Yesterday was the New Las Vegas Marathon. A group of us flew to Vegas on Saturday afternoon, staying at the sponsor hotel, Mandalay Bay.
There were supposed to be four runners in the group, 2 full and 2 half marathoners. The week before the race, myself and the other half marathoner had decided to drop out due to injury.
We checked into our room and headed off to the Expo. I registered/paid for the race this past August so I figured I'd pick up my race packet and grab a shirt. I was checking out a few of the vendors when one of the marathoners in my group suggested I should buy a pair of shorts and a shirt and run. We talked about it for a while and I decided I'd do a modified run/walk half. I had already paid my entry fee... Luckily, I had worn my running shoes to Vegas.
Sunday morning came early. The race started at 6am, so we were all up at 4:30. After a small breakfast and a ton of stretching, we made our way to the start. With 15,000 runners, the corrals were packed at 5:30. The forecast of early AM rain didn't come true, but the wind did. The temperature was around 45 degrees (F) with a SSE wind of 20 mph. Pretty chilly! The race started right at 6:10 with the half and full marathon sharing the course for the first 10k, along the Strip. My plan was to run 2 miles with one of the marathoners in my group and then walk a mile, run a mile, etc. I wasn't interested in risking injury so I figured I'd walk about half the run. Running down the Strip was great- with no traffic, it was easy to take in all the sights. Before I knew it, we were somehow at mile 6 (I had forgotten to walk) where the course splits. I walked a bit and then continued running. Overall, I walked 3 miles and ran 10 - finishing at 2:20. Not my best race, but considering the fact that I wasn't going to even run, I was pumped.
Overall, here's how I'd rate the run:
Organization -The race was well staffed, but the markers were a train wreck. There was actually a mile marker at Mile 9.5! Additionally,the entertainment along the run was not as billed; very sparse. Grade: D
Course - First 10k was great - water show at the Bellagio, volcanoes exploding etc. 10k to finish was u-g-l-y. Grade: C-
Aid-stations -Aid stations were great. They were numerous with good water and Gatorade.Grade: A
Swag: Short-sleeve cotton t-shirt and a Finishers medal (I'd give the medal an 'A'). Grade: B
The Vegas Race Director sent an email the other day, apologizing for some aspects of the race:
While the response to this year’s New Las Vegas Marathon and Half Marathon has been overwhelmingly positive, we have also heard from a number of participants with concerns about the placement and visibility of mile markers, as well as a shortage of food in the post race food and fluid area. I want you to know that we hear you.
As I noted in my race notes, the mile markers were a mess. I didn't mention that food situation, but it was pretty bad. At the race finish (for the Marathoners no less) the food consisted of: bananas, water and frozen smoothies (the temperature was in the low 40's). In all the half and full marathons I have participated in, I have not seen such a weak spread of food