The Las Vegas Marathon -- Finally Broke Four Hours! | Posted: 2005-12-06 08:57:40 | 6514 hits | View in Hi-Fi Mode

One can only imagine what people thought when 11,000 super fit runners started streaming through Mandalay Bay in the wee hours of the morning, on their way to the 6:00 am Las Vegas Marathon start.

I've been doing a lot of assorted runs lately, trying to figure out what I like. For better or worse, there's nothing quite like the Las Vegas Marathon. They actually shut down the Strip for this event... I guess that's something they never do.

It was cold in the desert before dawn. Really cold -- like around 40 degrees. Packed among all the people at the start, it wasn't so bad, but once we got out on the course, the headwind from the north was biting.

To combat the cold. I ran with a long sleeve shirt and a hat, which didn't come off for a couple of miles. This time out, I tried something new -- I wore my smaller (32 ounce) Camelbak during a race. Since I train with it out on the trails and whatnot, I figured the tradeoff of the extra weight was worth it for the constant hydration. Filling it with Gatorade seems to have worked pretty well, although towards the end, it seemed to be more syrup than fluid.

... Which is ok, of course... since I needed the excuse to stop at the last few water stops and walk a bit.

Something got all messed up with my chip time, so my official results aren't posted yet this morning. Somehow, I managed to avoid triggering one of the sensors at the start. How that could happen is beyond me, but there was a huge crowd. Fireworks. "Highway to the Danger Zone" played on the PA. Some guy was yelling about something from somewhere above the start of the race, but it was dark... so yeah, who knows?

They got all my other split times, so when they post my official time, it just look like I ran a really slow 3k at the begging. Which is fine. My official finish time was 3:58:37.

Running marathons is a wacked out sport. I mean... running 26 miles as fast as you can is just kinda crazy. It remains, as someone pointed out, the only major sport that allows amateurs to compete with the most elite of olympic athletes... even if those guys finish while I'm still on mile 18, a long way from the end.


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