CARDIO TO VEGAS Update: Viva Las Vegas!

I’m won’t even try to build the suspense: I MADE IT TO LAS VEGAS! Goal… COMPLETE!

OK, OK, I’m not actually in Las Vegas. I’m writing this post from the comfort of my own home. But, for the past few months, I’ve been working on a cardio challenge that’s basically a virtual run to Vegas. Here’s how it works: I’ve been logging all the miles that I complete doing any kind of cardio (bike, run, elliptical, etc.). My goal? Log 274 miles, the distance between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. As I accumulated those miles, I plotted my progress on a map, and found fun, interesting, or bizarre facts about the places I “reached’ along the way. These are some of my favorite posts, and you can read them all on my CARDIO TO VEGAS page.

My last CARDIO TO VEGAS post (which shared the story of a notorious bootlegger) was almost a month ago. Since then, I’ve been logging my miles, even though my focus shifted to the recent Stair Climb for Los Angeles. With that race now over, I went back and added up those miles. My new grand total? I’ve gone 281.8 miles! I’ve exceeded my goal by nearly 8 miles!

The final leg started where I last left off, the border town of Primm, Nevada. Primm is 237.4 miles from my starting place in Los Angeles. From there, I can add 44.4 new miles. I amassed those 44.4 miles during 22 different workouts throughout September (you can see the breakdown at the end of this post).

Those 44.4 miles take me north from Primm, all the way to Las Vegas!


My stopping point was originally going to be the Gold Coast Hotel, an off-strip hotel and casino where I auditioned for “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” two years ago, but since I overshot that destination by 7.8 miles, I found a new stopping point. Keeping with the spirit of this challenge, it’s a place that’s swimming in history – a little park in North Las Vegas called Kiel Ranch Historic Park.


Kiel Ranch was established in Conrad Kiel in 1875. He was one of the earliest settlers in the area, and with water being scarce in the hot Nevada desert, this spot was ideal, because it had natural springs. The adobe home on the property is still there, making it the oldest still-standing structure in Las Vegas (it may actually pre-date Kiel, if it was built by Mormon missionaries who lived there in the 1850s).

Ownership of the ranch changed hands through the years, as Las Vegas grew. In the ’40s and ’50s, owners turned it into a destination resort for people seeking quick and easy divorces. In the ’70s, the city of North Las Vegas bought the property, with the pledge to turn it into a park. Seven months later, the city renigged on that promise and sold 80% of the land to a developer, who built a warehouse-filled industrial park. The remaining acres languished. Fences and padlocked gates went up, but local residents turned to dumping their trash there. Buildings crumbled or burned down. It appears that, to this day, Kiel Ranch is closed to the public. Despite being listed in the National Register of Historic Places, it’s not mentioned at all on the North Las Vegas Parks and Recreation website. I did find mention that, in 2009, a new park design was developed and approved, with construction supposedly beginning last year, but I can’t find anything more recent. It may not be the most upbeat place to end my CARDIO TO VEGAS trek, but it’s exactly 281.8 miles from home… so it’s perfect!

Presenting… my entire, completed CARDIO TO VEGAS route!


Wow – 281.8 miles is a long way! In addition to being the distance between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, it’s also the distance between downtown Detroit and Chicago!


And if I had started this challenge at my parents’ house in suburban Detroit, I would’ve made it all the way over the majestic Mackinac Bridge (the western hemisphere’s longest suspension bridge) and into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula:


If I had started at Walt Disney World in Orlando, I would have made it all the to Key Largo:


And if I started at the Empire State Building in New York City, I would have traveled through five states and ended up in Kennebunkport, Maine:


So what’s next, now that I’ve made it to Las Vegas? The answer is that I’m not actually sure. For right now, I’m going to continue logging my miles, mostly because it’s become a habit, and maybe, down the road, I’ll come up with another goal. Maybe I’ll continue from Vegas and heads towards the Grand Canyon? Or my sister’s place in Colorado? We shall see!

In the meantime…

…Keep it up, David!


Miles Breakdown By Workout:

  • 9/2/13: 7.8 miles (bike and stairmaster)
  • 9/3/13: 0.4 miles (elliptical)
  • 9/4/13: 1.7 miles (bike)
  • 9/5/13: 0.5 miles (elliptical)
  • 9/7/13: 1.8 miles (adaptive motion trainer)
  • 9/8/13: 0.1 miles (stairmaster)
  • 9/9/13: 4.0 miles (run)
  • 9/10/13: 3.3 miles (ARC trainer and stairmaster)
  • 9/11/13: 2.5 miles (elliptical and stairmaster)
  • 9/13/13: 0.1 miles (stairmaster)
  • 9/15/13: 5.0 miles (walk)
  • 9/16/13: 0.9 miles (stairmaster)
  • 9/17/13: 3.2 miles (elliptical and stairmaster)
  • 9/18/13: 2.7 miles (run and stairs – read about this workout here)
  • 9/20/13: 0.1 miles (stairmaster)
  • 9/22/13: 0.1 miles (stairmaster)
  • 9/23/13: 1.6 miles (elliptical)
  • 9/24/13: 2.9 miles (bike and stairmaster)
  • 9/25/13: 2.0 miles (ARC trainer)
  • 9/28/13: 0.8 miles (elliptical)
  • 9/29/13: 0.9 miles (elliptical)
  • 9/30/13: 1.8 miles (swimming laps)

Total: 44.4 miles

Grand Total: 281.8!

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