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The December weather in Laughlin and Bullhead City is perfect for an early morning race – crisp, clear, with mild temperatures and visibility for miles. Speaking from experience, the Mojave Desert is one of the most picturesque, peaceful and tranquil places to run on Earth. The Half Marathon course begins in the parking lot in front of Laughlin High School, weaves through the school grounds including one lap around the track before heading out onto the highways around Laughlin. Miles 2 – 3.3 are a steady climb of 321’ as you make your way toward Highway 163. From Needles Highway you will cross over onto the Westbound lanes of Highway 163 where you will be running East as you start the fastest portion of this course. You’re now facing 3.3 miles of DOWNHILL (loss of 683’) as you speed toward Davis Dam Rd. Be sure to look up at the sun rising over the Black Mountains in the Arizona distance checking out the Colorado River and Casino Row in the foreground – this is one of the most breathtaking vistas of the course. Leaving Highway 163 you turn north onto Davis Dam Rd, continuing the steady downhill trek as your thundering footfalls echo in the desert’s silence. Be sure to look for the cowboys that are sometimes seen riding along this part of the course and give the horses at Pot-O-Gold Stables a hearty wave.
The hulking bulwark of the Davis Dam appears eerily in the distance and you head straight as the glorious downhill comes to an end. You begin the brief ascent onto the rim of the Davis Dam itself. A peek over your shoulder reveals a stunning view of sunrays dappling like brilliant diamonds on the surface of the mighty Colorado River. The rim of the Davis Dam allows you to cross from Nevada into the State of Arizona, and you are welcomed by a million-dollar view of Lake Mohave to your left. The brilliant hues of the lake’s surface shift from deep cobalt to cerulean blues and are so beautiful it disappoints your eyes to tear them away. Be sure to take advantage of our #SelfieSpot where you have the opportunity to take your photograph with one foot in NV, and one in AZ. Wait! Without warning, you notice that your Running Watch and smart phones have suddenly gained precisely one hour. WTH? Am I running that slow? No. Not only have you crossed into the Grand Canyon State, but into the Mountain Standard Time Zone as well – it’s the FUTURE! Watches and phones will be momentarily confused, but the mystery will only be temporary. You journey into Arizona to the only out-and-back portion of the course. The journey through Arizona is relatively brief (depending on how your legs are holding up) and after making the turnaround you return to re-cross the Davis Dam and back into the Silver State – Nevada. Your return to Casino Row will be along the banks of the Colorado River via Laughlin’s new Heritage Greenway Trail, a beautiful, newly-opened public park filled with hiking and equestrian trails.
Your final push to the finish includes a bridge crossing (sorry for the slight uphill to the bridge) and descent onto Casino Drive where you will glimpse the finish line ¾ of a mile ahead! The cheering crowd of spectators welcomes you home; where a volunteer will congratulate you and drape a well-deserved medal around your neck. Exhausted, but exhilarated – high on endorphins and the satisfaction of your performance, it is time to Celebrate! Grab a water and head to the party, don’t forget to get your free beer when you are ready for it (Legacy Runners get two). There will be music, prizes and eventually we will give out the age group awards. Enjoy!!
• • • • • • • • • *Free beer to runners 21 and over • • • • • • • • •
This is not your typical out-and-back 5K course. The glitz and glamour of Laughlin’s Casino Row is quiet in the early morning sunlight. The music at the starting line is pumping you up for this epic racing event! You toe the line on a wide open stretch of Casino Row and at the sound of the horn launch yourself North, past the Aquarius Hotel, the Riverside Resort and on towards the turn which will take you up and over the famed Pedestrian Bridge. The wonderful and wild Colorado River appears to your right and you notice the sunlight dappling on the surface like so many diamonds. Your course is due north and before you know it the turnaround is ahead. Staying to the Right on the trail, you make a nice wide U-turn and are treated to Desert Landscape and sights you missed on the way out.
Save a bit for your final push to the finish for your return trip down the River takes you up and over the stylish Pedestrian Bridge, this jewel of architecture connecting the wild, natural Laughlin Heritage Trail with the night-dazzling Casino Row. There is a small hill from the trail to the bridge, but once you are across there is nothing but sweet downhill all the way to the finish. Raise your arms in glorious victory and wave to the hundreds of cheering fans! Follow the signs to the 5K Finish Chute on the sidewalk where you will be welcomed back by a volunteer who will drape a well-deserved medal around your neck. It’s time to Celebrate! Steps away you will find a live band, DJ, essential nourishment, hydration, benches and a Free Beer*! A festive celebration to wash away your weariness and an opportunity to revel with your fellow racers and race supporters. Enjoy!!
