Simple. Up late, brek in the Grand Lux (sausages, hash browns, eggs) and the Steelers game on TV. That'll work.
2pm, time to head out into the wind except it doesn't look that windy yet from the room. Oh wait, there it is. My weather app (Accuweather hourly) shows a wind warning (40 mph with gusts to 50) and 0% chance of rain through the evening. Z-E-R-O.
|Still on Calgary time|
As we pull up Kid Rock has just started to play, we avoid the huge entry backlog by heading up the outside to the portaloos then entering across from them. After All Summer Long we start walking to the corrals.
|Not sure what I'm looking at exactly...|
Generally corrals have a few odd numbers in them but in this race it's literally all over the map. I am standing next to bibs in the 40's, 30's, 20's and teens. The marathon runners are all in the first 28 with the 5 hour course limit kicking off when the last one starts, but there are about 50 total. Another thing, I'm pretty sure there are way too many people in this corral. Relax.
|What's with those clouds?|
To 10 km 1:09:56
I throw away the foil wrap we have been bundled in as we head to the start, fire jets up from the sign and it's time!
We are running a good pace, I keep to the right to allow the faster people to get by but there is a real mix of running/walking speeds all across the road. High 5 from a pacer yelling Inknburn. Cool. Past the LV sign, more chaos as people stop to take photos, then as we approach Luxor a brutal side wind with bits of grit in it knocks us across the road. I remember this wind from 2012. Wait, why is it looking hazy up ahead? The over-the-road bridges filled with supporters look like a scene from the Walking Dead. Zombies run!
Is that rain? Yep. It drizzles for a bit then it pours on us. Crap, my phone is not in a bag. The combination of cold rain and gusty winds is a real piss off. I wonder seriously about running the Full. Oh look there's Kiss by the Palazzo! I am more focused on the road ahead and keeping on than neon-spotting though I do notice SLS from the 5k yesterday.
I'm not stopping at the water stations, just dodging flying cups in the road. Everything feels very bright and loud. As we come into the wedding chapel/pawn shop area it is really pouring. For some reason my lower back is aching. Painkiller time. I have to stop to stretch it out, I'm hoping it will go numb soon.
To 21.1 km (13.1 miles) 2:36:47
We plug through the area east of Fremont, flashing lights and loudspeakers accompany us, party time. When the enormous fire breathing mantis starts its shenanigans I realize I've had more than enough of all the crazy and look forward to the Full split.
At about 15.7 km (9.7 miles) we make a right turn with the marathon runners. This is good, let's go. The wind seems to be picking up again, we're out of the shelter of buildings a bit. No rain though. I don't mind this part, we have space and are surrounded by people focused on the marathon. And then...
...THE RAVE BARN. Oh my fucking god. When I read about leaving the Half course I saw words like quiet and dark and empty (which apparently are criticisms) so I guess RnR wanted to pep it up a bit. Well they absolutely did. The area is for markets and such so we weave around an open lot with a central building, flashing lights hit me in the eyes on one side and loud-as-a-motherfucker beats hit me from the other side. I listen to techno/rave when I run (90's clubber - rave generation, yep) but holy crap. This is a lot of input.
We leave it behind at 17.8 km and hit an awful headwind. So it's meltdown time. I'm done. I'm freezing, we're turning around and doing the Half. I stop completely. These things get me moving forwards again; I put on gloves, can't see where to turn back, dude passing by yells at me to do the Full, Kev starts dicking in my pack and annoys me to the point it seems easier to run away from him.
Head down, focus on feet, make it to the Half timing mat.
To 32.2 km (20 miles) 3:59:55
I know since I made it past 21.1 I can make it to 30, then 32.2 so I do. The wind has dropped, I'm actually warm now. I like this section of the course very much, there are out and backs on Martin Luther and Carey and we have space to enjoy the run and the runners. In the distance the Stratosphere appears ahead of us. I feel like myself again. We brought flat Coke in a separate bottle which although it leaks all over Kev is a real treat out on the course.
To 42.2 km
Less than 10k left. We count down as we go, we're going to finish the marathon! Uh oh, here's the Rave Barn again. I WAS LISTENING TO CHER and now I can't hear shit. For heavens sakes. Those fucking lights in my eyes.
Excitingly this time we also go through the middle of the barn into a smoke and strobey laser beam filled hell. The course turns onto 4th Street around 38 km (23 miles) and the wind comes right back. In my face. Oh you BITCHWIND. My pace drops like a rock, not that I was all speedy or anything but still. This sucks.
We're back on the Strip. It's a nice kind of madness that meets us; bands, music, people cheering. In the left lane the SAG wagon is moving Halfers up the course, we simply keep moving ahead, although it feels like we're being blown backwards. There's walking. Dammit. I know exactly what I have to do to run a PR, it isn't much. I can't do it.
The finish line is right there, but I can't actually see it until we're much closer. It's a wonderful thing when it appears, all misty and brightly lit and happy. The end is nigh!
Finish time 5:16:32, I missed a PR by 30 seconds. My A goal went tits up fairly early in the race. I finished my 4th marathon in rain and wind and challenging conditions with the Mr (without invoking divorce proceedings). I'm bloody delighted. When can we run another one?
It's absolutely arse freezing, hurrah for space blankies. I am so happy with RnR, we have plenty medals, support, food, water, chocolate milk (yay Tru Moo), photo ops and lovely enthusiastic people giving us Heavy Medals. We are offered beer several times. Bless your hearts for being there for two cold marathoners.
The finish line is right by our hotel but we end up walking to the Bellagio to collect medals then back down (generally inside) to the Palazzo. We're too tired to leave the room again for food. Vegas party fail.
WE RAN THE #STRIPATNIGHT 26.2!
*As a member of Rock n Blog I was given a Tour Pass for 3 2015 races, however all opinions, thoughts and missed PRs are 100% my own.