I will try to focus this report on my trip and the positive side of the event. There are a lot of negative comments and blogs about this event but it really was wonderful not to kill someone during or after the race...
Oh wait - stay positive Paul, you PR'ed the race so feel good about it. Yes, I took 11 minutes off my Marathon time and I actually feel great about that.
My family and I drove to Las Vegas Thursday night to avoid the weekend traffic on I-15 and we made great time with no hassles. We checked into Circus Circus which at 12am (you wouldn't think there would be a 30-minute wait to check in, but that's Vegas baby - the city doesn't sleep and it wants your money!).
Wake up Friday morning, and now we had to find things to do to waste time and hopefully keep our kids' eyes off all the naughty pictures. Vegas is not for the young - no matter how fun they make Circus Circus, walking around outside is a constant reminder that the Vegas Strip is for adults. I never want to take my kids there again - well until they turn 21 of course. We didn't go to gamble - so we had to find things for all of us to do before the Expo and race.
We had fun finding places to eat in Vegas - The most fun we had was eating at an all Vegan Bakery and Bystro called Pura Vida and meeting the awesome Chef Mayra! The food was amazing, loved the place and enjoyed the all around feel of the place. Chef Mayra was an amazing person to talk to and get to know - she truly is one of the good people in the world. I recommend anyone that wants good food and great atmosphere and all around awesome place you must try PURA VIDA.
We also found a vegan donut shop and I finally got to have a donut after becoming plant-based. Ronalds Doughnuts was amazing - the donuts tasted like any regular donut (which really is saying a lot). It's great to find innovative people who can substitute ingredients for others and make it taste the same or better than the original recipe.
We also walked through the Wynn looking for places to eat - ever since the owner of the Wynn went Vegan, all of the restaurants in the Encore or Wynn have Vegan options or menus. We found a Pizza Place (actual name) inside the Wynn, Rachel and I had an amazing Vegan pizza.
The race! I went out strong got the first half of the race without incident in 1:34 the fastest I've run a Half marathon. After the first 13.1 miles, the marathon course meets back up with the start of the half marathon, and everyone runs the last 13.1 miles together. So then came the strip, with the 40,000 half marathoners trying to occupy what little space a road can provide.
When we marathoners merged with the half it was a cluster-youknowwhat - and it was not fun. There was supposed to be a lane for us but no one paid much attention to the little cones with little signs on them telling you what side you should be on. I found my self yelling MARATHONER COMING THROUGH but it didn't help - I actually had to stop a few times or I would have run over some people walking in the marathon lane. When water stations came up it turned into a game of FROGGER - leaping out of the way of people getting water. It took a toll on me and I eventually settled in and went with the crowds pace. My spirits got down when all of that happened, but I came in to the finish with a PR - even with the crowded streets.
I can't be all that upset or sad about the race... My only complaint was the crowded streets for marathoners. It seems a lot of people had bigger issues with the race than I did - so I came away from it not too upset. Overall I did what I wanted to do - I got my PR and am healthy afterward... You just can't beat that after running 26.2 miles, pushing it hard, and literally pushing your way through other runners.
I won't be doing anymore huge marathons in my future - I found trail running and for the most part will stick to trail running and ultramarathons. I love the atmosphere and the amazing people who run and put on races in the Ultra community. This Vegas Marathon enforced in me why I love the trail running community.
I learned a lot about myself out there in Vegas... and for me that's why running is great for me. I look to grow and learn each and every day - and running is key for me to keep learning and growing. I might not have had the greatest time out in Vegas but we made the most of it. I finished something else in my life I set out to do - and you just can't get mad or sad about accomplishing something.