How Great is our God in Sin City, AKA RNR Vegas 2014

The irony that this was the first song on shuffle of my phone was not lost on me, but more on that in a minute. I’ve been meaning to write this up for ages, but hey at least it’s still 2014….
Memory Lane
We ran this race last year: I did the half marathon, my husband the full. I had my mom, step-father and grandmother come watch and help with our wee one. I had finally gotten to a point where I felt comfortable running 8/8:30 for my 5k, 8:45/50 ish for my 10k but the half marathon distance I struggled, I’d generally lose my gas around mile 11. In retrospect the endurance piece was probably those lyme buggers bringing me down. I had just felt a pre-cold coming on the day of the expo, no surprise but decided to stop by the b12 shot booth and that made me feel amazing! To sum up, I took pics with my running elivis’, ran a 2:18, smiling ear to ear, saw my family near the finish to high five, and then partied until dawn (ok so like 2 BUT late for us). I came away with it just being pure fun. Shiny silly fun. So when my lyme diagnosis came I was bummed that I couldn’t do this again….but then they added a 5k so I signed up, with the insurance of course.
The theme of weekend appeared to be ahh we’re late. In part, I think because of them adding the 5k this year which made it possible for bling junkies to do a race on Saturday and Sunday and get an extra medal. So lines abound for everything. I had just gotten over a cold that turned into a sinus infection and honestly I wasn’t even sure I was participating period. We made it to the expo about 10 minutes after packet pick up was supposed to end, but it was still going. Stopped at the NUUN booth and grabbed some of their usual expo special (2 tubes of NUUN with a water bottle for 20) and hopped back in a taxi line to head to SLS on the other side of the strip for my start. We has just made it there at 6 on the dot. I had take my temp, all the stress of running to make it on time through me into a little flare and I right at 100. Couldn’t get it lower….so I put my sweats on and threw a frown on. My aunt (who was running the 1/2 of the half) and husband (who was running the full) convinced to to at least start.
So I did, at the very back of the pack. With water bottle in hand I joined my fellow runners, said a quick prayer to make it through and to ask if I was making the write descion. The start was under a glowing archway. And we were off. The camaraderie was evident from the word go as people encouraged each other and just had fun, And after we run under the tunnel of lights I turned my music on in one ear and then the Chris Tomlinson song came on: I had made the right choice. I took it slow, ran when I felt able.
The course
It wasn’t entirely a closed course but a portion of the road roped off. I didn’t mind, it was nice getting high fived by people out of the town, or cheered on my folks who had been clearly enjoying all that Vegas had to offer. We passed the Riveria, and Circus Circus and finished at SLS parking lot through an archway of twinkly Christmas lights. For the last .10, I let myself just run, like I used to, freely. There was a concert after but we didn’t stay long, we had dropped off my son with my step dad and ran off and plus it was time to leave. My favorite part of the night was walking on the archway to get the monorail and hundreds of running a ran to the sides that overlooked the road, the last runners were on the course. One lady in a tutu, arms raised in victory and the women in front of her beasting it with a prosthetic leg. You would think it was Tweens cheering for One direction the way people were cheering. That’s it, Lyme disease would not take me from this community.
The next day I was in full on spectator mode. The run/walk had made me feel fantastic and gave me a lot of energy. My stepfather, son and I joined my aunt at her start. Again late so we didn’t have time for the concert. (Macklemore) it wasn’t Snoop like originally planned so I didn’t mind too much. But what I didn’t like was that the moved the stage to right where the runners spilled into the start area last year off of street (across from Mandalay bay-ish area). So we has to walk an extra block or two to get to her start. Very ineffectiant. I literally ran with her to the corrals we pulled over, I grabbed her gear and she just, I mean just made it. We got to see her run by about a mile in. Our plan was to take public transportation to see her finish…but after walking ALLL over the strip we realized it wasn’t feasible without a cab. I guess “old Vegas” just as accessible and we had a two year old in tow so cabs were out. It’s a bummer for those runners because crowd support is great for this weekend and they don’t get their lion’s share. They did however have a shuttle provided for them to get to near the half/full finish so we met our runner there.
After celebrating her success and quickly changing at the hotel. It was unseasonably cold and a bit windy. We headed over to the marathon finish and cheered runners, high fived and waiting for my husband to cross. It was cold…I know I said that but man. Unfortunately he had a slower run than normal so we were Popsicles when he crossed but I’m still proud!
Runner perks This year they gave you little bracelets to wear to access your discounts. We took advantage of the High Roller at the Link. It’s this huge Ferris Wheel you can sightsee the strip about 300 feet or so in the air. They have a bar so you can bring one on your little orb. It was really neat to see the Bellagio fountains going off from the sky. I would highly recommend it.
So over grade A-. There’s room for improvement, especially in organization area. I think when you increase the field of runners things get naturally a skewed. Also move the stage back to where it was… But overall Vegas is just fun. A big playground for adults and that’s the vibe I get from this race weekend. So go and have a blast, maybe even PR while you’re doing it. It’s a nice place to do it.
What I really got here was that I can still run, as long as I take it easy. And I really reap the benefits for at least a week following in energy, muscle ton, a little mental clarity. See you on the road….