• • • • • • • • • *Free beer to runners 21 and over • • • • • • • • •
We used to do a 10K which got you almost to Arizona, everyone would ask “does it go through two states?” and they would then be disappointed with the answer of “almost.” So we fixed that!
Sign up for the Conquer The Dam 12K and you will do just that! Conquer the Davis Dam while you run across the state line into Arizona!
You start along Casino row where the glitz and glamour of Laughlin is quiet in the early morning sunlight. The music at the starting line is pumping you up for this epic racing event! You toe the line on a wide open stretch of Casino Row and at the sound of the horn launch yourself North, past the Aquarius Hotel, the Riverside Resort and on towards the famed Pedestrian Bridge. The wonderful and wild Colorado River appears to your right and you notice the sunlight dappling on the surface like so many diamonds. Your course is due north past the 5K turn around and on towards the Davis Dam. There is a solid hill you will climb as you head to the peak of the Dam (Stay to the left on the Dam)since all good things come with some sort of price. Get your picture taken with your feet in both states (photos posted for free download post race) and then enjoy the downhill run back into Nevada.
Once back on the river trail you will be staying to the right. See if you can spot more Road Runners than you did on the way out.
Remind yourself to save a bit for your final push to the finish line as you move from the River up and over the stylish Pedestrian Bridge, this jewel of architecture connecting the wild, natural Laughlin Heritage Trail with the night-dazzling Casino Row. There is a small hill from the trail to the bridge, but once you are across there is nothing but sweet downhill all the way to the finish. Raise your arms in glorious victory and wave to the hundreds of cheering fans! Follow the signs to the 12K Finish Chute on the sidewalk where you will be welcomed back by a volunteer who will drape a well-deserved medal around your neck. It’s time to Celebrate! Steps away you will find a DJ, essential nourishment, hydration, benches and a Free Beer*! A festive celebration to wash away your weariness and an opportunity to revel with your fellow racers and race supporters. Enjoy!!
• • • • • • • • • *Free beer to runners 21 and over • • • • • • • • •
The staging area for all races is located in front of the Tropicana Laughlin and In N Out. There will be free parking available in the parking structure behind the hotel. Race-day packet pickup is free for 5k & 12K participants. Half Marathon participants must pick up their bib the day before or pay for VIP packet pick up. Day of packet pick up will be out front of the Tropicana Laughlin in Victory Plaza. The expo and packet pick up on Friday will be in the Santa Fe Room at the Tropicana.
Half Marathon Runners: Arrive at the Tropicana and then board your bus at your designated times. Gear check, and bathrooms will be available in the starting area at Laughlin High School. Please note that cars can enter the high school to drop you off before 6:35 AM but NO unauthorized vehicles are allowed on the course during the race!
As the Half Marathon is a point-to-point course, the finish line will be at the Tropicana Laughlin. If you choose to drive to the Starting Line at Laughlin High School, please note that there will NOT be any shuttles that will transport you from the Tropicana to the High School after the race and you will need to arrange transportation to recover your car.
5K & 12K Runners – your starting line and finish line will be in front of In N Out. Please be at the starting line by 7:40 AM.
Spectators are welcome and have easy access to a variety of areas perfect for viewing and cheering on your runners.
PLEASE NOTE that all Spectators will need to select one spot to view the runners (other than the finish line) and then will be required to wait until all runners pass before you will be allowed to move your car. As the roads will be shut down to vehicle traffic, “leapfroging” throughout the course will be impractical if not impossible.
At the Starting line at Laughlin High School there are several spots which will give you a great view of the runners. All cars should be parked in the lot in front of the school. Get to the school by driving West on Bruce Woodbury to Needles Highway, turn North (right) and then turn East (right) on Hiko Springs Road, following this to the High School which wil be on your left.
There are two parking areas off of Davis Dam Road. You must arrive before 6:15 AM to park in these locations and will not be able to leave until after 9 AM.
Access these two by driving North on Casino Drive (toward the Riverside Resort) and proceed West (left) on Highway 163. At Davis Dam Rd, then turn North (right) and continue to the bottom of the hill.
