By Kirk Kern
Dr. David Ludlow has always considered sports a competitive endeavor. Growing up, he played all the team sports: football, basketball, baseball. And when he grew a little older, he moved on to team recreation sports such as flag football, adult league softball, rec hoops.
When it became a little harder to get teams together, he moved on to individual endurance sports, including marathons and triathlons. Still, there was the competitive nature of beating your best time.
That competitive nature has earned Ludlow, a Las Vegas urologic surgeon, a qualifying spot in the prestigious Boston Marathon, scheduled for April 16. However, in this case, Ludlow is dropping his competitive spirit, at least for this event.
“The Boston Marathon has been a goal of mine,” said Ludlow, who lives in Summerlin and works for Urology Specialists of Nevada. “But the hard part is just qualifying. My goal in Boston is to just enjoy it. I could care less about my time. I just want to soak up the atmosphere.”
Ludlow, 38, ran two marathons last year, in St. George and Mount Charleston. He earned a qualifying time in both, the first a 3:08 in St. George. But just because a runner meets the qualifying time doesn’t guarantee a place in the field since many runners can meet that mark. So Ludlow ran again at Mount Charleston and shaved about five minutes off his time. That gave him a better shot at getting an invitation to the race.
Ludlow moved to Las Vegas in 2014 and immediately found the area to be conducive to running, especially trail running. He had originally found training and running on surface streets was rough on his legs and caused a number injuries. Moving to the dirt trails in and around Red Rock Canyon was much better on his joints.
“I usually go to the hills just to the west of development in Summerlin,” he said. “My favorite place to run in in the Blue Diamond area. There are miles and miles of different trails. There’s a big trail running community and mountain biking communities. I hear there are also a lot of good areas in Henderson and Boulder City, but I haven’t been out there yet.”
One place he has run, however, is Valley of Fire. He ran a trail marathon there and was the top finisher overall.
Besides hitting the trails and running 7-10 miles on a treadmill twice a week, Ludlow also trains in high intensity interval training sessions at the F45 gym. This training works his core and his back, which translates into endurance running.
“I feel a lot stronger,” he said. That fitness level also no doubt helps when it comes to raising four young daughters.
Besides thriving the the endurance running community in Las Vegas, Ludlow has also developed a speciality in robotic surgery in his professional career. He does laparoscopic surgery for kidney and prostate cancer.
“It’s minimally invasive,” he said. “It’s similar to a video game controller, two joysticks and foot pedals. I move the camera around and switch between different instruments. I don’t even have to scrub in during the actual surgery.”