Running: Desert racing

After our week-long vacation in the southwest – stopping in Phoenix, the Grand Canyon, and Las Vegas – our family is a little less pale and a little more relaxed. And my Race in 50 States List is a little closer to completion after I ticked off states 13 (AZ) and 14 (NV) with two 5ks during the trip.

In Arizona, our mid-week stop meant that I couldn’t find a scheduled race to run, so instead I chose a virtual 5k from US Road Running. The Hilton where we stayed backed right up to the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, so I hit the trails for a scenic (albeit slow) 5k. Bonus: only tripped twice, and didn’t see nor get bitten by a rattlesnake.

Looking back toward the hotel & trailhead

Looking back toward the hotel & trailhead

Gooooood morning, Phoenix

Gooooood morning, Phoenix

RK AZ 5k

 

Next up was Las Vegas, where I registered for the 5k at the Mustang Half & 5k celebrating the 50th anniversary of Ford’s famous pony. My original plan had been to run the HM, but Cranky McBack took that out of the realm of possibility for now. And after experiencing the heat of a Mojave desert morning, and seeing how frankly boring it would have been to cover 13.1 miles around a race track (both courses circled the Las Vegas Motor Speedway), I’m pretty happy to have been relegated to the 5k.

Runners heading into the track

Runners heading into the track

Start of the HM

Start of the HM

Pace car and lead HM runner around mile 11.5

Pace car and lead HM runner around mile 11.5

Now, I haven’t been running much in the last couple months, and I certainly haven’t been training to run a fast 5k. So I wasn’t surprised to have a not-my-best, not-my-worst time in this race (25:21). I was surprised to see that I took 2nd/39 in my age group, 10th/327 for all females, and 32nd/553 overall. I mean, WHA? Must have been a lot of walkers, is my guess.

Mustang HM results

I’ve got a couple desert states under my belt now, and it’s on to Ohio where there are more pigs and hopefully fewer gila monsters.

Gila monster

 

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