Sunday, February 10, 2013

Salt Flats Half Marathon

In the fall of 2012, I decided to take advantage of the fact that there was a half marathon pretty much in the backyard of Wendover.  What could be better: an excuse to go eat, gamble, play cards AND run a half marathon in one of the most unique areas of the United States.

The Salt Flats is right on the border of Utah and Nevada and consists of some of the most flat ground on the earth.  Apparently you can see the curvature of the earth and people go there to race their cars in speed tests.

In short, this was one of the toughest half marathons I've done and it was reflected in my time.  It had rained the night before and there was a good 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water on the entire course.  I wasn't even sure they were going to have a race at all.

Here is the race start and you can see the lights of Wendover in the distance.

Sunglasses are required as was plenty of sunscreen.  When the sun did come up, it reflected fiercely off of the water and white salt and you can literally feel your skin get burned.

The running surface was unforgiving.  Yes it was 100% flat with no elevation change. However you are running on packed salt, so it was as hard as concrete.  Also with each step you splish-splashed through the water.  I was really worried about blisters, but I didn't get any.

I was in 2nd place most of the race and running solo, but half way through the race I ran out of gas.  Maybe it was nerves of running out in the middle of nowhere or the stress of running through water and the unforgiving environment that got the best of me.  I think I did finish 7th overall out of a pretty small field.  It was my slowest half marathon.  

Would I do this race again?  Yes.  The experience was definitely unique and it was an excuse to go to Wendover (where we stayed at the Nugget, above)

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous pictures! Go for you for challenging yourself. running through the water and terrain that was like concrete would be tough, I would have been worried about blisters as well.