My Profile

@Darkwaters

Henderson, NV Raving since 2019 active 1 year ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):
  • Rave race:

    Luxembourg Night Marathon, Three Degrees of Hell

  • Race that's calling my name:

    Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon

  • I run because:

    that high just feels so good. Plus – bling.

My Races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Future Races (11)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
10K Boulder City, NV Nov 7, 2020
Half Marathon Las Vegas, NV Nov 7, 2020
Half Marathon Las Vegas, NV Nov 14, 2020
10K Las Vegas, NV 2020
Half Marathon Reno, NV TBD
Half Marathon Big Mountain, UT TBD
Marathon South Williamson, KY TBD
Half Marathon Boulder City, NV TBD
Half Marathon Boulder City, NV TBD
Marathon Las Vegas, NV TBD
10K Agua Dulce, CA TBD

Past Races (29)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
7K x 3 Bitter Spring Valley, NV Jul 10, 2020
5K Henderson, NV May 2, 2020
5K Henderson, NV Apr 25, 2020
Half Marathon San Diego, CA Apr 18, 2020
10K Las Vegas, NV Mar 21, 2020
Half Marathon Boulder City, NV Mar 14, 2020
10K Henderson, NV Mar 7, 2020
Half Marathon Henderson, NV Feb 15, 2020
Half Marathon St. George, UT Jan 18, 2020
Half Marathon Canyon Lake, TX Jan 4, 2020
10K Las Vegas, NV Dec 21, 2019
Half Marathon Laughlin, NV Dec 7, 2019
12K Boulder City, NV Nov 28, 2019
10K Reno, NV Oct 27, 2019
5K Las Vegas, NV Sep 29, 2019
10K Moapa Valley, NV Sep 28, 2019
5K Huntington Beach, CA Jul 21, 2019
10K Ventura, CA Jul 14, 2019
7K x 3 Las Vegas, NV Jul 5, 2019
5K Las Vegas, NV Jul 4, 2019
10K Lovell Canyon, NV Jun 22, 2019
5K Henderson, NV Jun 8, 2019
5K Las Vegas, NV May 11, 2019
5K Henderson, NV May 4, 2019
5K Henderson, NV Apr 28, 2019
5K Nashville, TN Jan 23, 2016
10K Toccoa, GA Jun 6, 2015
Half Marathon Uewerstad, Luxembourg May 26, 2012
5 Miler New Braunfels, TX 2002

My Raves

The DAM Ruck and Run was an interesting event. The primary event was not actually the races, but the Ruck march that participants did during the night before. I did … MORE

The DAM Ruck and Run was an interesting event. The primary event was not actually the races, but the Ruck march that participants did during the night before. I did not participate in this portion, but it involved walking distances with a weighted backpack, following the military theme that permeates all of Triple Dare Running Company’s events.

Overall Production:
This was as small of a production as I’ve participated in for a while. All the different events started at different times, so I never saw the Marathon or Half Marathon runners. The 10K only had about 20 runners total and I believe the 5K was even smaller. It wasn’t much more than just a group of friends getting together in the desert to go for a nice run. Works for me.

Packet Pick-Up:
With as small as the production was, there was no need for early packet pick-up. I showed up and asked for my number and received it just as quickly. One thing of note is that they ran out of safety pins by the time I got there. I’ve never seen that happen at a race. Fortunately, I always have extras.

Swag:
The ruckers from the night before got cool looking buffs. Those of us running received a t-shirt. It’s not a technical shirt, but a heavy cotton one that I doubt I’ll run in. Still, it’s a good looking shirt with BDU camo patterns on it. I intend to wear it even if not for runs.

Website and Pre-Race Communications:
Triple Dare’s website is good enough, but definitely not a top-end production. But they sent out timely emails in advance of the event. My one criticism would be the maps to the start line – or lack thereof. The only directions were text notes telling you how to get there. That was partially because the race literally started on the side of a remote dirt road out in the desert. But I would have appreciated some kind of map.

Pre-Race Administration:
The race started on time. There wasn’t much else in this category worth mentioning.

The Course:
The race was an out and back with the first half virtually all up hill (about 400 feet of ascent) and the second half obviously then downhill the same way you came. The course was run on a rough desert road and you were able to weave around to avoid the large rocks for the first two miles. However, the 3rd mile was incredibly technical and required runners to slow considerably to traverse the area. After the turn-around (at about mile 4) I turned my ankle on the large, loose rocks and that had a negative impact on my experience for the rest of the run. The overall scenery wasn’t anything exceptional until that technical portion, which is when it finally got pretty.

Water and Aid Stations:
There was a Water/Aid Station at the 1.55 mile mark that also served as the turn around for the 5K. The next station wasn’t until the 10K turn around (and you hit the first station again on the way back). They did a good job with having more than just water as I also saw bananas and other snacks. Along the course they also had several pickups from the racing company that were there to assist any injured runners caught in between aid stations.

Crowd Support:
This was literally run in the middle of the desert. No crowds.

Finisher’s Medal:
I always like Triple Dare’s medals. They make them out of layered wood that gives them a 3D effect. Considering some of their past medals though, I thought this one was a bit underwhelming. Still good, mind you. But I’ve come to expect more from them honestly. The medals were all the same with no distinction between various distances. In fact, they gave me the option of two slightly different medals at the finish and I was told later that I had actually selected the previous year’s leftover medal. But since there was no date on either of them, I didn’t realize the distinction.

Results:
I never found out why, but they did not have computer timing on this race, and instead just logged numbers and times manually. WIth the very small turnout of runners it wasn’t a problem at all. But this was definitely a change from previous races I’ve done with this company. They had the results posted by later that evening.

Post-Race Administration:
As the run ended they did a good job of providing a wide variety of snacks to the runners. Watermelons, bananas, pickles, granola and other snacks accompanied the usual drinks. They also always have large Monster energy drinks if that’s your thing. I also had my first experience with the medical tent after a race, and they were as helpful and supportive as I would have expected.

History of the Event:
I normally inquire about how many years the event has been running after the race. But with a sprained ankle, I wasn’t exactly in the chatty mood. Still, this is at least the second year they’ve been running this event.

So would I do it again?
So I’ve run now five separate races with Triple Dare Running Company. This was arguably the weakest of the bunch. Although, I did not participate in the marquee Ruck portion which might have impacted my experience. Also, I got hurt, which never helps. But even with all that said, yes, I would run this race again. All of the hallmarks which have made Triple Dare events virtual “can’t miss” calendar events for me were still present – even if somewhat muted on this particular day. I plan to sign up again next year and I’m sure it’ll be a great experience.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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The family was spending the weekend in Huntington Beach and I found a nice, inexpensive race that is run right on the beach. At only $21 per head (for the … MORE

The family was spending the weekend in Huntington Beach and I found a nice, inexpensive race that is run right on the beach. At only $21 per head (for the 5K) I was skeptical of how the experience would go. But, I was distinctly and pleasantly surprised.

