Before signing up for this race, in March, I was well aware that it had a bit of a sorted past. I figured what the heck I’d give it a try since it was a unique experience. I don’t see me doing this race again, but I’m glad that I gave it a go.
I arrived at the parking lot around 3:30 and made my way over to the UPS bag check area. I thought this meant it was somehow sponsored by UPS, which still might have been the case, but it was also actual UPS trucks. I walked up to the Ho-Joe truck and dropped off a jacket for the walk back to my hotel after the race and the truck drove it down to the finish line for me.
After a few texts back and forth and a finally a phone call I met up with one of my friend Jaime, who was also running the half. We chatted for awhile as we listened to the concert until it was time to start heading to the corrals. The concert ran over about 15 minutes, so around 4:15 we started heading to our corrals, but not before snapping this quick selfie in front of the Sphinx. The corral system was a bit of mess. They had signs up saying which corral was what, but apparently those signs were incorrect so they had people holding smaller signs with the new corral locations. I found corral 23 pretty easily and made sure to stay in the back since I wasn’t sure how my body was going to hold up. The corrals were pretty much on an honor code type of thing and there were people just jumping in wherever they felt like it. It also took a long time to get everyone to the start line. After about a half an hour it was finally my turn to make it to the start line and John Bingham gave us some last minute advise to have fun as we headed out on our 13.1 mile journey through the streets of Las Vegas.
We passed by the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign twice and headed down the strip where the street was lined with spectators. For the first 2.5 miles I was keeping pace with the 2:30 pace group, but lost track of them around mile 3.Sadly a lot of the ambiance was lost on me because I tend to space out when I race. I miss a lot of what goes on around me, as I try not to trip over or run into anyone, but I didn’t miss this . . .
I continued down the strip high fiving anyone with their hand out as I went by. As I got closer to the end of the strip the spectators started thinning out and by the time I saw this sign they were pretty sparse.
Honestly, I was not a fan of any of the “downtown” part of the race. In many places it was really dark and and the roads where in bad shape so we really had to watch our step very closely, which was difficult since it was so dark. I was also disappointed to find that even though I started in the second corral for the half marathon they had ran out of GUs before I got to the 8-ish mile mark where they were giving them out. I always bring my own fuel, just for this reason. Even though I don’t use GUs it annoyed me that they didn’t have enough to give to those who might have been counting on them. This was actually the first race I have ran where they actually ran out of things on the course.
Miles 7-9 were pretty boring and rough on me. My hip was doing surprisingly well, but I was so hungry and my feet hurt really bad since I thought it was a good idea to walk (3 miles) to the expo and back the day before. As I was nearing mile 10 I could see runners in the later corrals still heading toward the downtown area so I was checking the bib numbers trying to figure out if I had missed Jaime, or if I might run into her on the course, and then there she was right in front of the pawn shop so we took another quick selfie out on the course. From here I just trucked along to the finish line doing a combo of jogging, sprinting and walking. Since I had fell back a few corrals during the race it started getting pretty crowded toward the end. This was also because we met back up with the full marathon participants so we each only got one lane of space and at this time there were many more half marathon runners then full.
Soon enough I could see the finish line and I sprinted toward it weaving in and out of the other runners. Finally I finished the race and went on to get all of my goodies. Since I hadn’t fueled properly I started feeling quite nauseous, but after I grabbed my chocolate milk from Team Refuel (sshhhh I grabbed an extra as I walked by) and downed it I started to feel a little better.
I went on to get my bag, which I really needed to hold all of the post race goodies they gave me, which also happened to be in front of the Bellagio so I stayed there for a bit to enjoy my beer, take a post race picture with my medal and watch the water show before heading back to my hotel.