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Back by popular demand, and reincarnated in 2016 at a new venue to bring you a new challenge! Pure Mojave Desert running at its finest! Come join us on this PAVED and scenic course which covers rolling terrain. Commencing at an elevation of roughly 4500 feet, runners will experience high … MORE
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    Darkwaters FIRST-TIMER '19

    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).

    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.

    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.

    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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  2. Running with the Devil (NV)