Overall Production:
This was an exceptionally small production, with only around 100 runners racing across four distances (5K, 10K, 15K and Half Marathon). The main course was a 5K out and back that the middle distances (10K, 15K) ran multiple times according to the length. The Half was also an out and back, but offered a turn around much further down the course. The race was run on the shoreline in Huntington Beach on open bike trails. The weather was great, at about 75 degrees and a totally clear sky.

Packet Pick-Up:
There really was no packet pick-up. They asked everybody to show up 30 minutes before the run and they passed out bib numbers at that point. The bibs are as basic as they come. It’s just a number! No other logos or lettering at all (and no tracking decal either). This is obviously a cost-saving measure, but I’ve never seen bibs so basic as this. There was no extensive process for picking up your number. They had about 4 people with clipboards checking off names and handing out numbers. It initially felt really disorganized, but actually moved quite quickly and was not a problem at all.

Swag:
With a race cost of only $21 for the 5K, I didn’t expect any swag at all. But they did give out a medal and a number of small things at the finish line, including an inexpensive tote bag with the race company’s name (A Better World Running). There were also a LOT of freebies at the end that I’ll cover later in the review. There was no t-shirt for the race.

Website and Pre-Race Communications:
The website did a great job of giving parking instructions, along with a specific address, and it was very easy to find them on the beach. I was a little worried that it might be hard (I struggled to find a race on the beach last week with a different company) but was proven totally wrong in that respect. Email communications were sound as well. The only knock would be a lack of course maps and elevation information on the website. I always like to review that and was mildly upset that it wasn’t present. Truth be told, their website is as simple as they come. But it gets the job done and their communication was clear and concise.

Pre-Race Administration:
The instructions for parking were great. I didn’t even have to pay (not typical in Huntington Beach) as they directed us to a free lot. They gave a simple explanation of the course before we started running (but it’s hard to mess up in explaining an out and back on a straight, flat path directly along the ocean). There was no effort to stagger race starts either. That’s usually a pet peeve of mine. But with so few runners it simply wasn’t necessary.

The Course:
The flattest course I’ve ever run. My GPS said the total elevation gain was 2 feet. I think that’s the time I stepped off a curb into a parking lot honestly. haha. The distance was also accurate to the 5K billing (I cannot speak to the Half Marathon obviously). It was a simple out and back along a wide bike path that was directly adjacent to the ocean sand. It was an open course, but at the time of the run there wasn’t a whole lot of other people on the path, so it was never problematic. The only scenery was the ocean itself – but if you’re only going to have one scenic thing that’s a pretty good option. After the run I kicked off my shoes and waded into the water to cool off. My one critique of the course was that the 5K turnaround was not as clearly marked as I would have preferred. They really needed a bigger sign and maybe even a volunteer standing there directing traffic.

Water and Aid Stations:
As the race required the 10K and 15K runners to do multiple turns, the start line served as an aid station and was fully decked out with everything you could want. However, runners only had access to an aid station every 3.1 miles as a result. I’m unsure on the Half Marathoners, but I assume there was another aid station somewhere along the course to support them.

Crowd Support:
There were a lot of people coming and going along the path, but almost nobody was there exclusively to watch us run. That didn’t stop many people from cheering us on and encouraging us.

Finisher’s Medal:
I was surprised that a race with such a low cost even offered a finisher’s medal. Typically when you dip below a certain price point it’s just understood that it’s not part of the package. So credit to A Better World Running for getting it done. The medals are obviously lower budget and not of the nicest quality, by necessity. They featured the race logo and indicated all four distances (although not the location or date). Also, the ribbons were very inexpensive, but the company went to the trouble to have distance specific ribbons for 5K, 10K, 15K and Half Marathon to differentiate what race you ran. You don’t often see that with any races except for the more expensive ones. So I applaud this small detail as it’s something I often hear being requested in other races. Good job. Very impressive considering all the constraints.

Post-Race Administration:
One of the cost-cutting decisions that they opted to implement was not having an electronic tracking system. As a result, the race director was manually recording numbers and times as they crossed the finish line. So she was fully engaged in that process and had a volunteer assisting as well. The assortment of post races snacks was impressive – most especially because of the low cost of the race. They offered specialized water called Qure, Gatorade, Gu packets, bananas, Protein bars, bottled cold brew coffees and some other cracker like snacks. They also had inexpensive reusable tote bags with the race company’s logo on them. I was really impressed with having so many options considering the low cost. The last run I ran in this price point offered water and bananas only. These guys have cracked the code on providing great value and bang for your buck.

Results:
As referenced above, the results were all recorded by hand by the race director. She promised to post the results the same day, and send out an email. I’ll update this post once I see how those results look.

History of the Event:
This run company has been operating since 2011 and has tried to compete by offering low cost community events. They run a beach front race in three locations every month: Huntington Beach, Santa Monica, Long Beach. They also offer the run as a virtual race. The races often share the same name, logo and medal, but occur on different days. I believe they always use the same courses in those towns. I’m unclear how long they’ve been running the “Summer Break” race, but it’s clear that they’ve been using this course for a while for other races at least.

So would I do it again?
Absolutely. I’ve seen low budget community races done before in other areas, but this company is doing it as well as I’ve ever seen. If you enter with realistic expectations, you’ll be blown away by a fun event at a very economical price (and in an area of the country that was never known for economical prices on anything). I doubt I would travel to the LA area specifically for this race. But as I’m in town semi-consistently for work, I plan to make it a point to check A Better World Running’s calendar before my next trip. I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up again.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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Overall Production: While still a small production, this was on the larger side of that grouping with 639 runners across four distances (5K, 10K, Half, Full). The Half Marathon was … MORE

Overall Production:
While still a small production, this was on the larger side of that grouping with 639 runners across four distances (5K, 10K, Half, Full). The Half Marathon was by far the most popular distance with over 275 runners. It occurred on the shoreline in Ventura County using both public roads and state parkland. The weather on the day I ran was incredibly foggy, but very cool (mid 60’s) but a really intense feeling of humid mugginess in the air.

Packet Pick-up:
Pick-up was offered the day before at a local running company. They also offered a race-day pick-up at the start line. As I was coming from out of town I opted for the latter. There was certainly was a long line, as they only had one station per distance (5K, 10K, Half, Full) instead of sub-dividing by last name as some places do. However, I arrived early enough that it wasn’t a problem at all. The packet itself consisted of a shirt, water bottle, reusable bag (all discussed below in swag) and a sample energy bar.

Swag:
This race certainly had a lot of various swag items. While none of them were especially high quality, some of them will likely be useful. They gave out a basic water bottle that had the race company’s logo on it. They also gave out a small reusable bag (not a drawstring bag, but the same as the reusable grocery bags that you find these days). And of course, they gave out a tech t-shirt. The shirt has the race logo on it and is a bright green color. It’s not the nicest quality of tech shirt (it’s the kind that will commonly get runs in it), but I liked the design and the unique color choice. I have so many navy blue run shirts, it’s nice to get a splash of a totally different color.

