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presents the 26th Annual
December 6, 2014



Congratulations on your entry in the 26th annual DEATH VALLEY TRAIL MARATHON & HALF MARATHON, scheduled for Saturday, December 6, 2014. We hope your training is going well and that you're getting excited about experiencing the extraordinary beauty of Death Valley!

This is the OFFICIAL ENTRANT NEWSLETTER, containing all of the details you'll need to plan your race weekend. Please read this information carefully, so you'll be well-prepared for race day. Nothing will be mailed to you prior to the event. All participants will pick up bib numbers during MANDATORY RACE DAY CHECK-IN (details below). The National Park Service has asked that we pass along their Principles for participation. Please review them online here.

Be sure to tell your friends to hurry up and register! The dramatic beauty and enticing challenge of the Titus Canyon will once again make for a sold-out event. Due to strict limitations by the National Park Service, we will not be able to accept additional entries on race day. Only registered runners may start the run and receive aid during the run. If we are in violation of our permit, we jeopardize our good relationship with the National Park Service and the future of this event. Thank you for helping to enforce this.

Titus Canyon

Hotel rooms are limited in Death Valley. The group rate discount at our headquarters hotel - The Furnace Creek Ranch & Inn - is no longer available. There are still a few rooms available at each location for Friday and Saturday nights. Please make your reservations immediately to avoid adding stress to your trip planning! See the Travel and Accommodations section of this email for more details.


Runner Check-In & Bib Number Pick-Up will be held from 6:15-7:00am at the CORKSCREW SALOON at Furnace Creek Ranch. To receive your bib number and participate in this event YOU MUST BRING $10 National Park admission fee or have proof of payment (i.e. a receipt from the Visitor's Center or a National Parks Annual Pass). Every runner MUST attend this Check-In (even if you have family/friends driving you to the race start).

Our chartered buses will depart Furnace Creek Ranch bound for Titus Canyon at 7:15am. There will be buses designated for MARATHONERS ONLY which will be heading to the east end of Titus Canyon and buses designated for HALF MARATHONERS ONLY which will be heading to the west end of Titus Canyon. Please make sure you get on the correct bus! Return buses will transport finishers from the west end of Titus Canyon Rd. back to Furnace Creek Ranch at demand-based intervals.

Anticipated start times are 8:15-8:30am for the Marathon and 8:15-8:30am for the Half Marathon.

Please try to limit the items you bring with you on the bus to the race start. At most, keep it to a small backpack. You may leave your unneeded gear on the bus and it will be transported to the race finish for you. Take extra care to ensure your bag is well marked with your name and a phone number. We will have luggage tags available for this purpose, but when it's done ahead of time, you'll have one less detail to sweat before your race.

An informal ceremony to announce overall and age-group winners will be held at 5pm at the CORKSCREW SALOON. In the interim, you can swim in the mineral-fed pool, take a nap or go sight-seeing. Attendance is not mandatory as personalized awards will be mailed to the top-three finishers of each age group a few weeks after the event, but it is a great gathering to share your various adventure stories with your fellow athletes.

Proceeds from this race benefit the STUDENTS OF BEATTY HIGH SCHOOL. The young volunteers and accompanying parents along the course are among the beneficiaries. Be sure to thank them for their participation!


Runners wearing headphones will be disqualified, it is a safety issue and a rule of the National Park.

Aid stations will be located at approximately miles 5, 10, 15, 20 & 23 along the Marathon and at miles 3, 6.5 and 10 along the Half Marathon. Aid stations will be stocked with water, Gatorade, sports bars, bananas and a variety of sweet and salty snacks. We highly recommend that you carry water and any of your preferred nutritional aids with you.

Our aid stations will NOT have energy gels (i.e. Gu, ClifShot, etc.). If you will be using energy gels, we ask that you respect the park and dispose of the wrappers at one of the aid stations along the course. You may NOT accept aid or support from friends biking or driving through the canyon. No private cars may escort any runner along the course. No private support allowed.

Facilities will be located at the start, miles 15 and 23 of the Marathon and at the start/finish, miles 3 and 10 of the Half Marathon.

6-Hour MARATHON cutoff. This reflects a minimum pace of 13:45-per-mile.
6-Hour HALF MARATHON cutoff. This reflects a minimum pace of 27:30-per-mile.
If you are falling too far off the pace, you may be required to accept a ride in a support vehicle. This vehicle might move you ahead to a more favorable location to allow you to complete the event. Failure to accept this ride or any disrespect of race staff will result in an automatic race disqualification.


