It was not love at first sight, but it was love by sundown. Rugged, wild, naked and beautiful- Death Valley National Park was spread out before me in every direction, and I fell hard. I was in love with the barren mountains, the striped craggy rocks, the endless dry salt covered plain, the colored cliffs….
Oh, but this is a race report. We spent 3 days camping and exploring the park, and running the Death Valley Marathon.
So here are the facts– 40 degrees to start, up to 70 by the finish. Bright sunshine, endless views.
The entire course is below sea level.
Finished in 5:12. I was very disappointed, thought I would be much faster. In fact, by about mile 20, I was angry. I knew I was going to be at 5 hours, there was nothing I could do about it, and I was MAD. All I could do was keep going, so I did. But then it was over, and we were done. A disappointing time, BUT still, I ran 26.2 miles and finished.
The other really challenging thing was the visibility. I could see the mile 23 water stop for almost a mile! I ran and ran and ran, and it never got closer. That made me mad too. I was basically a tired, angry mess for the last 3 miles, and my running partner and best friend in all the world took it like a man! And we finished together.
But back to Death Valley…….