Pre-Race Administration:
This was a mixed bag for me. In some cases they did an admirable job. Races all started on time and they made an overt effort to allow people to start in phases, encouraging walkers and slower runners to let the faster people head out first. This often gets lip service at other races, but I think Elite Sports CA did a great job here. Unfortunately, there were other elements that weren’t as tight. The website was not very well managed, and I struggled with figuring out exactly where I was supposed to go in the morning. A lot of people had no problem with that (so maybe it was just me), but there were others that looked confused in the early hours with me. Also, they had limited parking on-site at the venue and offered a free shuttle service or recommended you could walk the roughly mile distance from the majority of the parking to the start line. The line for the one shuttle got very very long as the race start grew closer, and there was absolutely no signage telling people how to walk that mile from the parking to the start. Considering how good they did with signage on the course itself, I’m surprised they put no effort into doing so for the walk to their venue.

The Course:
This route was a simple out and back along the beach. The first part was on a bike trail, but much of the race was along a beachfront frontage road. Surprisingly, there wasn’t too much traffic and cars driving past us. Furthermore, there was an excessively wide shoulder (intended mostly for campers to park on) that we ran along. The entire course was on the shoreline (hence the name) and you were right next to the crashing waves the whole way. The race company did a poor job on their website, and never posted any elevation information for the run. So my assumption was a mostly flat race, but I was just guessing. There ended up being about 160 feet of climb, with most of it coming on a single large hill at about the 1 mile/5 mile mark. All told, not an especially difficult course.

The Scenery:
So I scored the scenery quite low for a race that features nothing but ocean views. This might be slightly unfair, but I graded based on my personal experience this morning at the race. We had intense fog that obscured virtually all visibility. It’s not an uncommon occurrence on the ocean for the fog to roll in, so just be aware that experiences will vary.

Water and Aid Stations:
They did a great job with these. They had aid stations at each mile (yes, each mile) and offered Gatorade and water. They also had toilets at every other aid station. This might be the most aid stations I’ve seen for a race this size ever. And despite the low temperatures, the really high humidity made the frequent hydration a god-send.

Crowd Support:
Not tons, but there were definitely pockets of people along the course. As always the volunteers were great as well.

Finisher’s Medal:
So the finisher’s medal is clearly not the highest quality, but I definitely liked it, because it checked the boxes that I most appreciate. The design of the medal was not overly complex or busy. It just displayed the race logo with the 2019 year and the 5K, 10K and Half Marathon distances listed together. The ribbon was also better than the generic ones you often see, and actually had the year and race logo on it as well. Furthermore, the Marathon distance runners received a slightly different medal with a different color ribbon and a slightly different medal (that actually said “Marathon”). It’s not the biggest. It’s not the flashiest. It’s certainly not a super high-quality medal. But I do like it.

Post-Race Administration:
Unfortunately, I felt that a lot of the post-race functions were mismanaged. When I crossed the finish line nobody approached me with my medal. I walked past the medals table and had to turn around and look for it. Races need to do better than this. Racers are often incredibly fatigued after finishing a long run and they’re not always aware of their surroundings as they’re stumbling around. Those first few steps after the finish line need to be locked in tight so nobody gets overlooked. I had a runner approach me, saying she hadn’t received her medal and asking where I got mine. That should never happen. There was also no obvious place to go in order to get water and Gatorade right after the run. There was a lonely table off to the side with a few bottled waters thrown on top of it, and no indication that I should go over there to get hydration. Again, you have to help out runners at the finish line with volunteers directing them or big brightly colored signs, since we’re usually pretty tired and not all with it. The snacks at the finish line were also limited, but they did offer each runner a beer and a plate full of tacos. Unfortunately, the lines for both of these products were intensely long, as they just didn’t have enough serving stations set up to manage the volume of people. I opted to not wait 30 minutes for a taco and decided to try and beat the rush to the shuttle. Unfortunately, the shuttle was not running for no apparent reason (despite the fact that virtually all of the 5K runners and most of the 10K runners were already back). I had asked in advance when the shuttle would start running again post-run and was told it would never stop. Definitely not true. So I instead just opted to walk the mile back to my car. I understand that things happen, but the entire finish line area just felt like it was lacking adult supervision. It’s the worst finish line I’ve ever experienced.

Results:
This was an easy to use feature. At the finish line, they had a single laptop that you could type your bib number into and get your time and all your placement information immediately. It was also posted online by the time I got to my hotel an hour later. If I could give one critique, they had a second laptop that was not turned on, requiring everybody to use the one system. Turn on the other computer!

History of the Event:
This is the 7th running of the event. Although the course has changed slightly over time, it’s still in the same general area that it’s always been.

So would I do it again?
Hard pass. The first concern is that this was a fairly expensive race (not an uncommon occurrence in SoCal). And while they offered a lot of fun swag, none of it was of the kind of quality that would make me think the price was justified. My biggest frustration though is just the clumsiness of the management. At times they felt like a well-oiled machine. At other times they felt absolutely amateurish. I’d rather try something different than do this again next year.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
2
SWAG
3
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Overall Production: The Three Degrees of Hell is a series of three races held in the blistering heat of a Nevada summer. These are not PR courses and are more … MORE

Overall Production:
The Three Degrees of Hell is a series of three races held in the blistering heat of a Nevada summer. These are not PR courses and are more about the experience than pushing for record times. But they are quite the experience! This year they offered a series of 7K or 7 mile runs each starting at 7 o’clock with 12 hours in between (so, 7PM, 7AM the next day and 7PM that night). Lots of lucky 7’s in Vegas. You had the option to only run a single race, or to run the whole lot. Most people committed to 36 hours of pain, as the vast majority completed the whole series. Total participation was about 150 with a handful of people ballooning the numbers in individual races. And to make it even more awesome, the last race ends at a public pool. So they put on a big pool party with pizza and kegs of beer. Quite the way to finish such a brutal series!

Packet pick-up:
Packets consisted of the race bib and a few freebie gels and ads. Runners reused the same bib for all runs, so there was only a requirement to check-in once. All pick-ups happened at the race, opening about an hour before, and without so few racers there was virtually no wait. Super easy.

Swag (Buffs):
The race company opted to not do t-shirts but instead gave out custom buffs that they’d printed beautiful scenery from southern Nevada on. It’s a unique piece of swag, and will certainly be something that is practical and useful for future training runs and races. In fact, I used it in each of the three races in the series. It definitely helped in the heat – especially when you can stuff it with ice!

Pre-Race Administration:
The first and third races were done in public parks. There was plenty of accomodation for rest rooms – especially considering the smaller size of the race. The second race was more out in the middle of the desert, and thus required porta-potties to be brought on site. It might have been nice to have added one or two more, but it really wasn’t a problem. The rest of the pre-race admin was pretty smooth.

