Well, I Did It… 26.2 Miles…
In My 70th Year on the Planet…
I completed the Revel Mt. Charleston Limited Edition Marathon.
Picture of my medal below. And sometime this week the race will post pictures from the run and I will post some here.
As I said, I completed it, but not well. For years I had been working toward a marathon in November when I would turn 70. But all my great planning went out the window like so much other stuff last April with Covid. I did not dare go to a gym to run at my advanced age and the summer here in Vegas was the hottest ever recorded in the history of Las Vegas. Not kidding.
And without good exercise, I could not lose the weight I needed to lose, and couldn’t do the distances until this last month I needed to get to way earlier. (Trying to get that distance was why I tried for five weeks to get up very early every day last summer. Failed totally.)
So when the Revel folks announced this limited edition marathon and Nevada approved it, I signed up. It was supposed to be all downhill. (It wasn’t.)
So the day started off with me getting two hours sleep to catch a 6 am bus to the lodge at Mt. Charleston. 8,000 foot elevation. I was in the last wave. Five waves of 40 runners ahead of me today and six waves of 40 runners yesterday.
Only 20 people with masks on the bus spread out over the entire bus a good distance apart and all of us had our temperatures checked before boarding. It felt fine.
My plan was to run the first mile, then run/walk until the 13 mile mark, then mostly walk from there. Goal was to be somewhat under 6 hours. Seemed like a simple plan, right?
I made it about 300 paces from the starting line (all socially distanced) and was so gasping for air, I almost passed out. There is no oxygen at 8,000 feet. And we started between snow drifts in the cold.
So I did a run/walk routine because of lack of oxygen until I got down past the 6,000 foot elevation, then I was picking up the pace nicely until at around the 6 mile mark I hit a pretty good-sized and sharp rock with my left heal. And that was all she wrote for the running.
Next aid station I took some Advil, which helped some for ten miles or so, but by the time I reached the 20 mile mark, I was hurting on both feet to the point I couldn’t decide which foot to limp on. Felt like walking on a pin cushion. Not fun.
But I kept going, pretty much alone out there in the desert and on the outskirts of Vegas (it was now going on 70 degrees). But at the 22 mile mark the course went uphill and didn’t stop being uphill (including going over a freeway overpass) until the 25 mile mark.
With about two miles left and another mile of hill in front of me, I was done. I called Kris and she encouraged me to keep walking (limping) for the next two miles. I got a hunch that without her talking in my ear, I would have sat down and called 911.
But somehow I made it just over 7 hours and I was second in my 70 plus age group out of three and I ended up beating 16 other men as well over the two days. Not a clue how.
Kris called the hole in my left heal a divot when she helped me bandage it. Yup, that’s going to be painful for a week or so.
But at the age of 70 I finished a 26.2 mile marathon. Out of shape and overweight and injured, I still did it.
Thanks, Kris, for the assist. Very much appreciated. As you said on the phone, if I quit with two miles to go, I would be mad at myself for years. Yup, that worked and kept me limping to the finish.
So right after turning 70 years old, I finished a marathon. I’ll take it. And except for the divot in my heal, feels damn good.
Mary Jo Rabe
Congratulations and be patient with your heel! It might need time to heal completely.
Just, congrats. Wow. Congrats.
Congratulations on getting to the finish line, Dean!
Well done, Dean! A great (mostly!) way to start your birthday year.
Wow! That’s incredible! Way to go.
Congratulations on finishing!
Congrats on burning through to the end. You can check off marathon on the list!
Wowza, Dean! Congratulations! I am happy for you completing this long term goal. I’m sorry for your heel pain ( that’s a hard one to ignore and power through.) and hope it gets better soon.
Well done, Dean! Congratulations.
Congratulations Dean!!! Fantastic achievement!
Ashley R Pollard
Well done, outstanding achievement!
Congrats, Dean! Way to go!
Congrats on that hard fought marathon!
You’re a better man than I.
That is no small thing. Congratulations!
Congrats on finishing, Dean! Wow, you are amazing to have stuck with it. An acquaintance who lives near me ran that race as well. From the results, it looks like she was about 1.5 hours slower than she had hoped. So, sounds like it was just a really hard race. And, Happy Birthday! You really know how to celebrate. 🙂
May I offer a strong and hearty congratulations.
To achieve the completion of a marathon, no matter how long it takes, is the measure of human spirit.
It is an accomplishment that few can reach at any age. It is a lifetime badge and nothing to be discounted because of hardship, minor injury, how long it took, or unreasonable effort.
I would suggest that you stop concentrating on your age. Accomplishment in life is a measure of committment, attitude, focus, and self worth. It has nothing to do whatsoever with how old you are.
Good job indeed.
Great accomplishment at age 70. I’m a youngster at 58, I would hope to be as active as you when I reach the 70 mark. Jack LaLanne is smiling at you from beyond right now.
It’s been a while since I’ve read some of the things on your blog that I’m remembering but I seem to recall that this might be a constant thread in your life. There are a lot of things you do yourself, of course, but it’s when you have someone urging you on (in a way that matters to you) that you always buckle down and keep going to the end.
Your Writers of the Future entry.
Your bet with Nina Kiriki Hoffman(?) about writing and submitting a story every week(?) and if you don’t you have to buy dinner.
And so on.
It sounds like Kris knows you well enough to know when to push and when not to push, which is a rare and valuable thing. And it sounds like you know and appreciate it, which is equally valuable.
A good lesson for all of us, whatever our goals are.
And congratulations on your success in the race.
Spot on, James. Thanks!
You are absolutely amazing.
MARK A KUHN
That’s awesome and congratulations are well deserved! 26.2 miles is an incredible accomplishment. You would have to move that decimal a few places to the left for me to finish anything at this point. (grin)
Congratulations on perservering!
David B Wisehart
Congrats, Dean! That’s an awesome and amazing accomplishment. So much of marathon running is pure grit. Mental fortitude. You’ve got that wired in. Great job.
Wow! Well done!
Great job finishing that Marathon, Dean! It sure sounds like it was a beast of a race.
I can’t imagine starting at 8,000 feet and expecting to run. That would be instant migraine territory for me just due to the lower oxygen levels. I’d have been rolling down that hill in your shoes….
So glad you finished despite the obstacles. That’s a medal to be proud of.
Hope your injuries and achiness heal up soon.
Congratulations, Dean! My feet wince in sympathy, but you finished and reached a goal you’ve been chasing for a few years now. That’s a fabulous accomplishment! Neither snow nor desert nor the lack of oxygen had you stop, and that dratted stone was regrettable but it didn’t stop you either. You probably didn’t get to stick that stone in your pocket, did you?
Congratulations! That is an amazing achievement! Inspirational!
Impressive as hell, Dean. Congrats!
Wow. Hell of an inspiration, Dean! Congratulations on your great accomplishment.