Due to the excessive heat warning being escalated to elevations below 6000′ (formerly 4000′), the organizers were forced out of every possible venue to hold the Running with the Devil race near Las Vegas, Nevada, June 29th.
After a very disappointing day of not running, the organization offered several ways of compensation. One of them was that those who signed up for the 50-mile race would have the chance to still run it in order to receive the medallion. Since the race was cancelled by the local authorities, the organization could not be involved in any way. In other words, they could not supply us with any refreshments whatsoever since any involvement would jeopardize their future permit…
In short: yes we could run, but, forget about any assistance.
After I dropped Jenn at the airport, I drove to the place where the race was supposed to take place. Made a plan, did some organizing and decided to give it a try on Sunday.
I left at 4.30 am as it takes 45 minutes to get there. Once there, I dropped several Igloo’s (coolboxes) at strategic locations, drove the car back and started the 50 most difficult miles I’ve ever done. Not because of the heat, that doesn’t bother me. Tonight at 7pm, the thermometer still showed 119F and really, it’s not that hot to run. No, what made it difficult was that I was running alone. Just me and nature….and of course my GPS and my watch so I can prove that I actually did it.
I even managed to finish on wooden shoes, as I promised the race director to do this as it’s Dutch tradition. I managed to do the run in 9 hours 9 minutes.
Bert van Mackelenbergh is Veendam’s hotel director (currently on vacation).