Last week I ran the Trail Trashed marathon in Henderson, Nevada. The race proved to be true to its name. The winning time was just under four hours, which tells you something about how difficult it is. My race often felt more like a hike than a run, but while my finishing time was over six hours, I was never bored. It was my 182nd marathon, and it was one of the most beautiful.
The race, which also includes a 50 mile ultra, a half marathon, and a 10K, begins before dawn in Hidden Falls Park. The field of runners was small – under 100 marathoners – but very enthusiastic, with several taking up race director Heidi’s offer to begin with a wild dance at the start line.
The route begins with a double loop in Amargosa that offers great views of the bright lights of Las Vegas in the distance, and of a spectacular blood red sunrise. From there, runners head out to the McCoullough Hills and then a 10 mile lollipop-shaped loop through federal land. Race organizers were prevented by BLM from putting an aid station on this loop, but a well-stocked stop was located right at the entrance/exit. This was the most spectacular part of the course, as runners passed by and through canyons and high desert. Many of us were alone at this point, but that was a wonderful experience, as the course was well-marked and the sense of the vastness of the landscape was unforgettable.
From there there was a short out-and back before the final run to the finish like, where runners were rewarded with a unique wooden finisher’s medal, as well as with pizza and beer.
All in all, a trail run not to be missed!