The Wild, Wild West Marathon 2022 – A longer than usual time to post…

It’s befitting that it took me a bit longer to get this up on the website.

Trail runs always tend to take me a bit longer than road races.  The views are spectacular; I just wish there weren’t so many rocks… and tree roots… and why is it at such high altitude… and who puts a massive ascent in the first four miles and then several throughout, culminating in a massive uphill at mile 24 that had me cursing profusely, the F in “WTF” echoing from the literal mountaintops?

Truth be told, it was even tougher at the mile 24 aid station (you’ll see it below with the American flag posted like it was Iwo Jima… because the guy working there told me every year veterans know they’re almost done when they see it).  There had been a course change due to wildfires and requests of the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management.  I guess this guy was thinking of the old course… but I took him at his word when he said I had 4 miles to go thinking I had made a wrong turn and followed a 50K or 50miler route marking rather than my piddly 26.2 course.  So I was grumbling and angry and frustrated and unmotivated, dreading doing extra mileage after the at times pummeling previous 24.  But it turned out, I really only did have 2.6 miles or so to go (give or take Garmin margin of error and my stumbling back and forth along the rocky slopes).  So I was mad that I hadn’t pushed it a bit harder to finish.  I guess you just can’t please me no matter what happens.

On the very big plus side, Lone Pine was the location for countless Westerns and the occasional period epic.  From the opening credits of the Lone Ranger to Gunga Din, from a sequence or two for Star Trek V to Tremors to a quick “homecoming” for Russell Crowe in Gladiator, and a promo spot for Tony Stark in Iron Man, the place has been on film more times than, um, a lot of places.  Not as many as the castle at Walt Disney World but let’s say more than a giant ball of paint.

[Quick side note: they say the rock gun prop from Star Trek V was used on Nimbus IV… it was actually Nimbus III that was the Planet of Galactic Peace but I didn’t want to say that to the docents… but you, dear reader, probably already spotted the error without my having mentioned it… so apologies for trek-splaining.]

All of this is to say that the place was very photogenic and lovely to see… even if at times I was gasping and struggling with the altitude and inclinations.  The downhills were nice.

Here’s a very easy to understand graph showing my pace increased when the altitude decreased (save for the end when I was slow because I was stewing).

Blah, blah, blah, right?  Wanna see something spooky?  And rocky?  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Nightmare Rock!

But seriously, folks, here’s pics from the race.  Enjoy the views… I sure did.



Now it’s time to vamoose and say adios to Lone Pine… which in an alternate Marty McFly timeline might have been known as Twin Pines, CA.