Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nightmare on the Strip

I know everyone has just been on the edge of their seats waiting to hear how the race went, riiiiiight? Well, it went. That's all we can really say about that. There were some logistical issues that Competitor (people who put on the race) needs to fix. For reals. However, every story should start from the beginning. Flights were ok ....the Single Gal sat next to someone fun and chatted to the whole way.  I forget how long and boring it is heading all the way to the west coast. It was a long day and the Single Gal and I were both pretty tired upon arrival but up and at 'em the next day to the Expo. I felt sure the Expo would be at the convention center at Mandalay......not so much. It was all the way down at the Venetian. So we figured we would take the tram to MGM and from MGM get on the Monorail. Big waste of time and money. The casinos are so big and are designed to keep you in so it's difficult to discern which way you actually need to go. So after much back tracking and bitching from me and the Single Gal we eventually found the damn Expo. There was no signage directing you even once you got into the Venetian.

Yay! We finally have our bibs!

After way too much walking and standing in long check out lines for gear and gels we finally made our way out and waiting for Turtle's Sister and Brother-in-Law who came to run the half. We had a nice lunch where the Single Gal and I broke down to have one glass of wine to take the edge off. The we took a cab back to our hotel which was the best damn decision we made all day (besides the wine of course). The Turtle went to take a nap and we met up with some other friends and ended up sitting in the Sports Book at Mandalay and got educated on placing sports bets. This really thrilled us and we put up some money on a 3 leg parlay bet for some NFL games. Sadly the Patriots busted us early on Sunday by not covering the spread on the damn Colts. But it was fun while it lasted and we wanted something that came with a bigger reward should it have come out like we wanted it to. 

Race Day was long. We walked out to what we thought was the starting area which turned out to be the finish area but had a good idea where everything was. We went back to our rooms for a bit and then went somewhere to eat around 11:45. This was the last meal before the race. Then more waiting.....and waiting. Finally it's time to get ready! 

Notice the Single Gal's short shorts. See, we are all smiles pre-race. I won't bore you with an every mile recap. We started quickly because apparently out of 44K runners only 6K happen to be doing the marathon. Hmmm....we start thinking that is a big difference and that will be a lot of people once they start releasing the 1/2 Marathoners onto the strip an hour and half after we start. I didn't really mind being out in a more industrial/residential area off the strip for the first 13.1. We were just zoned out and trying to keep on pace. There were several hills which we did not account for but we didn't walk at all the first half and finally made it back on the strip. There were many marathoners that complained because they could not get through the crowds of the half to stay on pace and most marathoners didn't have times they expected to get. (Put us on that list too.) We are doing okay at this point. We are hurting a lot earlier than expected which is weird. We walk a little and start running again and The Single Gal and I separate around 16.5. I'm not feeling well and we are both not taking any more gels as the smell of the sewers and the food establishments are making us nauseous. The Single Gal catches back up with me and we end up walk/running the last 8 miles with a finish time of 5:09. 

I think the temperature drop is what got me. I was very warm when we started on the strip only to become very cold from the weather getting colder and due to walking and my core temperature dropping. I could not get warm. My muscles and both knees were hurting. I wanted to stop. If I could have actually found anyone taking runners back I would have pulled off. It was that miserable. The strip lights were not doing anything for me but giving me a headache. The Single Gal got me through. 

We finally make it back to shower and then go get something to eat. Apparently being Sunday night all  of the food establishments closed early. The ones that were still open had long lines (as in over an hour) and were running out of food. Turtle finally rounded us up some Chinese at 12:30 am. 

I know this was long so thanks for reading if you did. We are taking away positives from this and we know we trained for better times we just picked a bad race to run. So our review is not to do this race EVER. They want to make it 60K next year. I sure hope they resolve some things before that. It just wasn't worth the expense for me. High race fees, long travel distance, etc all to run a bad race. This is a large charity event (which is great) but I had no idea how many of the half marathoners would literally be walking the entire race. 

No comments:

Post a Comment