Sorry it has taken so long to post - I came home in the midst of finals and brought along a nasty head-cold to boot. Anyway, I sent some pics along the way in Las Vegas, but here is my recap.
I woke up at 4 am for a 6:07 race start. We started off to a cool morning dressed in pants, long sleeves, and gloves. Everyone was excited for the race, but the energy was completely different than it was in Chicago (marathon attempt #1).
We started off to fireworks ... which already finished by the time we crossed the start line. Although the field was much smaller than Chicago, it still took us almost 15 minutes to cross the start. There were a total of 4289 Marathon finishers, and 8166 1/2 Marathon finishers - but all started at the same time and location.
Shortly into it our group separated - Cara and Kevin were in one direction and Bradley, Beca and I were in another. We didnt see Kevin again until mile 22 or so ... and we didnt see Cara until the finish :) Jeff was all over the course in his rental car, and took tons of pics, so I can show you some pics of Cara & Kevin ... but I personally never saw them! Here I am, along with Bradley and Beca, about 2.5 miles into the race.
We saw the Blue Man Group at mile 3 or so.
At mile 5 it had been a while since we saw a bathroom, and we all had to go. So we got in line at a single portapotty and waited for 15 minutes! Most of our miles averaged about 11:30 paces...but mile 5 clocked out at 26.34 :)
We saw Jeff again at mile 9. This is where the course got pretty boring. The first 9 miles were all on the strip, the rest of them were through the streets of Las Vegas. Here is a picture of Bradley, Beca and I and the back of our shirts.
The shirts were awersome! There werent a lot of spectators (or even a lot of runners) but we got comments left and right on our shirts. We were amazed at how many of the runners were actually from Chicago, or had actually done (attempted!) the Chicago Marathon this year. It created a sense of kinship between us and many of the runners, stimulated conversations and helped us meet a lot of people!
The next time we saw Jeff was about mile 13? It was hard to tell because the view was very similar from mile 9 on. All of the view pretty much looked like my post on the way to mile 10. By the next time we saw Jeff, Beca had drifted behind and Bradley and I were on our own. Jeff snapped some shots of Kevin and Cara as they passed by...
And also got a pic of Bradley and I on the approach...
Here we see Cara ... and then Kevin ... and then Beca at Mile 16.
And Bradley and I chugging along at Mile 19. This pic gives you a chance to see the mile markers. The LVMarathon people sent out all this info about the "innovative mile markers". We werent that impressed - and actually often found them quite hard to read! At this point it was about 50 degrees ... but sunny. The weather could not have been more ideal.
The last time I saw Jeff before the finish was at Mile 22...where he got a picture of Kevin and a few shots of Bradley & I. They were supposed to have Emerald Nuts - but they ran out! Luckily (thanks to the genius of Beca) Jeff had peanut-butter filled pretzels waiting for us. We were definitely a bit tired at this point and those pretzels were perfect!
And then here we are just about to FINISH!
And here are all of your official Marathon Finishers :)
In order: Kevin, Me, Bradley, Cara & Beca!
LAS VEGAS MARATHON RECAP
Overall it was a great experience - totally unlike Chicago. The runners in Las Vegas were more laid back, the event was well prepared, and we didnt feel the same level of intensity. Some of this I believe is due to our first experience ... making the emotional level of this one a bit duller. Each of us completed the race, but unfortunately one of the "Vegas Crew" never got out of Chicago due to weather. Its not a mission accomplished until each one of us is satisfied - and the Vegas Crew sticks together. When Patti decides what her next step is, she has the whole team behind her :)