Monday, January 2, 2012

Las Vegas Half Marathon Dec 2011

Whew! Last race recap from Ghosts of Races Past and then I can finally do current posts like a normal person!

I did the Las Vegas Half Marathon last year and had a great time. This year...not so much.

The Competitor Group held the third annual Rock 'n' Las Vegas Marathon/Half Marathon at night, which in theory, sounds like a great idea. Running the strip in the morning is a little boring, so when it was announced that the race would be run at night in 2011, I was totally stoked!

The race sold out this year with 44,000 competitors. It was incredibly crowded, not enough course support (although, it was obvious that the volunteers tried very hard to keep up with aid station demands).

This race was ridiculously crowded. I'm not sure how to fix the problem - maybe more corrals? - but we were definitely crammed on the course like sardines. It was also quite cold and the resources post race were scarce.

Boy, they look happy!

My biggest gripe? Trying to get through Mandalay Bay, which was the host hotel/casino. It was so packed, that conditions were dangerous. If there had been an emergency, it would have turned ugly quite fast.
To be fair, I doubt the folks at the Competitor Group could have foreseen the mess in Mandalay. Last year's race was well run so my guess is simply the number of competitors. I don't know if I will do this race again next year. I may stick around home and do the Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon. I've heard it's a good race and I won't have to travel!

One major bonus for this race: Getting to finally meet up with a "pen-pal" friend of mine, A. That was really cool. Hopefully, she and I will be able to run another race one of these days.

I didn't take any race pictures this run because I was freezing, but I took a few touristy type pictures.

Driving into a winter storm between Arizona and Nevada.

Actual snow in the desert!!!
I should note that T and I have become obsessed with picture editor apps on our phones. We spent an embarrassing about of time nerding it up with the pictures:

Road trip!
Christmas - Phone App Vegas Style
Nerd Alert!

My niece always send me a good luck picture!

Pre race

Cool medal that...

....glows in the dark!
(Okay, so that is definitely cool)
We also got a sneak preview of the Disney World Relay medal at the expo! (oh, crap, that's next weekend! I better go run somewhere!)

We love our bling...and that is perfect for a relay medal!

Well, that sums up all of my race recaps. My blog is now up to date. I plan on being more interesting in posts to come. Happy New Year!

Started with $2, played for an hour. I'm a WINNER!

Long Beach Half Marathon October 2011

I adore the Disney races, but this year, my favorite race for 2011 was the Long Beach Marathon (well, I only did the half...).

I think Run Disney and The Competitor Group could learn a thing or two from the folks at Run Racing.

First of all, the expo is extremely well organized and all of the volunteers and staff were very nice and helpful. I also really liked all of the Long Beach gear available for purchase. I picked up a really cool visor and a long sleeve tee shirt.

One of the best things about this race is that it's a great choice for serious runners AND people like me that just enjoy the experience.

Um, yeah, this is me...
After the expo, we walked down the street to the The Aquarium of the Pacific. It was a fun, relaxing way to spend the afternoon before the race the next morning. And we got to see Sexy Shrimp! Who knew such a thing even existed!

Sunrise before the start of the race

The course is really scenic. I'm one of those people that has a really hard time running 13.1 miles without some cool scenery (hence why I love Disney races..). I also love that this course changes direction and winds around. I hate running in a straight line for miles, and miles and miles...

Cruise ships

I love this picture! Isn't the scenery great?
Very friendly pirate..Arrr!

More lighthouse

How cool is this?

I always take a picture of mile 10, but I really liked this one.

And here's my usual mile 10 pic..
The finish line area was well organized, too. Everyone got a bag of food and plenty of drinks. Did I mention how much I loved this race? No? Well, I loved this race. Oh, I almost forgot! The race swag was good, too. I got a women's tech shirt, a nice gear bag and a cool medal! All for much cheaper than most of the races I did this year. Thank you, Run Racing! I will be back!