The Courses:

Race 1 – Bootleg Canyon (7PM, Friday):
The first race occured in the canyons in Boulder City, not too far from the Hoover Dam. This was BY FAR the hardest of the three races. Temperatures in the evening are always hotter than the morning, and it was upwards of 101 degrees. However, it was fortunate that the canyon actually provided a ton of shade. However, the trail was extremely technical and single-track almost the entire way. Quite a few people fell as it was just really difficult, and tiring, to run the trail. The first half of the run was small rolling hills and switchbacks that progressively climbed. At about the 2.5 mile mark we hit an aid station and then moved to a less technical trail that was also mostly downhill. Speeds were much faster at that point. Still, a very slow course, but a huge sense of accomplishment once complete. We also had an earthquake during the race, so that was interesting! One last note – total distance was definitely short of 7K (none of the distances were accurate in the whole series). It came out to about 4.1 miles.

Race 2 – Rainbow Gardens (7AM, Saturday):
The second race was run out in the desert just east of Las Vegas. While you were only maybe 5 miles from shops and town, you really felt like you were in the middle of nowhere. The race was run on a wide dirt road, so it was a nice change from the single-track of the day before. The run was relatively flat with a large 1/2 mile long hill at the mid-point. That climbed sucked on tired legs, but really wasn’t terrible. They had an aid station at the top and then the return trip was relatively easy. The one knock on this run was that it was completely exposed to the sun (no shade like the night before). So while the temperatures were only in the mid to high 80’s, it definitely felt much warmer that the first race. Again, total distance was a little short coming in right at 4 miles.

Race 3 – Whitney Mesa (7PM, Saturday):
The last race was run in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson on a small Mesa that is surrounded by houses and businesses. This race was the only one that had any paved surface, although it was mostly trails as well. While the other races were more in the desert, this one was definitely in town. There was only a little bit of climb, to get on top of the Mesa, and then it was largely flat again. As an out and back, all of that climb turned into downhills later, which was great. While the run initially takes you past some houses and businesses, once you ascend the Mesa it offers some spectacular views. This was probably the easiest race of the bunch, except for the fact that the distance was actually slightly long at just under 5 miles. And the best part? The race starts and ends in the parking lot of a community pool (more on that later).

Water and Aid Stations:
For most of the 7K runs they offered one manned aid station throughout the run. There were always a couple of extra unmanned stations with water, ice and small kiddie pools full of really cold ice water. It was common for people to stuff ice in their pockets, buffs, sports bras – whatever. It’s all about keeping cool. They also did a good job having EMS available throughout. However, fortunately that was not needed for anything more than a few cuts and scapes.

Crowd Support:
As these were run on remote trails, there wasn’t any crowd support. But the volunteers were great.

Finisher’s Medal:
Triple Dare (the race company) usually does wooden medals with layered wood to give it a 3D pop. These were no exception and were excellent medals as usual for them. They offered a unique medal for each race and a fourth if you completed all of the three races. I always like Triple Dare’s medals, as they’re just so unusual compared to what you usually get. These are no exception. Great medals! I’ll post pictures.

Post-Race Snacks:
Snacks are always a plus at Triple Dare races. They always had multiple fruits (oranges, bananas, watermelon), drinks (water, Heed, Gatorade, Monster energy drinks), and energy bars and granola. The final race was a big party afterwards, with pizzas, shots and a couple kegs of beer. It was definitely festive.

Results:
My one knock on this race is that they weren’t very fast in posting results. With so many races in such a short time, I’m sure it will all be posted tonight or tomorrow. But they were not as prompt as I’ve seen with other events. Not a major deal though.

History of the Event:
This is the third year that they’ve run this event and some of the locations have definitely changed over time, as well as the distances. Previously it was 5Ks and 5 milers, and those have been lengthened. Changes in BLM requirements to run races on their trails have caused them to have to adjust. But I have no complaints about their choices this year. Great trails, even if not the original ones they’ve always used.

So would I do it again?
The day that registration opens for the 2020 race series opens I’ll be signing up. My legs ache right now, but I’m very happy and proud to have finished this. Plus, it was just such a great community event. It was a great party with great people that happened to go through some shared suffering together. Triple Dare always impresses, and I’m making a point to try and attend as many of their events as I can. This is definitely the best race company in the Las Vegas area.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Overall Production: Surprisingly this is the only race that routinely occurs on the actual 4th of July in the area (although there are others in the days before and after). … MORE

Overall Production:
Surprisingly this is the only race that routinely occurs on the actual 4th of July in the area (although there are others in the days before and after). As a result, it has a good amount of participation despite being small (289 total runners).

Packet Pick-up:
Packets consisted of nothing but the T-shirt and race bib in a nice reusable plastic bag. Pick-up was offered for three hours the day before at a 24 Hour Fitness on the north side of Las Vegas. However, they also offered race day pick-up an hour before the race started. Lines never seemed long for race day pick-up and it was clearly the best option.

Swag (T-Shirts):
The provided shirt was a simple cotton one (see attached picture). However, they really like the logo that they went with this year. I’ve seen some of the shirts from previous years and they certainly upped the ante this time around. It might not be a shirt I wear for runs or races in the future – but it’s a good looking shirt that I’ll certainly wear.

Pre-Race Administration:
This park, and this course, are common stops for race companies to use for 5Ks. A previous run I did at this exact same park had 463 racers and the limited bathroom facilities of the park became outright overwhelmed. With almost 200 fewer racers at this event, we never saw the same problems. They also did a good job of getting the DJ going early and routinely giving updates on when the race would start. It was all very timely and the race started on time and without a hitch.

The Course:
As I said, the course itself was one that has been used time and time again for 5Ks. It’s a great fast and flat course that I’ve now PR’d on two different times (including today). Total elevation rise on the course is only about 40 feet, and it’s a mix of some paved and some nicely groomed, non-technical trails. They call the course type a “lollipop” where the first 3/4 mile is repeated on the way out and back, but the rest of the course is a loop that returns you back to that section. As far as scenery, that repeated section is by far the best, with a small lake, shade trees and geese and ducks. The loop portion of the course is a trail around a depression used for water overflow (not the most exciting).

Water and Aid Stations:
They had one aid station at the half-way mark that offered water. Nothing fancy, but with it only being a 5K that’s all we really needed.

Crowd Support:
Minimal. This is a really small race that largely runs around a drainage resevoir. There just aren’t that many people out and about on the course. But as you approached the finish, the DJ was doing a great job and made a point to call out everybody’s name as they finished.

Finisher’s Medal:
So the two knocks against the medal are that it’s one of the smaller ones I’ve ever received, and also the ribbon is boring and generic. With THAT being said, I thought the design of the medal was exceptional. It essentially just replicates this year’s race logo, but as I’ve already indicated with the t-shirt, I think they did an exceptional job on that this year. It displays the Las Vegas strip with fireworks going on overhead. Sometimes medals can get too busy and include too many elements into a small space, so the simple race logo medal is usually a winner. When that logo is a good one, it makes it a truly fun medal. I’ll include a picture. Good job!

Post-Race Snacks:
They had many of the usuals you’d expect. Water, apples, bananas and some granola bars. I did not see any gatorade or similar type products though. It worked, but it wasn’t a strength of the race.

