As described by the website:
On the fringes of the mysterious Area 51, Highway 375 has one of the highest number of reported UFO sightings. Enough so, that in 1996 the federal government officially named the 98 mile stretch of highway the “Extraterrestrial Highway”. The ET Highway has become a gathering place for UFO enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. With elevations ranging from roughly 4000-5600 feet, the high desert will enchant you with gorgeous vegetation, surrounding mountains, and stunning vistas.
Yes, I ran a half marathon in the middle of the night in the desert down the Extraterrestrial Highway. It was an awesome experience, though it is likely a one-and-done for me.
This is a tiny race, but incredibly well organized. As part of our registration, we purchased bus tickets and at 8:30 on Saturday, boarded the busses for the 2.5 hour drive to the middle of nowhere.
Seriously. There was nothing around. No lights, nothing.
Of course, that made it phenomenal. The race is always scheduled around the full moon (obviously), and Saturday night/Sunday morning was the beginning of a meteor shower, so there were a number of shooting stars to be seen.
Being out in the middle of nowhere is pretty creepy. Thankfully, you can’t get lost. The race is a straight, 13.05 mile shot, with one turn at the only building you see, which is the location of the finish line. The race required reflectors and headlamps and a number of runners went all out with blinking lights and glowing accessories. It was a lot of fun to be able to look ahead and see the stream of lights going down the highway. And the scenery was gorgeous.
I opted to walk this race with Jenny and Katie rather than run it alone. I’m very glad I did. It would have been extra creepy and lonely all by myself. It wasn’t an easy race – there’s a solid uphill, and the elevation makes it even more tough, but it was worth the trip. I’m not sure if I would have been able to run it, given my heart rate issues, to be honest.
Around mile 9 or so, Katie commented that she couldn’t blink too slow because she would fall asleep. I was totally with her on that! I felt like I was struggling to stay awake! I am not a night person to begin with, and in my brain, everything was still 3 hours later because I hadn’t adjusted to the time zone. So exhausting.
The race director of this race was so present and involved. It was a small race, but she did everything to make sure that it went off without a hitch. I have zero complaints about how it was organized. If only she could figure out how to make the full moon appear during the day!