I ran alone. No sound of planes. No sound of automobiles. No sound of people. Just footfalls and the rhythm of my breathing–heavy breathing, at this point. I felt tired and my left quad was starting to complain. With the finish line only a few miles away, I ran through more deep washes, dodged cactus, hand-scrambled up steep slopes, kept a strong pace down a long stretch of dirt road, tiptoed across a narrow wooden footbridge, and slogged through more deep sand. Naturally, the final approach to the finish line required a crawl up the sandy face of a bluff. How appropriate.