Sunday, April 19, 2015

Running the hills of Las Vegas a fun break from New Jersey

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, April 19, 2015


This past week I was away on a short visit to Las Vegas.   I wasn’t in Vegas to gamble, but to visit my sister and her husband who moved there a couple of years ago from Washington State.  They actually live in Henderson, one of the suburbs that surround the town. 

While Las Vegas and the outlying areas is mostly dead flat desert, they are ringed by treeless hills.  For us flatlanders who live in New Jersey where our elevation, even here in the highlands, is less than a thousand feet those hills can look daunting.

But oh what a treat to be able to get on the trails and start running and hiking those hills.  That is what my partner and I did every day of our visit.  Each morning we would drive to Anthem Park and go wild on those hills.  What a change from our winter weather to the Nevada sun and the winding switch back single track trails that went up and up and abruptly down. 

A hand lettered sign identified the trail I liked best as the “Sidewinder”; an apt description for sure.  Another trail was a double track trail that was some seven or eight miles long that was mostly in a valley.  You could actually run on that trail and not fear missing a turn.  It saw a lot of use from runners who wanted a workout, like my friend, while I mostly stayed up on the hills enjoying the views.

I did get myself on that trail last Saturday after cutting down from the Sidewinder.  A very fit looking runner disappeared around a turn up ahead of me.  Soon I was being quickly overtaken by a similarly fit man.  As he went by he asked how far ahead the other guy was.  I gave a quick estimate of a couple of minutes and off he went.

Soon a third runner came past me.  I asked if they were in some impromptu race and he replied no, they were in training for “the” race next week.  Soon after a very fit and very fast woman went by and disappeared.

The trail soon climbed up and joined the Sidewinder trail in a knot of trails coming together on the crest of the ridge.  The speeding runners had stopped there for a break giving me a chance to ask them what race they were training for.  The Spartan race they said in Sin City.  “Oh, I’m from New Jersey and going back in a couple of days,” I said.

“New Jersey has one next week too,” I was told.  Indeed it does, or in this case, did.  The race took place on Saturday at Mountain Creek resort in Sussex County.  Getting specific information about the events is difficult.  All the Spartan races are obstacle events and all feature obstacles like the mud runs, but more intense and challenging.  What they all have in common is that there is no course map and no information about what the obstacles will be.  You must be prepared for everything and anything.  Check it out at


For runners who prefer to avoid obstacles, the next challenge is Saturday for the Clinton Country Run 15K that is a championship race for all divisions.  Currently the Morris based Garmin racing team is on top after the Miles for Music 20K with 59 points.  The North Jersey Masters are next with 51 points and the Adidas Garden State Track Club is next with 45.  The only other local team is the Do Run Runners with 31 points in seventh place.


Race Results can often be found at or at 
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at or at for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at

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