Results:
They had several kiosks on site where you could type in your bib number and instantly check your results (as well as placement relative to your AG, sex, et al) after finishing. By the time I got home, the results were already posted to the website as well. That’s all I ask. Excellent job.

History of the Event:
The event was put on by a company called “Xtreme Timing.” I’ve never heard of them of run any of their races. Apparently they only put on one other race in the Vegas area. That being said, this is the 4th year for this event and I talked to several other people that have run it in the past and had good things to say.

So would I do it again?
Yes, I probably would. As I said before, I’ve PR’d twice on this course – so it definitely works for me. Also, there aren’t any other runs that occur on the 4th of July (other runs happened on the 3rd and the 5th this year). I love the idea of running the morning of the holiday and not on another day nearby. Lastly, there was a solid t-shirt and medal. Plenty to like about this one.

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Overall Production: This was a very nicely sized community race held in the desert outside of Las Vegas. Listed as occurring in Las Vegas, it actually happens in Lovell Canyon … MORE

Overall Production:
This was a very nicely sized community race held in the desert outside of Las Vegas. Listed as occurring in Las Vegas, it actually happens in Lovell Canyon about 45 minutes away from the famed Las Vegas Strip in essentially the middle of nowhere. The race offered a multitude of different lengths including a 100K, 50M, 50K, Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5k. The starts were staggered with all of the distances at or above Marthon starting at 7AM, Half Marathon at 7:30AM and the shorter races at 8AM. Total turnout for the 10K and 5K was about 90 runners a piece. Additionally, they stay out there and do the Half Marathon, 10K and 5K again 12 hours later in the evening (with a much smaller field of participants apparently).

Parking:
One thing to be aware of is that the start of the race is right off of a lonely desert highway. As a result, virtually all of the runners were required to park on the shoulder of the highway with cars whizzing about at 60-70 MPH and make our way to the start which was offset from the highway about 25 yards. Not an ideal parking solution – but it looked worse than it was in reality as I never felt unsafe.

Packet Pick-up:
There is no pre-race packet pickup. It’s all done race morning on site. I showed up about an hour prior to my start time and was able to walk right up and grab it without even a line. Packet included the bib, pins, a sample gu and a few ads. You also received your race t-shirt at that time.

Swag:
The race swag included a standard fare technical t-shirt and medal. For those that were day-of registrants they instead gave out a metal water bottle with the race logo on it. These were also made available for sale at, I believe, $5 for those of us that had pre-registered but still wanted the water bottle.

The Heat:
The race is called “Running with the Devil,” for a reason. It’s run on a stretch of desert in the middle of late June. Do the math. Temperatures are usually oppressively hot. We were very lucky that in 2019 it was unseasonably cool. Temperatures in Lovell Canyon are usually about 10 degrees cooler than Las Vegas, which made it about 65 degrees at the start of the 10K. Amazing weather that I would not expect to see repeated in future versions of the run. Be aware if you decide to run this in the future.

The Course:
The first thing that you should understand is that the race occurs in a canyon that is well above the rest of the Las Vegas area. The Las Vegas strip sits at about 2,000 feet while the race started at 4,700 feet. Furthermore, the entire first half of the 10K was a 440 foot climb which brought the elevation above 5,100 feet. People mention the altitude profile of races in Utah and tell people to be prepared (Salt Lake City sits at 4,226 feet). Races in Lovell Canyon have similar concerns for those that aren’t used to the elevation. That being said, the course is a brutal climb for the entirety of the first half and then a very nice and fast coast right back where you started. That hill sucks though and they told all the racers as they started, “this is not a PR course.” The scenery was nice though, especially on the way back as the canyon walls were much more visible as they towered over us in the distance. The whole thing is run on a paved road which they do not close to traffic. So throughout the run we had a handful of cars and campers that passed by us. However, the amount of traffic on that road is not nearly as extensive as, say, the highway where we parked. The whole race was through the middle of the desert. While you were on a paved road, and saw the occassional car (and obviously other races), I never once saw a single building.

Water and Aid Stations:
On the 10K run they had an aid station at the 5K turnaround and the 10K turnaround. You then had the chance to hit the 5K turnaround aid station again on the way back as you ran past it. On the website they gave out extensive information on their various Aid and Water stations – especially for the longer distances. They gave good detail on when you can expect things like a toilet, water, drop bag, et al. I’m sure this was helpful for the runners that were going distances much further than I did.

Crowd Support:
None. Again, the race is entirely run through the middle of nowhere. The photographer was really great though as he yelled and urged us each on. Plus the aid station people did well. But until you got to the finish line that was really it other than fellow runners encouraging each other to keep going.

Finisher’s Medal:
I thought they did a pretty nice job on the medal. It has the race logo against the outline of the state of Nevada and all of the various seven distances listed (no unique medals per distance). As with virtually all Calico races, they make sure to plaster their race compay name and logo all over the medal and the ribbon. I’ll post a picture with this review.

Post-Race Snacks:
Pretty extensive. They had standard fare like water, electrolyte drink (they exclusively had HEED which I couldn’t really tell the difference between that and water honestly), gels and bananas. But they also had things like fresh pancakes and various granola bars.

Results:
Timing tracking was conducted via a chip that you attached to your shoe prior to the race. Official times were posted to the website within about 36 hours, although it was not announced initially. We received a close-out email on Tuesday (3 days after the race) directling people to look at the race website again for official results and photos if they had not already done so.

History of the Event:
Calico Racing does this same course a LOT, including races in September (Devil After Dark) and March (Labor of Love). That being said, apparently the “Running with the Devil” race was retired at some point and then brought back in 2016. So this was the third running of the revitalized race.

So would I do it again?
Yes. That first hill is murder – and I’m not happy with my performance on the first half of the run. I’d come back just to challenge that hill to a rematch. The other factor is that races in June in Southern Nevada are very sparse. It’s very much the offseason as it’s so freaking hot outside. This race offers a chance to run a race during the typical offseason. And if you manage the heat that’s a good deal.

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4
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3
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4
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3
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Overall Production: This was a very small community event held in a local park in Henderson, NV. The total number of runners was perhaps just over 100 and we gathered … MORE

Overall Production:
This was a very small community event held in a local park in Henderson, NV. The total number of runners was perhaps just over 100 and we gathered around a handful of picnic tables in the park prior to the race. There were no frills whatsoever – which was fine. This series of races is billed as exactly that. They don’t do t-shirts or medals and they run all the races on public trails to keep costs way down. The result was a simple race for $15 that still had a great community and group feel.

Packet Pick-Up:
None. People just showed up to the run about 30 minutes prior to pick up their bib and that was it.

Swag:
None. Again, the race was organized in a way that intended to keep costs to an absolute minimum. The one exception was the company specifically wants to recognize absolute first time racers. So when registering if you marked that this was your first ever race they gave out a small medal to those participants. The medals were cheap and just had the company logo on them with the words “First Race” printed on the front. Still – my kids, racing for the first time, loved them. They obviously mass purchase the medals and use them at all of their events. I’ll take a picture of one of my kids’ medals and attach it to the review.

