Hoover Dam Marathon & Half Marathon, 10K, 5K
Boulder City, NV USA
December 11, 2021 This race is historic and scenic. Taking place at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which is approximately 18 miles from Las Vegas and boasts amazing views of the largest man-made lake in the US. During the race, you’ll run on the Historic Railroad Trail, part of the Rail-to-Trails Conservancy and National Park.
This course is just stunning in more ways than one! Start your race at Lake Mead’s Boulder Beach, Special Events Beach at the BBQ area. The first 1/4 mile is a steady gradual uphill along a wide roadway, giving plenty of room for runners to find their position among the field before making a left-hand turn onto the paved River Mountains Loop Trail. This section of the River Mountains Loop Trail is impeccably paved and about 12’ wide, running parallel to Lakeshore Drive. The course is undulating through the spectacular Mojave Desert and joins up with the Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail just before your mile 3. This section of trail is breathtaking! You’ll traverse a hard-packed dirt trail leading you through several old railroad tunnels that were used in the 1930s to transport supplies to the workers in the construction of the then Boulder Dam- now Hoover Dam. The trail is perched atop of a ridge overlooking the crystal blue waters of Lake Mead and the marina.
After passing through the last tunnel, your next mile is thru an area which is home to power plants- Hoover Dam is the main producer of electricity for Nevada, Arizona, and California. This is just a prelude to the “Money Shot”! You’ll zig zag your way down 6 switch backs delivering you onto the upper level parking garage at Hoover Dam. You will run a counterclockwise loop along the edge for a great view of the awe inspiring Hoover Dam and Bypass Bridge. No need to break stride- you get a great view as you run along the course, too.
With the Dam now behind you, the Marathon and Half Marathoners will retrace their steps back up the switch backs, thru the tunnels overlooking Lake Mead, then back on the paved trail. Arriving back at Boulder Beach access road you’ll all continue straight continuing along the paved River Mountains Loop Trail to the turnaround roughly 0.6 of a mile ahead, then back to Boulder Beach.
Marathoners make 2 loops of the above (By popular runner demand). The finish line is back at Boulder Beach at the covered BBQ area where the awards and finish line food await!
We are in the process of having the course officially remeasured and certified to make sure it is 100% accurate, and an official qualifier. This will be completed before race day.
This course does not go over the Dam.
Packed-dirt trail accounts for roughly 14 miles of the full marathon; 7 miles of the 1/2 marathon. The remainder is paved asphalt. Shoe recommendation is a sturdy road running shoe. Trail shoes are not necessary, but I would also recommend against racing flats.