A few days have passed since my epic race day in Las Vegas. What a great trip, a great race, and a fantastic way to finish out my 2013 racing year. I’m going to try to capture the memories here, so let’s begin.
I flew to Vegas on November 14th, early in the morning. On about three and a half hours of sleep, I was tired. That morning was incredibly cold for this time of year. It was like 28 degrees, so our plane had to be de-iced prior to leaving. I think because of the delay, and my short layover time in Atlanta, the stress of making my connection kept me from catching a few winks on that flight. With a little luck, we made it just in time to board. Las Vegas bound, tucked into my aisle seat for the four and a half hour flight.
Upon arrival in Las Vegas, the local time was before 10:00am. Adjusting to the time change is always a challenge, especially when in a city that does not live by the clock that I am used to. Off to jump into the rental car, and make our way to the Wynn Hotel and Casino.
The Wynn is a beautiful hotel, and highly rated. I’ve stayed there once before, and chose this hotel as it was one of the race partner hotels, and offered a few extra nice amenities for runners. We got a beautiful, and comfortable room, with an amazing view. Some shots of the view….
After an amazing lunch at the Wynn Buffet, we settled into some gaming. I find Vegas very relaxing. I do not party, or drink, too old for that. So due to the time change, and travel exhaustion, I was ready for bed about 8pm, which was really 11pm on my internal clock. I tried to stay up later, but just couldn’t. Staying up would have helped with adjusting to the time change better, but it just didn’t happen. Woke up at 6am on Thursday, full of vigor, and ready for a day of fun, and of course, the race expo.
The Expo was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, an easy walk from the Wynn. This saved us from having to pay a $10 parking fee. The Expo was huge, as expected. Because we attended on the first day, and early in the day, the crowds were certainly manageable.
The expo had a ton of vendors. It really was fun to get race weekend going. Lots of interesting products, giveaways, etc. I won the Brooks shirt pictured above, and sampled some newer fuel and hydration products, along with just enjoying “runner watching”, as this race had entrants from all 50 States, and 52 countries. Just amazing. A truly international event.
The evening consisted of visits on The Strip to the Cosmopolitan, the Bellagio, among others. One of my favorite things to do in Las Vegas is to catch at least a few fountain shows in front of the Bellagio Hotel.
Race day Sunday has arrived. There is always a challenge to running an evening event. I think it’s even more difficult when you don’t have the comforts of home. When and where to fuel, what to fuel with. I hydrated with water all day, and decided that just a light breakfast would be best. About two hours before the race I fueled up with a banana Power Bar. The Wynn, being one of the host hotels, had a free shuttle to the race start. This was an absolute breeze. It took a little longer than I expected to get to the start, but we made it there about an hour before the start of the race. The staging area was immense, but with over 20,000 people, there were just not enough port-o-potties. Luckily I only had to use the bathroom once and made it through a line in about ten minutes. The pre-race concert featured the band The All American Rejects.
I was in Corral 5, so once it was time to start filing into the corrals, it was a smooth transition out of the holding area and make my way. One last potty break behind a restaurant with about a hundred other runners. Girls and guys alike. Who wants to have to start a marathon needing to use the bathroom? Not me!
In my corral, I loosened up, stretched, and ate a Clif Bar, and took my usual first GU, with 10 minutes to go. I snapped the following photos as the countdown began. Such a huge crowd! Over 30,000 runners registered for all three events. The Full, Half and Half of the Half participants lined up in over 30 corrals. It looked like this.
It was an amazing sight. It would take over a half hour to release all of these corrals onto the course. The National Anthem was sung, while we were photographed, and helicopters hovered overhead. It was go time! About seven minutes after the gun, my corral was at the line and ready to run. Stay tuned for my next post on the race itself. The running of 26.2 miles in one of my favorite places…. Las Vegas.
- Vegas Vacation (plaviska1970.wordpress.com)
- Countdown to Las Vegas (plaviska1970.wordpress.com)
- Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon info and road closures (lasvegasworldnews.com)