Thursday, November 21, 2013

Vegas Half Marathon

Sunday I finished my 10th race in 10 states when I ran the Vegas Rock n'Roll Half Marathon. I am officially 1/5 of the way to my overall goal! I've realized every race I've done its been with at least one friend, I feel so blessed I can share the experience with people! It was Elyce's first half marathon, so it was a double bonus to be able to encourage a new runner to the sport! She said beforehand she was either going to never want to run again, or get hooked. She text me on Monday saying she was looking at marathon training programs, so she's officially hooked!

It was my first time in Vegas, so Saturday we did a little touring around the Strip. What an unique and amazing city. So many different things to see and do! It feels like you're touring around the world in just a little four block radius. We made friends with an Italian man on the shuttle from the airport, his name is Roberto and he's from "Roma". So fun to meet an international runner and learn of his running travels. He actually ran in the Chicago Marathon in 2012 as well! I love small worlds like that, it makes the running community feel like family.

The race started at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, so Elyce and I got on the shuttle from The Mirage to the start line. The starting area was really secure, they were checking to make sure everyone had a bib going in, and were checking all bags. It was a hassle, but a welcomed one. I'd rather be secure than annoyed about the 'wait'. It was still well before the start time anyway. We wandered through the runners area, saw lots of "Elvi" around...oh Vegas.
Elyce and I at the start of the race! We finally get to our starting corral, #23 and stretch out and wait, making friends with other runners around us. Since it's Vegas, they were conducing some weddings at the start of the race! There was also a Rock n'Roll in San Antonio that morning, and a collection of people had ran that race, hopped on a plane, and came up to run the Vegas race! Talk about hardcore, there is no way I am in enough shape to do that!

The race finally started, and as a corral we moved along toward the start line. In the corral in front of us there was a lady with a push stroller. Now, push strollers are not allowed in Rock n'Roll races. This is for safety and such. The lady was gripping about the volunteers moving 'too fast' with the rope holding our corral, so some people started mentioning about the stroller rule. She finally moved over to the other side of the corral where it was more open, then turned around and flipped everyone off. Very classy.

Overall the race was good, it was so amazing to run through the Strip at night! With the lights, and all the fan support along the side, it was so much fun! Irvin was at about mile 6, and got a sweet picture as we were running toward him!
I ran up and gave him a kiss as we went by. I was so happy he came out to support us in our race, what an amazing man he is!

The only grips I have about the race is there were not many volunteers to hand out liquid, I'm not sure if its because it's a night race on a Sunday evening, or Vegas in general, but I was definitely appreciative of the volunteers that did make it out. There wasn't any Gatorade until about 6 miles in, which was a little rough. The other thing was after we turned off the Strip to head into some neighborhoods before we hit Old Vegas, it was very dark, only one light, and there was no support or security in a sketchy area. Thank goodness we were in a pack.

Elyce and I ended up running the entire race, and came in at 2:21, almost a PR for me! Which afterward when I realized if I had ran 10 seconds faster per mile I could have hit that, but considering the most I had ran since July was 4.5 miles, I was pretty impressed. Thank goodness for Elyce! As we finished, the volcano at The Mirage went off, what a sweet way to come into the finish line! I had a blast with the race, and it was a good way to end my running year!

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