ET Full Moon Midnight 5k August 30, 2015

We booked a non-running trip at the end of August to relax after a hectic month of family visits.  I assumed ET would be on a similar date to last year (Aug 10) BUT it turned out to be on the last night of our trip thanks to the full moon. The plan evolved to drive to Rachel, run, drive back to Las Vegas, shower, pack, then fly home a couple of hours later.  The only distance that gave us enough time was the 5k so we signed up.

9 pm The Palazzo

Packing up and heading off to a race in the dark is weird, also it's kind of cool.  Best not forget the alien.  Traipsing through the casino to no odd glances at all because this is Las Vegas. We manage to pull out of the parking garage at about the same time the runner buses are passing.  It's not long before we leave the bright lights behind on I-15.  The temp gauge in the car reads 103°. 

The drive is dark and interesting with the moon and bus headlights from behind highlighting the desert scenery.  We watch the gauge gradually drop to 80°.  Pulling onto the ET Highway is kind of awesome, it's time to start staring at the sky.  We pass the race gathering area where the Black Mailbox used to be (where did it go?!!) and keep heading for Rachel 20 miles further north.  On the drive we pass mile markers, a former bovine, 3 happier bovines, a deer and aid stations setting up. 

Last year I thought you could see the lights of Rachel as soon as we crested the hill at 13 miles but there's quite a long dark section until lights appear in the distance.  I think that's where I had my bleak phase in the 51k.  There's the ET sign and soon we're pulling into a little oasis of light and activity. 

The start/finish line is already set up and the Little A'Le'Inn is rocking!  It is about 11:40.  A strong warm wind greets us.  Time for an extravaganza of selfies with all the cool alien things.

We note the start of the 51k/mara at 12 then the Half at 12:30, soon buses are pulling in with 5/10k runners, volunteers, photographers and Joyce.  We're going to start running at 1 am, how bizzare!  I decide to leave my Garmin in the car and run all nekkid like (technologically speaking) so I can enjoy the feel of it all.

1 am - Start!

The 10k heads out then 5 mins later we gather at the start line ready to head into the night.  There's a very green alien right behind me.  We're away and I immediately slip on the gravel.  I'm near the front which is a new experience.  The wind is hitting me sideways and drying out my everything, I should have brought a handheld.  Focus on reaching the turnaround/water station.  We catch up to the back of the 10k.  I may have gone out too fast as I'm finding the race very hard work.

Turnaround, water - hurrah!  Now I know we're halfway there but the twinkling lights of Rachel still seem quite distant.  Focus on always moving forward, push it just a little bit more.  Even harder work now.  Since it's an out and back I know I don't have a bunch of people ahead of me, I aim to avoid being passed and try to pick off a couple of shadows in the dark.  Probably road signs!

The last half mile is deja vu, the ET sign, the Rachel sign, the phone box 1/4 mile sign.  Last year I was passed here and this year I will not let that happen.  Runner logic.

Finally I see the runner ahead turn right into the finish chute, nearly there.  My ears are ringing with either effort or the wind or both and I check the clock as I turn - yikes, not what I had hoped for.  I ran as hard as I could tonight.  A nice person cuts the chip off my shoe and hands me a medal then it's time to recover and find some water. 

1:45 am The End is Nigh

We know Kev placed second in the race overall so I send him off to get the camera before Joyce calls the awards.  She starts out with ladies and I'm amazed to hear my name for 1st place 40-49.  There's something I thought would never happen.  Are you sure you meant me? 

I've been thinking about how my time wasn't great, how the award depended on the field depth, do I deserve it and so on. You know what?  I ran really hard, I gave my absolute best effort and just looking at this little award, Joyce's perfect hand painted rock, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I was in the right place at the right time to win a thing and I am awesomely proud of my thing. 


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