A huge explosion seen for hundreds of miles lit up the predawn sky on July 16th, 1945. The locals were told an ammunitions depot had exploded when in reality the first atomic device was detonated at the Trinity Site in the White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico.
Located 100 miles south of ground zero is the main base area of White Sands Missile Range where the Las Cruces Running Club held their second annual Roadrunner Half Marathon. This past weekend, I toed the line with around 35 local runners, Army personnel and members of the Japanese Self Defense Force who warmed up by smoking cigarettes!
|White Sands Missile Range, NM|
Unlike the Trinity Test, this was a low key event in a beautiful setting. The course was run on rural roads lined with blooming wild flowers and included spectacular views of the surrounding Organ Mountains. The first part was an easy downhill and I set a goal to keep a 9 minute pace throughout without any stopping or walking.
After the first turn, I began a steep ascent where I started to gain on a pack of runners. This gave me confidence, but for good measure, I hit my flask of chia, honey and agave syrup mixture, my latest experiment in fueling. I felt a surge of energy and was able to pass some of the runners. I’m not sure if my boost was from the honey and chia or from some lingering radioactive trinitite. (You can actually purchase radioactive minerals by clicking here.)
|Do not drive your tank on this road!|
Unfortunately, after the next turn, a strong head wind slapped me in the face and I was challenged by another gradual uphill fight. Not the combination I was hoping for, but I was able to keep my pace. I played cat and mouse with some of the Japanese runners for a while and then left one in the dust, but was passed by another.
The last 3 miles were flat, so I picked up my pace and tried my best to catch the guy who passed me earlier. What was his secret weapon? Kryptonite? Cigarettes? I’ll never know, but at least I met my goal by finishing the race in 1:54, third in age group, and 13th overall. I celebrated with a cigarette and the obligatory post run bagel and cream cheese. Stay tuned for part 2 of my double half marathon weekend, The Trans Mountain Challenge.
See you on the trail.