2013 Hoover Dam Marathon Preview by Steve

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I ended up doing the Hoover Dam marathon on short notice. I had recently run a marathon but RJ and his wife were coming in to town to run the Hoover Dam marathon. If I chose to run it, I would be doing so only 5 weeks after the previous marathon. I did it anyways. рџ™‚

Hoover Dam is a smaller marathon. Still, Joyce fromВ Calico RacingВ puts on a great race. The registration was nice and simple. Packet pickup was small but efficient.В 


Even though the race was held in December. The Boulder City, NV weather was absolutelyВ perfect.

The weather along with the views made for a wonderful experience. The views of Lake Mead, the Six Tunnels trail, and Hoover Dam really make this a race to put on your calendar.В 

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The race starts out near Lake Mead and heads along the paved River Mountain Loop trail to the Six Tunnels dirt trail (also known as the Historic Railroad trail). You run on hard packed dirt through some very cool tunnels (they will throw your Garmin off рџ™‚ As you run along the ridge, you will get more views of Lake Mead. After the tunnels, you go down a switchback walkway (ugh!) and reach the turnaround at the top of the Hoover Dam parking garage. This is when you will get a great view of the Hoover Dam.В 

You turn around and head back. This makes one lap. 1/2 marathoners head back to the finish and marathoners do another lap.В 

Normally, I prefer when races don’t have laps. My favorites are point-to-point. However, I enjoyed the two laps on this race for two reasons. 1. The views are so good, you have to do them twice. 2. I was so focused on the race that on the first lap, I missed the view of the Hoover Dam! Fortunately, on the second lap, I made sure to get a good look.

This course is definitely worth it for a 1/2 or full marathon. If you do the half, make sure you don’t miss the view!В 

The course has a good amount of elevation change and the switchback walkway was kind of awkward to run on. It isn’t a PR race (it definitely wasn’t for me) but that isn’t the reason to choose this marathon. The views are worth it. I have gone back to this location to run the trails again and still enjoy it.В 

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