Overall Rating
Overall Rating (7 Reviews)
3.9
(7 Ratings)(7 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.7
SCENERY
4.4
PRODUCTION
3.9
SWAG
3.1
Located within Lake Mead National Recreation Area, this run will start at Boulder Beach and lead you onto the paved Mountain Loop Trail until you reach the packed-dirt Historic Railroad Trail. Offering a Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K. The December desert-temperatures and views of Lake Mead make this run a must-do! This … MORE
Local Weather (Dec 12):
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H (°F) 60 66 68 63 49
L (°F) 43 43 45 48 31
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Recent reviews

    jrohlede FIRST-TIMER '19

    Did the half marathon. Full is two loops around. Stayed in Vegas. Did package pick up Day before in Henderson. No problems. Held in a sporting good store about 20 … MORE

    Did the half marathon. Full is two loops around. Stayed in Vegas. Did package pick up Day before in Henderson. No problems. Held in a sporting good store about 20 minutes from Vegas.

    Race day – drive to start was about 40 minutes from Vegas in Boulder Dam national park. No problems getting there. Parking was easy and right next to the start. Small race so no crowds.
    Start line – probably 300 to 400 people total for both half and full so everybody just lined up where the wanted. Very calm and nice.
    Course – first 5.5 rolling hills on mix of paved and solid dirt roads. Some steep inclines / declines. About mile 4 to 5 course runs thru old railroad tunnels. Pretty cool. The whole first 6 miles you are doing a slow climb. The view over the edge of the hills overlooking Lake Mead was really nice.
    Mile 5 to 9 are pretty nasty. After finishing the tunnels you head down down down for about 1.5 miles ending up at turnaround on top of Hoover Dam. Down includes stepped switchbacks. Then hitting turnaround it is back up for about 1.5 miles. Last 4 miles are mostly downhill / flat back to the finish.
    Really nice scenery the whole course.
    Small race and course support was fine. Basic water stops with water and or some sort of generic Gatorade.
    Medals were nice if you are into those sort of things for finishing a half
    Overall – really nice race with great scenery and a chance to get out of Vegas and see other parts of the Vegas area. Final thought – after doing the hills once on the half marathon course glad I decided to just to the half. If you are going to do the full train for some steep hills

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    iank REPEAT RUNNER '16

    How often do you get to run in the desert with views of a lake and mountains in the background? Oh, and you run through re-purposed railway tunnels. All on … MORE

    How often do you get to run in the desert with views of a lake and mountains in the background? Oh, and you run through re-purposed railway tunnels. All on recreation trail, about half paved and half well groomed gravel. Starting at Boulder Beach on Lake Mead, running up and down a few hills (to make sure you’re awake) to Hoover Dam, and then back again. All with wonderful views of the lake and the Muddy Mountains less than an hour from Vegas. Between the hills and the gravel it’s not the fastest race you’ll do, but it is some of the best scenery so close to a major airport and far from traffic fumes.
    December is a great time to run in southern Nevada.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    asylvester FIRST-TIMER '16

    Half is on trail. It's pretty fun running through the old railroad tunnels! Going down by the dam sucks because you've got to run up! Slight uphill finish which kicked … MORE

    Half is on trail. It’s pretty fun running through the old railroad tunnels! Going down by the dam sucks because you’ve got to run up! Slight uphill finish which kicked my ass

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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    d.dencklau FIRST-TIMER '17

    This race had some hiccups with their shuttles and day of registration that caused the 10K & 5K race starts to be delayed, but the Half Marathon went off on … MORE

    This race had some hiccups with their shuttles and day of registration that caused the 10K & 5K race starts to be delayed, but the Half Marathon went off on time. Unsure about the marathon as that started well before. The staggered start and open trail meant that there always seemed to be someone around you, but it never felt crowded.

