There has been a strange period since the WHW race where my running has generally taken a back seat for a few weeks to give myself some recovery time. There have been a couple of highlights though. Firstly, I had a work trip to Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. As locations go, I probably couldn’t choose a worse place for me. All the glitter and glitz of Vegas is a huge turn-off. It turns out though that there are mountains nearby. What more could a boy ask for?

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Mount Charleston is an easy 40 minute drive from the strip. Measuring 3632m, it’s not to be overlooked and it has several trails across it which give you great running options. Given it was July, temperatures on the strip were peaking around 45c, and whilst it was hot at the base of the mountain, it was a more pleasant 25c at altitude with a healthy breeze. A perfect escape.

Also close to Vegas is Red Rock canyon. A real Roadrunner v Wile E. Coyote location with desert scrub and ridiculously beautiful rock formations. Because it was closer to the desert floor the temperatures there were similar to the strip, which demanded the only option was for an early morning sunrise run. Even at 5am it was over 30c. Not easy for a boy from Fife! The views were just spectacular though:

I also got a couple of runs in along the strip, which was just about as horrible an experience as a trail runner could hope for. But it’s the kind of thing you have to do once, just because you are there.

Viva Las Vegas!

After that, I came home hoping to complete my West Highland Way triple crown of races with the Devil o’the Highlands last Saturday, but sadly it wasn’t to be as I came down with some bug the day before the race. If truth be told, I wasn’t in great shape to be running last weekend anyway, and I’m sure I wouldn’t have been happy with how it went, so perhaps a blessing in disguise for me?

Looking ahead, I’ve got the Salomon Glencoe skyline VK race in September now as my last run of the year. Before that though, UTMB happens and whilst I’m not running this year, so many of my friends are and I’m really excited for them all. IT is such an amazing event and I’d love to be there to cheer them all on.

Next year, I’m thinking I have to settle my marathon phobia and get another one under my belt. I make no claims to enjoying that race, I’d rather run 100 miles than 26.2, but I feel like I want to have one more go. Serendipity took over and a friend notified me that they had applied to Tokyo Marathon. I’d love to find a reason to force me to go to Japan, so, without further ado, I’ve put my name in the ballot for a place. Let’s see how that turns out.

こんにちは東京

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