Carolyn, a Portlander like SBS, completed her fourth marathon of the year. (She also did nine half-marathons.) Here’s how the 26.2 miles went for her.
With 44,000 participants, the Rock ‘N’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon was the largest race I’ve ever raced in, and I was quite nervous going in. I ran the Eugene Marathon in May for time [she ran it in 3:56], but since then my last two marathons have been at a slower-than-normal pace. I knew I wasn’t going to PR in Sin City, so my plan was to run steady, as my Dad had advised me.
Once I made it to my corral, I spotted the 4:10 pacer and jumped in, thinking this was a good spot. But once our wave started, adrenaline got me going, and I was off. I checked my Garmin, and it said 8:55, which seemed like a good pace to me. At about Mile 3, I saw a family holding a sign that read, “Bad Ass Mother Runner!” This made me smile! The first 13 miles were uneventful; I kind of wished I had brought my iPod, as it was very quiet out on the road. I was happy whenever we approached a band, but they were not as plentiful as I had hoped. I had to laugh when we approached an overpass and two ladies next to me said, "Oh no, look at that hill!" At this point, I was definitely feeling strong and hoping I could keep up the pace.
Finally, at Mile 13, we were approaching the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip! The crowds were big, which made me pick up my pace. I was happy to spot a friend from Portland cheering me on. I quickly realized what a traffic jam of bodies the Strip was: It was very hard to maneuver around the half-marathoners. A lot of people were yelling at them to, “get to the right!” This made it difficult to take in the beauty of the bright lights. I was just concentrating on not falling over someone! Around Mile 14, I saw the 4-hour pacer. Who-hoo! Just about then the volcano went off at the Mirage Hotel, which was a sight to see. I spotted couples renewing their vows or getting married at this point, too.
I felt so bad when a lady next to me stumbled and fell across the pavement. Then there were the water stops, another aspect of the race not well thought out: The street setup required the half-marathoners to cross over to the marathoners’ lane. Bad idea: more people-congestion in front of us. There also was not enough people distributing water or cleaning up; the pavement was covered with disposable cups.
As we approached Mile 19 I could feel my steam start to wane. I saw the 4-hour pacer start to charge ahead but I knew I didn’t have it in me to keep up. My goal now: just finish! As I chugged along, I took high fives from people to give me energy. As I passed the Venetian Hotel, I saw the pretty white Christmas tree all aglow, along with Christmas tunes blaring. The Vegas lights and music were a good distraction for the last 10K. Finally, the finish line was in site! At this point, I was feeling pretty queasy. The thought of another energy bite was not a good thing. My time ended up being 4:04:12, and given the challenges of the day, I was happy to take it. Overall, I was happy to experience the bright lights. Thanks, gals!