It all started in 2014 when six riders from Los Angeles arrived in Las Vegas. 340 miles, or just over 550km, in 41 hours.
“340 miles. LA to Vegas. On foot. No rules.”
Since then, every year, teams and groups of runners have put themselves to the test with the aim of reaching the end of this relay adventure by turning The Speed Project into a real-world event.
It’s a story of fatigue and physical strength that lends itself very well to being told through images. That’s what Johnny Carrano did in the docu-film From Los Angeles to Las Vegas, telling a race in which the important thing is not to win, it’s not to make a better time than the others, but to get to the end, for themselves, for their own team, but also for other teams and for those who have not made it. In particular, we follow the race of the 442 Snakes team, who for the occasion has also written a text, similar to a flow of consciousness, that tells us this incredible experience.
From Los Angeles To Las Vegas was previewed in Milan on December 6 and if you missed it you can watch it below.
“Are we coming from here to Las Vegas?”
Only 40 teams from all over the world are competing.
It’s not an official race.
There’s nothing more than a start, an arrival and a file of maps and directions.
Finally the big day. 4 am, the Santa Monica Pier is as alive as 4 pm.
The faces are sleepy, but the adrenaline keeps everyone awake. 40 runners are already warming up, for the gunshot that will kick off the feat.
Bang! In a short time, the sea breeze gives way to the warmth of the city. Everyone faces their own fraction and sets their own pace.
In a moment, the caravan of campers leaves Los Angeles, the streets lined with buildings give way to an uphill road, and the morning coolness is soon replaced by the warm Californian sun.
You run undaunted, between heat, sweat, and headwind.
You slowly enter an unusual routine, made of stretching, feeding, micro-sleeps. In a short time you realize that running for 10 km in a row under that sun is crazy, but luckily the sunset comes sooner than expected,
You can’t sleep at night.
The road becomes more difficult, the asphalt leaves room for the dirt road and, in some places, the dunes. Dawn never seems to come.
The sun rises in the middle of nowhere.
Although fatigue is palpable, the good mood does not fade.
After the long piece of dirt road, the final part begins the Mojave Desert, the dreaded Death Valley.
A long road, straight, in the middle of nowhere, without the slightest sign of shadow.
It inevitably slows down, the first crises begin, principles of sunshine, someone vomits, someone can’t run more than 2 km in a row.
Night still arrives and the fractions stretch again, but the legs are tired, and the finish line seems still far away.
Not even the time of a sigh of relief for the arrival of the “cool” begin long and endless climbs.
Someone seems to be giving up.
The other teams slow down, and every time you pass an opponent you regain adrenaline.
After the last, interminable climb the silhouettes of the mountains you can see a spot of light in the night.
A marathon away is Sin City!
Tiredness is relieved by the unstoppable desire to arrive, to take a picture of the mysterious sign “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas”.
We decide to run the last mile all together, to experience the thrill of running on the Strip, to take the credit for something that we have done together, all of us.
After 47h and 47′ the legs have no more reason to be moving, we arrived, we made it.
It took days to realize what we have done, nothing superhuman but something that we will hardly forget.
The heat, the sand, the eternally dry throat, the sense of tiredness, the dogs barking at you or the stomach that goes into turmoil.
And it doesn’t matter if who won the race took more or less of us, we had not come here to win but to do something that remained, in us, all, all together.