The Course:
We ran along a public trail on the Pittman Wash in Henderson, NV. It was an out and back with a gradual downhill on the way out that inverted into a slight uphill heading back. Total vertical gain was only 79 feet along the full course. It was reasonably scenic though, and despite being run in June in the Las Vegas area was still pretty cool out. My one objection was the fact that the turn around point was a good tenth of a mile short. So according to my GPS watch I only ran 2.87 miles for the course. I thought my time was too good to be true! And it was…

Water and Aid Stations:
There was only one station out on the course at about the 0.75 mile point. As an out and back course you passed by it twice. They had water and, of course, donuts.

Crowd Support:
There were no crowds along the run. Although, at the finish line they did a good job of cheering people in and the woman on the loud speaker was having a great time urging people to the end. I finished before the rest of the my family and worked with her to give my kids a custom congratulatory shout-out as they neared the finish line.

Post Race Snacks:
Donuts. Lots of donuts. Krispy Kreme too, not the generic stuff. They also had a lot of topping options and people were making some pretty ornate towers of sugar. Beyond that, however, I didn’t see any of the other staples of runs like bananas or fruits. They, of course, had water and energy drinks too.

Results:
There was no electronic timing for this race either. Again, this was intentional as a way of keeping costs down and was advertised when you signed up. Still, they had a big board with the official time as you crossed the finish. But people were advised to bring their own watches and timing devices.

So would I do it again?
Yes, I imagine I would. Donut races have become a staple in the running communities across the country. And small races like this always have a fun community feel to them. And you can’t beat the cost at only $15 advance registration ($20 on race day). Plus the money raised went directly to a great charity helping sick children with major diseases. I do appreciate good swag and like to collect shiny medals. But even without that, races like this are always a good time.

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Overall Production: This was a nice community event based around the Mother's Day Holiday (if the title didn't give it away). They offered three distances with a 10K, 5K and … MORE

Overall Production:
This was a nice community event based around the Mother’s Day Holiday (if the title didn’t give it away). They offered three distances with a 10K, 5K and 1 Miler. It featured a total of 463 runners with the majority (330) of them running the 5K. However, the 10K still had over 100 runners and the 1 Miler mustered only slightly more than 25 total.

Packet Pick-Up:
They offered day-before pick-up at the Red Rock Running Company store on the north side of Las Vegas. It was only a brief 3 hour window, however. Race-day pick-up was also available and was likely the better option, as there was a line but it moved very quickly. The packet itself came in a disposable plastic bag with the runner’s bib, pins, and a few advertisements from event sponsors and for a future run as well. They also handed out the t-shirts at that time.

Swag (T-Shirts):
The race shirt was actually pretty nice and made of technical materials. It was a kind of mint color and, as a guy, I felt it was kind of girly. Then again, this WAS a Mother’s Day Race so It’s really not a complaint and more so an observation. It’s still a nice shirt that I’ll use on some training runs.

Pre-Race Administration:
The race was run entirely in a park, so most people spent the pre-race time hanging out in the grass and on picnic tables. The race did have a DJ playing music when I arrived (about an hour early) and people were busy getting ready. They also led a dynamic stretching effort prior to the run to loosen people up. My one major objection was the blatant shortage of toilets. As the event was at a park, the run organizers must have felt that the existing toilets would be sufficient. However, this amounted to only four toilets at the start/finish line (with one whose door would not lock or remain shut). We all know that prior to a run, most people like to go one last time. This made for two exceptionally long lines of 30-40 people on either side of the building, each waiting for a pair of toilets. With only 5 minutes before the start of the race there were still at least 15 people waiting in line. The irony was that there were another six toilets only a 5 minutes walk away. However, without any announcements or signage notifying people, they instead waited in vain for the closer ones. The race director should likely contract for a handful of port-a-potties at the start/finish and also provide signage letting people know about the other facilities. It was a big problem and a major oversight.

The Course:
The course was very easy and the signage was solid. Total elevation gain for the 5K course was only 38 feet, making for an exceptionally flat terrain. The course was a mix of paved and very nice trails. There was nothing technical in the slightest about the trails though and I did it in road shoes without issue. One thing of note is that the course had a large number of walkers. I saw a lot of family groups doing it together with people of all ages. The race management made no effort to separate the runners and the walkers at the start. Unfortunately, I started in the middle of the pack, which meant I spent a fair amount of effort during the first portion fo the race weaving through strollers and walkers. Definitely something that they can easily fix, but they need to think through next time. The first mile of the course itself was through a nice park with large trees for shade and even a small pond with people actively fishing in it. However, after that the course became more boring with less interesting terrain and few visually interesting landmarks. We ran around a large depression that was filled about 1/3 of the way with brown water from a recent rain. The course was an out and back, but only the last mile was repeated by the runners – and that was the prettiest and best part anyways. All and all it was a decent course.

Water and Aid Stations:
These seemed to be well managed. Usually on a 5K run you only see 1 aid station, but this run actually offered 2 opportunities at miles 1.5 and 2.2. They each had plenty of volunteers and both water and gatorade. The 10K runners actually had four opportunties to hit aid stations at miles 1.5, 2.2, 3.75 and 5.3. The race company (Jus Run) did a good job of notifying runners in advance about the aid stations through advance emails and was good to their word on them.

Crowd Support:
Towards the start and finish was the only place that we really had any crowd support. On the course itself the volunteers at the aid stations were very nice, but we never saw any additional people. Still, everybody was nice and cheering us on.

Finisher’s Medal:
I like the finisher’s medal a lot and I feel they did a great job. It was actually quite large, and features a the race logo on a large white square (with rounded edges). I’ll attach a picture. It displays the date of the run, but does not distinguish between the three distances. While the medal itself is excellent, the ribbon is just the basic kind. Overall, a great medal!

Post-Race Snacks:
The race offered the usuals like water, gatorade and bananas. They also had been sponsored by a local restaurant that brought out small baked goods like muffins. The runners were also able to drive about 10 minutes to the same restaurant and be treated to complimentary mimosas or champagne. Alternatively, you could purchase discounted smoothies for $3 each.

Results:
As a free service, Jus Run offered a free text message to each of the runners at the end of the race, giving you your results. It gave out your official time and pace, but not how you placed. They also had two computers on site which allowed you to type in your bib number and see time, pace and how you placed overall and in your AG. The race was registered in Athlinks as well, and the results were available on that site by the time I got home. Good job! (Edit: While the results showed up on Athlinks, they were just in a “pending” status. I assume there is some requirement for the race director to then go and approve those times. I just happened to open my Athlinks account and at 2 1/2 weeks later the results are still “pending.” They’re clearly using an automated process – hence the texts – that is also pinging Athlinks. But they’re not closing the loops very efficiently for those that care about this sort of thing).

