Saturday is race day! The plan was to complete two races, as part of the Blood, Sweat and Beers trail race. They offer the option of doing a race in the morning (of various distances), and then doing another race after dark. My wife and I signed up for some various distances and arrived at the start line early Saturday morning.
I signed up for the half marathon in the morning, and planned to do the 10K at night, whereas my wife planned to do the 10K for both races. The races take place in Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City, NV; which was a beautiful setting, although challenging to run. I launched my half marathon race at 9:30am, which frankly was a bit late in my mind, considering it would mean we would be running in the heat of the day in the desert.
The half marathon course consisted of 4 major climbs, one of which was the lead-up to the first aid station. The second and third climbs were loops that extended from the first aid station and back again, with some major climbs back up to the aid station. The final climb was the most annoying part of the course in my mind. After the third time through the first aid station, we were directed all the way down to the highway in Boulder City, and then had a long, slow, 2 mile climb back up to the finish line. This aggravation was compounded by the fact that you could see the finish line parking lot in the distance for almost the entire 2 miles, but you kept curving around and going up and down, making what seemed like very little visual progress.
I had hoped to cross the finish line in 3 hours, but the course was very rough, rocky and hilly, so I didn’t make it across the line until 3:23. The heat of the day was really starting to get to me, and I crossed the line very crabby. I grabbed my free beer and found a chair to sit in and stew. My wife had completed her 10K in pretty good time, but also agreed that the course was very rough. I drank my beer and then we headed into Boulder City to get some lunch.
This is where everything took a bad turn. As we sat down at the restaurant I started to not feel very well. My wife helped me to the restroom where I collapsed onto the floor, grasping the toilet. I then slowly lowered myself onto the floor and essentially passed out for a moment. My wife was a champ and took my pulse, and got wet rags on my head to cool me down and get me back awake. Needless to say, we left the restaurant and headed back to the resort where I started to feel crappy again. I managed to rest a bit and take a nice shower and crawl into bed for most of the afternoon.
I had been incredibly diligent this morning to make sure that I was drinking enough water, and wetting down my head as much as possible. However, I was taking in very little electrolytes, and my wife’s theory is that I had actually flushed many of my electrolytes in my system with how much I had drank. That, in combination with what was most likely some heat exhaustion, combined to make for a very rough afternoon. One of the pitfalls of travel running, and not being acclimated to a different climate.
Needless to say, the second race of the day never happened. By evening time, I was feeling pretty good, so we went to dinner with the family, and then sat at the bar for a while and just relax. Sunday is our final day in Vegas, and hopefully I’ll feel well enough to do a gentle run in the morning. Otherwise, we’ve got some plans for lunch and eventually back to the airport for a red-eye home.