    Pros:
    -I enjoyed the scenery being from the midwest, though some locals said it is not the most scenic compared to other local races. I enjoyed the soft surface running, seeing the dam, and the tunnels were fun.
    -Medal and shirt are nice (though the medal is the same across all distances)
    -Great weather for running!
    -Many repeat runners
    -Shuttle from Las Vegas is available (though at a cost)
    -Water stations were well stocked and at good distances

    Cons:
    -I really hated running past the finish line for a 2(ish) mile out and back.
    -Ran out of bags at registration, even for pre-registered runners. This would not normally be a big issue, but I had planned to use the bag for my gear check (which was free, but unsecured). This con is likely my making an assumption that the race would make me use their bag like many of the bigger races I’ve done with gear check. Bring your own bag and you’ll be fine.
    -No real spectators if that is important to you, but the volunteers cheered at the water stops
    -Finish line food is pretty blah.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    oldguard88 FIRST-TIMER '13

    This is a great way to see the Hoover Dam and Lake Meade. Beautiful course run during the right time of year for that area of the country. For us … MORE

    This is a great way to see the Hoover Dam and Lake Meade. Beautiful course run during the right time of year for that area of the country. For us it was an opportunity to thaw as well coming from Minnesota. Make sure you make time to see Vegas. Not many hotels near the race start but when we ran it in 2013 race organizers shuttled runners from Vegas. We stayed near Lake Mead (Boulder City) for ease in getting to the start and then spent a night in Vegas. We had a great time!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Tweak FIRST-TIMER '13

    This is a small race put on by Calico Racing. Given there's only a couple hundred participants in the three distances don't expect too much crowding. The half does one … MORE

    This is a small race put on by Calico Racing. Given there’s only a couple hundred participants in the three distances don’t expect too much crowding. The half does one loop and the full does two. The 10k starts at the same point, but ends on the parking garage where the other two loop back.
    It is on a variety of surfaces, starting on the paved River Mountain Loop trail, then the unpaved Railroad Tunnels Trail which is fairly flat until you get off the former railroad track and then to a not very technical desert trail. The turn around point is on top of the parking garage for the Hoover Dam and does require some steep switchbacks. There is a fair amount of climb at the start and the turnaround.
    Parking is in a dirt lot near the start line. There are two restroom buildings and several port-a-potties at the start. There are picnic tables to hangout near while waiting. Normally there are several running groups meeting up at the start. 50 States is at a lot of the races too.
    The start is one group, but most people sort themselves adequately. The race director reviews the course at the start as well as any additional instructions. She normally announces any birthday runners and gives them party hats too. They tend to start pretty close to on time.
    Not a lot of crowd support and limited volunteers given the size of the event and the remoteness. The water stops are spaced out, but did have snacks, gels, and some first aid stuff. I carried my own water to supplement since the stops are a bit far for me. There were port-a-potties or put toilets on the course. Some people took the elevator at the turnaround to use the indoor plumbing at the dam.
    I’m a local, so this was a ten minute drive from my house. It is scenic in a desert fashion. At points you are overlooking Lake Mead or the Dam. The five tunnels are dark, but they put glow sticks to light the edges. Sometimes you can see Big Horn Sheep on the nearby hills. It is late enough in the year that snakes and such are not a concern. Everyone was very friendly, including the people just hiking the trail.
    The medal and short sleeve shirt were very nice quality. Since the race is small they often don’t put dates on things so they can be reused as extras for future years or for their recycled race that gives out any leftovers from previous races.
    The finish line was nice and they had a bunch of food left even for slow runners like me. The chili smelled good and the volunteers were friendly and helpful. I left my stuff in the gear drop there and it was simple to grab it and get warmed up.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    dansolera FIRST-TIMER '12

    The Hoover Dam Marathon, Half Marathon & 10k is put on by Calico Racing, who organize several long-distance races in Nevada. This one takes place in Boulder City, on the … MORE

    The Hoover Dam Marathon, Half Marathon & 10k is put on by Calico Racing, who organize several long-distance races in Nevada. This one takes place in Boulder City, on the shores of Lake Mead, about 30 minutes outside of Las Vegas. The course is a single out-and-back for the half marathon, which involves running to the Hoover Dam observation platform, and back to the finish line. It’s mostly two climbs. The marathoners do it twice, which I was not thrilled with. However, the course goes through several tunnels and has a constant, rocky landscape, which I very much love. The weather was pretty cold, even for Nevada, and the organizers put enough into the event to make it worthwhile. The post-race spread included homemade chili, which is an instant crowd pleaser. I still wear the long-sleeve tech shirt they gave out, but I was a little disappointed with the medals, which didn’t include the distance or the year. However, if you’re yearning for a marathon in December, you can’t go wrong with this one, especially since you get a great view of one of the great engineering feats of the 20th century.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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