History of the Event:
I always like to understand the history of the runs I’m doing, as it can be fun to realize that an event has been going on a long time. This race was particularly confusing, however, in its presentation. The “Moms Rock!” event is on its 10th Anniversary and has been a consistent Mothers Day event for a decade. However, the Diane Snyder Run to Remember has, at times, been its own independent run (occuring in October), and at others has been combined with the Moms Rock! event in May. However, it has skipped years where it didn’t occur at all. The last time they were combined was 2016, and the Diane Snyder Run to Remember last occurred in 2017 as an independent event. Additionally, the course has changed over time as well. In previous years this was run closer to downtown Las Vegas around the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. So it’s unclear if the run will continue to occur at Floyd Lamb park or at an entirely different location. They’ve also had a live band in the past apparently, as opposed to just the DJ this year. These were likely changes intended to drive costs down.

So would I do it again?
Possibly, depending on other options. For me it was located on the far side of town and required a 45 minute drive to get there. While it wasn’t a bad race in any way (and actually a pretty fast course where I PR’d), I probably would prefer to try something different around this time next year instead. However, given that racing options start to thin out considerably this time of year in Las Vegas, as the summer heat is imminent, this is a good option for a late season run.

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Overall Production: Very very small trail race. Across all three distances there were only 71 runners - 28 of them running the 5K. That said, there were two sets of … MORE

Overall Production:
Very very small trail race. Across all three distances there were only 71 runners – 28 of them running the 5K. That said, there were two sets of races that day. The morning session (called the Flight of Fire) had substantially more runners at 143 across all distances. Many of the runners during the night runs (Night of Fire) were repeat runners from the morning. However, there was unique swag for each event and they were treated as truly separate events, although the courses were entirely the same.

Packet pick-up:
For a production this small the packet pick-up was completely pain-free. I showed up about 45 minutes before my run and was able to pick up the packet without any line. The packet itself consisted of the bib and the swag beanie cap.

Swag:
During the morning run (Flight of Fire) the company (Triple Dare) opted to give out t-shirts. For the Night of Fire, they instead gave out beanies with the race logo embroidered on it. One thing that runners have no shortage of is typically race t-shirts. So I certainly enjoyed them doing something different. Plus, the beanie feels very high quality and I certainly will use it. Maybe not much around town here in Las Vegas….perhaps never actually. But when I go see family in MInnesota it will come in handy!

Course:
This was the second year for the Night of Fire and the plan was to run the race in the beautiful Red Rock Canyon again after having done so in 2018. Unfortunately, a few weeks before the race it was announced that because of BLM concerns they had been forced to relocate the race to the Whitney Mesa in Henderson. The Mesa is a park surrounded by housing subdivisions in Southern Nevada. But it truly is a large elevated Mesa that towers above the surrounding structures with a nice flat plateau on top once ascended. So while you’re technically in the middle of a neighborhood, once you got on the Mesa you totally forgot that was the case. The race started with a mixture of some paved tops and trail. After about the first mile though the ascent began, shifting to pure trails that rose to the top of the Mesa. By this time the sun had gone down enough that the beautiful lights of the city, including the Vegas strip in the distance, were plainly and gorgeously visible all around the runners from our perch atop the Mesa. Many runners stopped to take photos. Nothing about the run was especially technical, with mostly flat trails until the descent at the very end encompassing the last quarter mile of the run. By this time it had become much darker and, while still visible with the naked eye, a headlamp started to assist some. The grade was very steep, it was single track, and consisted of a fair amount of loose gravel. The runner in front of me had to walk much of this portion which meant that I walked as well. It certainly was a dangerous portion that required careful footing. However, soon enough I was flying down the remaining downhill off the Mesa and very quickly across the finish line in the same place that we started. One thing of note, I was told by the 10K and Half Marathon runners that the second half of the course (which I did not run) was distinctly more technical in the trail elements. This is something you should always be aware of during any kind of trail run – sometimes they’re far less tame than simply a hilly road race. But that’s all part of the fun, right?!

Water and Aid Stations:
Very basic stations with water for 5K runners (I believe they had more for the half marathoners). Cups were available, but limited as they were aiming for a largely cupless race. Most runners carried packs or water bottles.

Crowd Support:
Not much crowd support at all. Again, as is typical with trail races, much of the race is run through more rustic areas. Plus, it wasn’t an especially large race to begin with, which naturally leads to smaller crowds just in general. However, the comraderie among the various runners was excellent. As people passed me going the other direction we invariably always urged each other on. It was an awesome community of people all embracing the suck together.

Finishers Medal:
Trail races definitely march to their own beat and often have a distinct flavor from more traditional road races. This is certainly evident in the unique finishers medals that Triple Dare always does. They are not made of the traditional metal that most runners are used to, but are actually made from wood that is laid on in layers to give the medals a real 3-D pop. They also don’t have the traditional ribbon that goes around your neck but instead use colored nylon cord (type 3 nylon/550 cord). I saw pictures of them in advance and was skeptical, but it’s definitely one of my very favorites now that I’ve seen it in person. The only knock might be that it doesn’t distinguish between distances. But they’re really fun wooden medals.

Post-Race Snacks:
Extensive. They had a couple of kegs of beer, several dozens of Pizza Hut pizzas, fruit, a wide variety of different energy drinks and other sundries. After the race the runners largely hung out for an extended period of time and enjoyed each other’s company over some beer and pizza. The same comraderie I felt on the trail was very evident afterwards. Plus it was small enough that you could actually find the people you’d chatted with before the race and seen on the trail.

Results:
Tracking was done via an adhesive tracker that was pre-attached to your race bib. They gave out awards to the top 3 of each sex, but they did not publicly post the results during the race. I had my Garmin results and had a very good idea of what my time was. I’m sure I could have asked somebody for the official time if I really was that intrigued, but I just didn’t care. Official results were posted to their website later that night and an email went out.

So would I do it again?
Without hesitation. There was a really nice blend of things in this race. The charms of a trail running race doing things a little different than the typical road race. An especially strong feeling of comraderie amongst the runners made somewhat more intimate by the smallness of the event. Great scenery. A really fun medal. Even the cost was quite reasonable (and they discount the races even more for veterans). If you have a chance to run a Triple Dare event I’d definitely give it a go.

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3
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3
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Overall Production: Smoothly run and organized event. Very small. There were just over 400 runners total in the three listed events (5K, 10K, Half Marathon). Despite being small, it felt … MORE

Overall Production:
Smoothly run and organized event. Very small. There were just over 400 runners total in the three listed events (5K, 10K, Half Marathon). Despite being small, it felt crisp and well managed. All three races started on time. Pre-race communication was timely and effective (including emails from the race company about a week in advance). Course maps on the website were accurate. There were 2-3 vendors on site, although I barely looked at their wares. This was certainly a no-frills kind of event.

Why Recycled?
The term “Recycle” is indicative of the fact that BBSC Racing (the event company) uses this race (and two others) to discard old race materials. Bibs, medals, T-shirts – it’s all from events gone by. I saw a few shirts from 2013 (six years old) and others that were only a few months out of date.