  • Both courses go through Titus Canyon in Death Valley National Park. Click here for course map.
  • The Marathonis a point-to-point course that begins on Titus Canyon Rd. at Hwy. 374 at 3,400 feet and climbs its way to Red Pass at mile 12 (5,200 feet), before descending 5,000 feet over the final 14 miles to the finish (200 feet) at Scotty's Castle Rd.
  • The Half Marathon course is the final 6.5 miles of the Marathon. This run starts at the west end of Titus Canyon Road at Scotty's Castle Rd, goes up the canyon to the 6.5 mile turnaround and then comes back down to the finish at Scotty's Castle Rd.
  • If your family or friends plan on biking or driving the route, they MUST head out and stay AHEAD of the runners. This rule is enforced for the safety and enjoyment of all runners. Anyone planning to drive through the canyon should check with the Visitor's Center for current road conditions. These vehicles MAY NOT stop at any point along the route.
  • If you have friends who plan to mountain bike through the canyon, we ask that they be courteous to your fellow runners; no one wants to be eating dust at Mile 20. Once again, you may NOT accept aid from anyone biking the route. Private support is NOT allowed!

Winter temperatures are typically moderate (between 40 and 70 degrees), but the desert can be unpredictable, so come prepared for rainy, windy or colder conditions. Click here for the weather.

Desert conditions may warrant starting out with more clothing (long sleeves, etc.) than you'll need by, say, Mile 20. You may abandon unneeded clothing at any aid station and it will be transported back to the finish after the aid stations close down. If your items don't make it to the finish line before you head back to the Ranch, we will bring all unclaimed gear to the Awards Ceremony (5pm at the Corkscrew Saloon). If you plan to abandon clothing at an aid station, take the extra precaution of writing your name on an inside tag to ensure it is returned.

No matter what the temperature, one thing remains constant: Death Valley is dry! Take care to stay hydrated before, during and after your race. We strongly recommend you carry at least 1 water bottle for hydration between aid stations.

Death Valley is one of our national treasures; it takes at least two days to truly begin to explore its splendors, so plan to come early and/or stay after your race! Visit the Death Valley National Park website to start planning your trip.


If you are flying in for this event, the closest airport is Las Vegas (LAS), which is about a 2.5-hour drive from Death Valley. We HIGHLY recommend that you stay in Death Valley and NOT in Las Vegas on Friday night.

Driving Directions are posted on the event website. Note! DO NOT rely on MapQuest, Yahoo! Maps or similar online map providers. Death Valley is remote and many times these programs will send you on unnecessarily circuitous routes to get there. Also note that many Sierra mountain passes (i.e. Tioga Pass) are closed for the winter.

Furnace Creek Ranch is our Headquarters Hotel. It is the location of MANDATORY Athlete Check-In (race day morning) and the Pick-Up/Drop Off point for the provided bus transportation to the start and from the finish. The Group Rate discount is no longer available, but you can still make reservations by calling 760-786-2345.

Four-star accommodations are available at the Furnace Creek Inn (about 1 mile up the road from Furnace Creek Ranch). The Group Rate discount is no longer available, but you can still make reservations by calling 760-786-2345.

For information regarding campsites call 760-786-2331.

These accommodations are located about 25 miles from Furnace Creek race Start/Finish. Call 760-786-2387 for reservations. There are no dining facilities at this location, but they do still have availability.

Beatty is located about 40 miles from Furnace Creek race Start/Finish. Beatty Chamber of Commerce 775-553-2424.

These accommodations are located about 40 miles from Furnace Creek race Start/Finish. Longstreet Inn & Casino Call 775-372-1777 for reservations.

IMPORTANT! If you are arriving late Friday night, please note that the restaurants stop serving and the General Store closes at 9:00pm. The store does not open before our buses depart for Titus Canyon (Wrangler Buffet opens at 6:00am, Forty-Niner Cafe opens at 7:00am). Be sure to bring the appropriate food and drinks for your pre-race needs and plan accordingly.

FURNACE CREEK INN has a fine-dining restaurant that is open to the public. Advance reservations are recommended (760-786-2331) and appropriate dressy/casual clothing (no sweats or running outfits) is required.

FURNACE CREEK RANCH offers more informal dining at its two restaurants: The WRANGLER STEAKHOUSE and the FORTY-NINER CAFE. The Ranch also has a GENERAL STORE with a limited variety of food and drinks.


In closing, we'd like to share a recent newspaper article describing Death Valley:
". . . the most deadly and dangerous spot in the United States. It is a pit of horrors--the haunt of all that is grim and ghoulish. Such animal and revile life as infests this pest-hole is of ghastly shape, rancorous nature and diabolically ugly. It breeds only noxious and venomous things. Its dead do not decompose, but are baked, blistered and embalmed by the scorching heat through countless ages. It is surely the nearest to a little hell upon earth that the whole wicked world can produce." (1894)


We look forward to seeing you in Death Valley!

Dave & Wendy Horning,
Michelle Ruettinger and the entire ENVIRO-SPORTS TEAM

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