2016 Death Valley Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K
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Death Valley Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K

Dear DEATH VALLEY runner,

Congratulations on your entry in the 18th annual Death Valley Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K, scheduled for Saturday, February 6, 2016. 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 (more details below).

The National Park Service has asked that we pass along their Principles for Participation. Please review them online here.

The dramatic beauty and enticing challenge of Death Valley 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.

The Last Vegas Astronomical Society will be hosting two complementary Stargazing Parties at the Furnace Creek Ranch on Friday February 5 and Saturday February 6 at 8:00PM. You can read more details online here.


  • 6:45-7:45 am: Athlete Check-In will be held 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).
  • 8:00 am: Marathon Race Starts approximately at this time
  • 8:15 am: Half Marathon Race Starts approximately at this time
  • 8:30 am: 10K Race Starts approximately at this time
  • 5:00 pm: We will announce overall and age-group winners at an informal awards ceremony 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.


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 approximately every three miles along the course. Please remember that you are in a National Park and you need to use the port-a-potties supplied.

There is a 6-hour course-wide cutoff for Marathoners. This reflects a minimum pace of 13:45 per mile.

All courses are out-and-back along Hwy 190 through the heart of Death Valley. All races start and finish at the Furnace Creek Ranch. The 10K turnaround is at 3.1 miles; the Half Marathon turnaround is at 6.5 miles and the Marathon turns around at 13.1 miles. The entire course is below sea level, completely surrounded by desert wilderness and boasts panoramic vistas of the mountains surrounding Death Valley. Although the road is not closed to traffic, we ask that you discourage your family and friends from driving along the route. This has caused problems in the past and may jeopardize the future of this event.

To secure permits for this event, we must strictly abide by the following regulations prescribed by CalTrans, the California Highway Patrol and the National Park Service. The course will be monitored. Violation of any of the following rules WILL result in disqualification.

  • Participants must run on the west shoulder of the highway at all times (both out and back).
  • Crossing the road or running down the centerline to cut tangents is NOT permitted.
  • NO personal support allowed on the course. Participants must carry their own aid and/or use the provided aid stations along the course.
  • Runners must not bunch up in groups blocking the roadway. Runners must run in single file when traffic is in roadway. Runners not yielding to traffic and creating a hazardous situation may be removed from the event and/or issued a citation. Failure to comply with these rules could jeopardize the future of the event.
  • Runners must always have official bib number visible on your front.
  • No jogging strollers.


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 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 were available at the Furnace Creek Inn (about 1 mile up the road from Furnace Creek Ranch) but those rooms are now all sold out.

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 two restaurants at this location: Toll Road Restaurant and the Badwater Saloon.

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 (Athlete Check-In). Longstreet Inn & CasinoCall 775-372-1777 for reservations.

IMPORTANT! The food items you are able to find in Death Valley are limited. Be sure to bring the appropriate food and drinks for your pre-race needs and plan accordingly. Here are the hours of the store and restaurants in Furnace Creek:
General Store 6:00am - 10:00pm
Wrangler Buffet 6:00am - 10:00am (Breakfast), 11:00am-2:00pm (Lunch), 5:00pm-9:00pm (Dinner)
49er Cafe 6:00am - 11:00am (Breakfast), 11:30am-3:00pm (Lunch), 4:00pm-10:00pm (Dinner)
Corkscrew Saloon 11:00am - 11:00pm (Drinks), 11:00am-10:00pm (Food)
Furnace Creek Inn Dining Room 7:00am - 10:00am (Breakfast), 12:00pm-2:00pm (Lunch), 5:00pm-9:00pm (Dinner)

Here are the hours of the store and restaurants in Stovepipe Wells:

Toll Road Restaurant 7:00am - 10:00am (Breakfast), 5:30pm-9:00pm (Dinner)
Badwater Saloon 11:30am-5:00pm (Lunch), 5:00pm-9:00pm (Bar Snacks)

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.


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.

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)
Copyright © 2016 Enviro-Sports, All rights reserved.

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