Chris and I took the same flight out of Chicago on Saturday morning and landed in Las Vegas around 8AM local time. We took the shuttle over to the hotel, Treasure Island, and dropped our bags off. We made it our first mission to get caffeine. Chris got a coffee and I got a coke. Our 3rd party member, Vijay, arrived a little over an hour later and off we went to the expo to pick up our race packets. The timing couldn't have been better since the expo had just opened when we got there. There was a long line of people filtering in, but we didn't have our confirmation sheets so we had to fill some out before we could get our packets. By the time we had done this the line was done. We picked up our bibs, shirts, and bags and meandered through the expo. This was the first big one Chris has been to so I wanted him to get the full experience. Afterwards we walked back to the hotel. The walk round trip was about 3 miles.... we would wind up doing a lot of walking the first day and a half even though we never ventured further than 1 hotel over. We tried to keep things easy on the first day so we caught a show next door at the Mirage on Saturday night. We saw the Beatles/Cirque Du Soleil - Love and it was the most amazing show I have seen yet in Vegas.
|Daytime view from our room|
|Night time view from our room|
On race day we had slept in slightly then wandered across the street and got brunch at the Palazzo at Grand Luxe Cafe. I know we have one in Chicago, but I've only been to the one in Vegas. After lunch and a brief tour of the canal shops we went back to the hotel to veg out for an hour before heading down to the race start. Here is one mistake I won't make again - we walked down to the start of the race, which was about 3+ miles away. It took us an hour and 15 minutes to get there with a restroom break on the way. We arrived about 30 minutes before the race began. My legs were already tired before this walk, but this was the nail in the coffin. I already knew this wasn't going to be my best race. I have been trying to recover from IT Band Syndrome/Runner's Knee and had only run 3.5 miles in the 2 weeks before the race. To top things off I had fractured the tip of my left big toe just 3 weeks prior. All things considered I should have just dropped out of the race and no one would of thought any less of me. I couldn't do that though. My goal was to do 13 halfs in 2013 and the 13th might turn out to be the unlucky one.
|No backing out now|
It wasn't until mile 8 that my knee started to hint that there might be trouble, but it wasn't too bad. I made the decision that I wasn't going to stop to walk, I was going to run this thing since I had made it this far. By this point in the race the crowds had also thinned out. There were something around 30K registered half marathon runners, but only 20,566 had finished. I wonder where those 10K people went? Around mile 11 I had seen Vijay on the other side of the street heading north. He was in a much later corral so was only around mile 6. It was also around this time that I got to take my greatest race picture yet. I had not seen the photographer sitting in the road because I was behind 2 girls running abreast who dodged to the right at the last second. It was "Oh $H!T!" and a dodge to the left in order not to trample him, but he was a pro and captured the moment perfectly - as well as a runner behind me who decided to join in on the moment.
|I rocked it|
|Gear Bag and Medal|
|Close Up of Glow in the Dark Medal|
|Totally friends now!|