WOW! We're gonna have fun with this one! On the fringes of the mysterious Area 51, highway 375 has one of the highest number of reported UFO sightings. Enough so, that in 1996 the federal government officially named the 98 mile stretch of highway the "Extraterrestrial Highway". The ET Highway has become a gathering place for UFO enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. With elevations ranging from roughly 4000-5600 feet, the high desert will enchant you with gorgeous vegetation, surrounding mountains, and stunning vistas. An additional treat is the cooler temperatures. Rachel, NV is generally 20 degrees cooler than the Las Vegas Valley; coupled with a midnight run, temperatures should be around 68 degrees in August!
Now before going any further... I should say that I have never really been all that into aliens. It is not that I didn't believe in Extraterrestrial life, I guess I just never really cared! In fact, I have never even seen the movie ET (I guess I now have homework to do!) But that said, I have had a ton of fun with the concept and theme of this race. Open your minds and allow yourselves to have fun with this!
Funny and true story: I was on the ET Highway with my friend Warren as we were out planning the course. It was my first visit to the area and the weather conditions were crazy. Dark cloudy skies, threatening to pour down on us in an instance. The cloud ceiling was so low, at times it connected with the steamy vapors coming up from the street (sublimation, as Warren informed us). We drove along full of ideas when I saw a flash in the distance out the left side of the car. My eyes drawn to it, I said to Warren, "Did you see that lightening?" Though, it was the only flash we saw. No thunder, no other "lightening".... so what was it??
* The Extraterrestrial Full Moon Midnight Marathon, 1/2, 10K, and 51K are run on the weekend closest to the full moon, starting at midnight for the marathon.
** All runners are REQUIRED to wear reflective clothing; carry a handheld flashlight or wear a headlamp; glow-necklaces will be provided.
*** All runners MUST exercise extreme caution as this highway is open range- meaning cows and other animals may be on the roadway! You may not provoke or approach these animals. Mind your own business and they should leave you alone.
Marathon: The marathon and 51K start at 12am from the "Black Mailbox" (which is ironically white). Runners will run on the shoulder of the road against traffic. (Ultra) Marathoners will climb to the Coyote Summit at 5591 feet and then descend into the town of Rachel at 4970 feet. (Ultra) Marathoners will PASS by the Little A'le'Inn restaurant (the finish line) turn around and run back to the Little A'le'Inn Restaurant and finish line where the BREAKFAST SPREAD awaits! 8 hour course cut-off.
1/2 Marathon: The 1/2 Marathoners will gather at the "Black Mailbox", which is the Marathon start. 1/2 Marathoners will be bused to their start line after the marathoners start their race. The 1/2 Marathon start is exactly 13.1 miles straight shot to Rachel and the Little A'le'Inn restaurant and finish line where the BREAKFAST SPREAD awaits! The 1/2 Marathon course climbs to the top of Coyote Summit at 5591 foot elevation, then descends off of Coyote Summit and finishes in the town of Rachel at 4970 feet. Start time is 12:30am.
10K: The 10K runners will gather at the Little A'le'Inn Restaurant in Rachel. Departing the Little A'le'Inn 10K runners will run out 3.1 miles, turn around and come back. This is the same as the last 10K of the marathon. Returning to the Little A'le'Inn restaurant and finish line, the BREAKFAST SPREAD awaits! Start time is 1am.