- Lot D – Pot-O-Gold Stables will appear on your right as you come to the bottom of the hill and you may park here and cheer the runners as they cruise the downhill portion of the race (Mile 6.2).
- Lot E – Pyramid Park Overflow Lot: Continue past the Pot-O-Gold stables and look for the medical tent, the porta-potties and the water stations – you may park on the dirt lot away from the medical area. A short walk toward the Dam takes you to Pyramid Park where a playground, great views of the Davis Dam and the Colorado River and ample cheering space for the runners await. Note that the runners pass this area TWICE. Once on the outbound leg as they approach the Dam, and once on their return to run along the Colorado River (Mile 6.5 and 10.3).
NOTE: As traffic will continue to flow in and out of this entrance, you will be able to access this Lot F throughout the Race. Heritage Trail, South End. Access this lot by heading North on Casino Drive. At the intersection, turn West (left) on Hwy 163. Immediately get in your RH lane as you will make a RH U-Turn BEFORE you reach the Pedestrian Bridge.
- Lot F – Heritage Trail, South Point. This is best for cheering on those running the 5 or 12K (they will pass twice, in their first and last mile and the Half Marathon runners will pass this way as well (Mile 12). You will be allowed to exit at any time, but keep in mind that when you exit you will travel up Highway 163 to Thomas Edison Dr., head South (left) all the way to Bruce Woodbury.
Five Water/Hydration and First Aid stations will be provided on the Half Marathon course between the start and finish. The cool desert air can keep you sweat free, but please stay hydrated throughout the race! Various non-profits, school teams and other groups host these aid stations. They are placed on-course at key locations and intervals approximately 2 miles apart. Bring your own nourishment if you wish and please discard wrappers and cups in trash receptacles at aid stations and throughout the course, or put them in your pocket and not alongside the road! We must all work together to preserve this desert landscape.
After completing your 13.1 mile journey through the picturesque Mojave Desert and receiving your finisher’s medal, you will be able to enter the Party! Everything will be steps away including post-race food and fluids designed to help your body begin the recovery process immediately. If you are over 21, enjoy our Beer Garden. Every finisher is entitled to one Free Beer and additional beer tickets can be purchased on site.
To enter the half marathon, you must be able to finish the course in 4 hours (7:00 am – 11:00 am) and keep an 18:00/mile pace or better. If you cannot keep the required pace on course, you will not be guaranteed course supervision by law enforcement and volunteers. In the event you cannot finish the race, or fall behind the 18 min./mile pace, a SWEEPER vehicle will be following the final law enforcement car and will pick you up for transport to the finish.
Do not sit still right after the race. Regardless of the weather, it is important to keep moving. Your circulatory system is your body’s antifreeze and coolant; therefore, your body needs to keep moving to keep your blood moving. If you stop too soon it is easy to become too hot and hyperthermic. It is equally important to keep moving in cold weather, because body movement produces heat and circulation prevents body parts from getting too cold. When you finish, change into warm, dry clothing. Foil blankets will help you stay warm, but may not prevent you from becoming too cold. Therefore, it is important that you change into dry clothes immediately. Keep drinking plenty of fluids to help relieve your body of muscular by-products. Fluids and food are available just past the finish line in the Recovery Tent. If you are feeling ill or weak, do NOT attend the Beer Garden. If attending the Post-Race PARTY, be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated through the rest of the day and be careful not to overindulge.
On the Course
If you need help talk to one of the volunteers at our water stations. There will be medical professionals following the last participants and place strategically throughout the course and our water stations will be able to contact them. They are equipped to assist with minor emergencies and will properly direct those with major emergencies, including calling for an on-course ambulance for assistance if necessary. If you need help, find an aid station for assistance. If you are unable to finish the race but do not require medical assistance, be sure to stop and wait for the SWEEPER vehicle for transport back to the finish area. If you require medical attention, please ask for transport to a hospital, or to the medical tent at the finish if it’s not an emergency.
At the Finish
A comprehensive medical aid station is available where you can receive temporary treatment for medical conditions. If you proceed into the Post Race PARTY and decide you need medical assistance, return to the medical tent at the finish line.
Make sure your relatives know your race number. Carry a cell phone. Be courteous to other runners. Have FUN!!