North America. I love the drive and the beautiful never-ending layered mountains. It's funny how you can see forever into the distance and how your are tricked into thinking you are driving slow, making no progress. Over and over again, Tim would check the speedometer and realize that we were driving 100 mph. DOH! He'd slow to 85 or 90 and it would feel like we were just crawling.

The Death Valley Borax Marathon started at "8-ish" in the morning. It's one of the things I just love about Dave Horning's races. They are so laid-back and for the "Type E" personality, as his slogan goes. It was warm and brilliantly sunny. After singing "American the Beautiful," he said "Go" and we were off, 13.1 miles from Furnace Creek toward Stovepipe Wells, and then back. There was a 10k and a 1/2 marathon too. You would think it would have been too crowded on the road, but given the expanse of the desert, it never felt at all crowded.

As this was a training run, our only goals were to not flare our nagging injuries and to have fun. If all went ok, we'd shoot for a 3:40 or so.

Well, all went well. How could it not? There we were in one of the most exotic places on earth running with the sun on our faces, filled with joy. It was fabulous. We kept a fairly steady pace until I slowed down a bit on the last 3 mile climb to mile 24. That's where Chris Kostman and Elizabeth found us, and that was a big boost. They were on their bikes and it was their last day of 8 touring around Death Valley.

We finished in 3:40 as planned.

We quickly showered at the pool and made the long and relaxing drive back to Vegas....well until we hit the city.

We assessed our bodies and decided to give the next thon a whirl too, so we picked up our packets. Later in the evening, however, after walking around through the casino and hotel, my achilles started to get a creakiness in it. You could even hear it. Knowing that was not something to mess with, we decided to nix the Vegas Marathon. It was the right decision. We've got Across the Years to look out for.

So, we're headed to Red Rock and I think the BodyWorks exhibit is at the Luxor. So, we've got plenty to do.

What a fabulous weekend, not yet over.

Full Death Valley Borax Marathon results are HERE.


Bob from said...

Great job guys CONGRATS!! and enjoy the rest of that weekend!!

Backofpack said...

Running in the sun sounds awfully nice right now! Enjoy the rest of your vacation, and give that achilles a bit of a rest. Have fun!

olga said...

Did you mention you placed 4th F, or I missed on it? :)
You always thrill me with knowing when to stop - and still have tons of fun! I'd like to say more, but might hold back for email:)
Glad you enjoyed your trip!!!

Runner Tammy said...


Congratulations on a great race on Saturday. When I saw you and Tim at mile 15 or so, you both looked really strong!

It was great to see you at the race. You were right that the introduction by RD Dave was pretty amusing. I will have to pencil in the Titus Canyon Marathon in my 2010 race plans!

You are wise to have listened to your body and DNS'd Las Vegas. Las Vegas was a cute race but at least for me this double was quite hard (although perhaps hiking 10+ hours on both Thurs & Fri might not have helped in my "taper").

I hope you have a your achilles feels better soon.