Incredibly beautiful and challenging course. Flew into Las Vegas, Nevada; then drove hour north to Overton, a cow town near Lake Mead. Race route out into high desert, through Valley of Fire State Park. Ran among massive rock formations, pumpkin-orange to fire-red and 150 million years old. Out & back with rolling hills, including a long, steep climb from Mile 9 up to turnaround @ Mile 13, elevation 3,000 feet. Then mostly downhill swoops on way back. Great being out in the vast silence with the rock flamin’ your soul! So quiet, only sounds your lungs whooshin’ the sage-scented air. Just past the “Seven Sisters” — pink, curvy boulder formations, grouped-together-yet-separate-unto-themselves, a coyote yelped; playfully dipped his head; and trotted along — as if imitating the once-a-year invaders to his domain. Killer hill up to Mile 26 marker; then quick drop-kick down to the Finish. Ran my favorite race: negative splits — second half faster than first. One runner doing a marathon in each of the 50 states. . . First Woman recently beat breast cancer. . . The real Winner lost 200 pounds in past two years by running and watching his diet. Whipped out a picture of former obese self from his pocket and we all shook his hand and congratulated him at the Start.