Packet Pick-Up:
They had a three hour window to pick up the day before the race. They also offered race-day pick-up, which was very simple. Lines were extremely short and moved quickly. There was no fanfare to the “packet” as it only included a bib (extra unused bibs from a previous run – mine was for a January 2019 Lake Mead Marathon), the timing device, some pins and a coupon for a free beer at a hotel that was about 10 miles away. Most of BBSC’s Nevada Races are run closer to Lake Mead/The Hoover Dam, and this hotel is a recurring sponsor and a super convenient hotel option. Not as much for this particular race.

T-Shirts:
Following check-in, they had a number of boxes set aside with a variety of race shirts from their different productions in Utah, Colorado and Nevada – all organized by mens and womens sizes. Just dying for another St. Patty’s Day themed tech shirt? Or a Turkey Trot from 3 years ago? Margi Gras anyone? They have you covered in all these cases. There were also a handful of shirts from specific races but without dates or simply with their BBSC logos on them. The great part was that you were able to dig to your heart’s content and find the two shirts that you most desired!

Course:
The course ran along the Equestrian Trail in Henderson, NV. It was a nice course with only about 200 feet of total rise on the way out and a nice downhill on the way back (for the 5K at least). The entire trail was paved. For the 5K and 10K runners, it offered a simple out and back. However, for the Half Marathoners, it required four total turns, which included re-running the same section a few times. The scenery was pretty decent though. Throughout the first half of the run, you had some typical Nevada mountain range views off to the side that is always a pleasure to run near. On the last mile heading back into the finish, you got a nice view of the Las Vegas strip in the distance, including many of the world-famous hotels. The course was not totally closed off during our running. There were a handful of walkers on the course kind of wondering what was going on around them, as well as a few cyclists. Most interestingly, as the location’s name implies, the course was technically open to horses. We had a pair of riders come out to ride the trail, but they instead went a different direction and were able to avoid the runners entirely. However, horses are technically a possibility on this course.

Water and Aid Stations:
On the 5K course, I only saw one of these. But it was pretty minimally stocked and only offered water.

Crowd Support:
Virtually non-existent. The volunteers at the turn-around points and water station were nice enough though and high-fived runners. But the course is through areas where it’s not as convenient for spectators to line up and cheer.

Finishers Medal:
As you crossed the finish line you received your finisher’s medal. As mentioned before, it was for a previous race. Mine was for a Triathlon in Utah called Kokopelli. On the back (which is normally blank metal) they put a sticker with the “Recycle Race” logo. Mine actually had a sticker for the Fall Edition of the Recycle Race with ANOTHER sticker on top of that one for the Spring Edition that I was running. Oh well. The medals did not distinguish between distances and you were handed one at random. However, I did see people coming back and asking to swap out their medal for another one they liked better. Kokopelli was good enough for me.

Post-Race Snacks:
Nothing spectacular with this station. Waters, bananas and a few other snacks like Twizzlers. Very modest.

Results:
Following the race they had a big board which displayed the results in near real-time. They also offered a computer where you could type in your bib number and it would print out your time, as well as how you placed relative to the field and your age group. Also, results were posted on the website by the time I got home. Very nicely managed with so many crisply available options to get your official time.

So would I do it again?
The absolute best part about this race was the price was only about 50% of the ususal BBSC Races fee. So it’s an economical choice – especially if you don’t care that the swag technically amounts to leftovers. But the production was crisp, the course was good, and it’s only 3 miles from my house. So yes, I certainly would.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
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SWAG
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It's not uncommon to find races that run through local amusement parks and certainly Zoos. This is just another example of a 5K that operates entirely on the property of … MORE

It’s not uncommon to find races that run through local amusement parks and certainly Zoos. This is just another example of a 5K that operates entirely on the property of one of these locations and benefits the Zoo itself.

The year I ran the race it had been advertised very heavily on the local radio in Nashville for weeks. As a result they had several thousand people come out to run this simple race.

The production itself was fairly simple and offered little fanfare. Although, the process was fairly crisp and registration moved well. The only swag for the event was a nice non-technical long-sleeve t-shirt with the race logo. I still have it and regularly wear it when I need a long sleeve shirt (admittedly not too often anymore as I now live in Las Vegas).

The course was not difficult and did a good job of giving the runners a tour of the Zoo property. It’s a different kind of scenery than most races, but it was kind of neat to run through the Zoo and see various animals out grazing. The course was a combination of paved portions and some light small gravel. While there were many people that ran the race, the majority were walkers. Fortunately, before starting the race they allowed all the runners to move towards the front. There were still some walkers that felt the need to push too far forward, and thus made the initial portion a cluster as people found their paces and started to stretch out. I wouldn’t expect a PR on this course as a result.

The only knock on the run was some of the construction that was occurring. Unfortunately, inside the Zoo there was a fair amount of work being done and many of the major areas were closed (the course was modified that year accordingly and ran us through some of the more boring maintenance sections to fill in the missing distance). Also, there was noteworthy construction happening on the road leading to the Zoo, which impacted people’s ability to get there on time. I met several people that weren’t able to get there in time and had to start 10-15 minutes late.

So would I run it again?
Probably not. It wasn’t a bad race though, and I’m glad I went. There just wasn’t enough that made it special to feel the need to repeat this event.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
2
SWAG
1

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Have you ever seen the first episode of the Band of Brothers? They're WWII Army Paratroopers talking about running Mt. Currahee. "Three miles up, three miles down." Well now you … MORE

Have you ever seen the first episode of the Band of Brothers? They’re WWII Army Paratroopers talking about running Mt. Currahee. “Three miles up, three miles down.” Well now you can run it too.

I love that show. I’m also a veteran of the 101st Airborne. So of course I was going to do this run.

The production itself is very simple and basic. There is no fanfare. No finishers medal. They give you a shirt – but it’s very basic.

The course itself is really cool though. It’s a blend of mostly trail and a little paved. You run to the top of the mountain and touch the marker at the top and then turn around.

If you’re looking for a run with a super high quality production value then this probably isn’t your best option. But if you’re looking for an amazing course of a historical nature then this is a bucket list item. I drove five hours to get to this race and it is something I’m still proud to have done four years later. Read the history and watch that episode of Band of Brothers before running this event.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
1

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This was my first Half Marathon and a really great experience. The race is run at night (as the title now has been changed to indicate) and goes through the … MORE

This was my first Half Marathon and a really great experience. The race is run at night (as the title now has been changed to indicate) and goes through the city of Luxembourg. It’s a really big production in a really small country.

The sights are great. The spectator support is also wonderful. Lots of locals out cheering on the streets.

The course wasn’t that difficult. But there was a pretty murderous hill at about mile 11 that really gave me a hard time. Otherwise, it was an excellent course.

The swag was pretty mediocre though. The medal was fine, but certainly not one of my more memorable ones. Also the finishers shirt isn’t one of the better ones I’ve seen.

But who cares about the swag? Running through a European capital at night with people cheering for me around every other corner was such a surreal experience.

I would absolutely love to run this race again if I ever got the chance.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2
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