Saturday, September 9, 2017 • Wells, NV • Course Map
One past participant describes it as a “relentless” challenge, while another says it’s a race that shouldn’t be run by anyone “who has doubts about their fitness level.” To what, exactly, are they referring that’s so challenging about this race?
That would be the 2,784-ft. climb from the starting line in downtown Wells to the finish line at Angel Lake, which looks out onto the town from nearly 3,000 feet above.
Never mind the fact that this half marathon isn’t actually quite a regulation half marathon distance — it’s 12.64 miles. It’s plenty of challenge for even the fittest and most experienced runner, and for those who don’t feel up to the task of running all the way to the top, Wells’s Race To The Angel also is open to walkers as well as mountain bikers and road bikers.
Runners will start the race from the same starting line as all other participants in the race, along 7th Street in downtown Wells, which is home to some 1,300 residents in Elko County in Nevada’s northeastern corner and is surrounded by the peaks of the East Humboldt range of the Ruby Mountains off in the distance.
From there, the course takes runners (and walkers and cyclists) entirely along paved roads, heading northwest along 7th Street to Humboldt Avenue, where the route turns left and heads southwest.
The stretch along Humboldt lasts for about a mile until the course reaches Angel Lake Road, where runners turn right and head west, beginning a long, winding stretch along which they’ll remain on Angel Lake Road for about the next seven miles.
These first couple of miles are basically flat, as the course doesn’t begin rising until runners have passed the mile 2 marker and the course curves around to head south.
Thanks to its location here in sparsely populated northeast Nevada, there is really little to obstruct the view of the mountains that rise up in the distance, which in past years have seen occasional snow on their peaks.
Between the second mile and the fifth, the course climbs about 1,000 feet and then flattens out between mile 5.6 and mile 7.2; after that, the “fun” starts again, this time climbing more steeply and consistently, all the way for the rest of the race to the finish line at Angel Lake.
The race draws anywhere from 100 to 150 participants each year in all four divisions combined (runners, walkers, mountain bikers and road bikers), and there are several who come back year after year to run the course.
After the finish line, there’s a shuttle to take everyone back down to the post-race party at the Wells City Park.
Race Weather & Climate
Located in the northeastern corner of Nevada, about 340 miles northeast of Reno and roughly 380 miles north of Las Vegas, Wells typically sees September temperatures that average between 38°F and 75°F, while rainfall (as you might expect in the desert) is usually low, averaging less than an inch for the month.
On race day (Sept. 9), the average low is 40ºF and the average high is 78ºF.
- 7:00 AM – walkers, runners
- 8:00 AM – mountain bike, road bike cyclists
- $50 – $70 for the half marathon
To reserve your spot in the 2017 running of Wells’s Race to the Angel Half Marathon, register online at imATHLETE.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Race to the Angel? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.