Sunday, December 15, 2019

2019 Laughlin Half Marathon Race Recap - Laughlin, NV

Official Time: 2:01:40
Placement: 8th out of 19 in the 50-54, 73 out of 161 male, 103rd overall
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Low 50's, sunny.
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: First Year for me

Mile TimeComments
18:50A few laps around the high school. Felt sluggish
39:51Long stretch of uphill
58:27Finally some down hill. Heading into town
68:25More fast miles
810:17Suddenly have to switch gears to uphill running
99:21Heading into Arizona
1210:17A bit of a climb here. Pretty gassed
139:32Giving whatever I had left for the final mile
Total Miles: 13:11 - 2:01:39


As part of my 50th birthday celebration, I opted to go on a bit of a road trip: to Laughlin Nevada.  Laughlin is a small gambling town at the bottom part of the state, where California and Arizona meet.  You can literally cross a river and be in Arizona and with another short drive be in California.

I've been to Laughlin before on another road trip and I was pretty excited to come visit again.  I didn't really have a chance to enjoy it last time on account I was in the throes of bronchitis.  This time, I had a smidge of a cold / bronchitis, but I was able to enjoy myself much more -- plus I was doing a race!

Laughlin is about a 7.5 hour drive from Salt Lake, so I took Friday off and headed out as soon as traffic thinned.  I had to be there for packet pickup, so I left with plenty of time.  I managed to swing by Mesquite, NV and get in a quick lunch.  It was nice to be able to split the trip up a bit.  The weather was absolutely pleasant down there.  I had come from the low 30's to the low 60's and I managed to switch into shorts before lunch.

Packet pickup was at the Tropicana in Laughlin.  I had checked into my hotel since I had gotten there early and made the roughly 1 mile walk to the hotel.  It was a pleasant walk and I showed up soon after the area opened.  Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea.  I expecting an hour wait to get my bib and race supplies, but the line moved exceedingly fast.  I was in and out in about 20 - 30 minutes, which is acceptable.

The Race

I didn't sleep particularly great the night before the race -- as usual.  I was over stimulated, yet tired, from my drive, and I was in a strange bed.  I didn't have much pre-race anxiety.  I knew I could cover the distance and I knew where and when I needed to be but I slept fitfully, but slightly better than normal.

I was up at 5 AM and prepared myself for the race.  I made the 1 mile drive to the race start.  I was going to attempt to park in the Tropicana, where the race was held, but they had already blocked most of it off.  I found the best parking situation was at the Colorado Belle.  All I had to do was cross the street and it was easy in and out (highly recommended for anyone reading this).  I had to fumble around to find the bus's location.

The nice thing about having the bus stop at the casino was that the bathrooms were within immediate access inside the casino.  I quickly made a pit stop before jumping on a very nice coach bus.

The drive to the race start was about 15 minutes.  I wasn't pleased to be surrounded by the smell of Ben Gay that another runner had applied (it makes me nauseous) but the drive was quick and easy.

We were dropped off at the Laughlin High School.  They were kind enough to open the gym so we had flush toilets and a place to stay warm for the roughly 45 minutes wait before the race.  The time went by quickly.

We were all assembled in the school's parking lot just shy of 7 AM and after some brief announcements and the Star Spangled banner, we were off and running.

The first 3 miles of the race aren't that great.  It was a lap around the school's parking lot, then we hopped on the school's track for a quick 400 meters around the oval:

There were some beautiful views of Laughlin in the distance.  It looked so far away but in reality it was probably about 5 miles.

After doing our loop we worked our way to the service drive.  It is a long, slow uphill run in the high desert.  It was super pretty if you enjoy such things and I loved the smell of cresote that came off the desert plants.

I knew the first couple of miles were uphill and I just focused on getting through those miles.  Despite having a cold, I was feeling pretty good.  I wasn't too worried to see a few 9 minute miles pop up.  The first 6 I was going to run pretty conservatively.

Finally, we reached Highway 163, which is the main highway from the north to come into town.  Laid before me was a glorious downhill.  I immediately picked up the pace as I let gravity pull me forward.  I could see in the distance, Davis Dam, the race's signature view.

My pace immediately dropped from 9:30's to 8:15's.  I felt like I was going pretty hard though and I tried to make up some time.  The weather was absolutely ideal and I was loving the high desert scenery.

You can see Davis Dam in the distance
This was my favorite section of the course and as we descended into the Davis Dam Park's area, I knew I was in for a visual treat.  I hadn't explored the area so it was all new territory for me.

Arial view of the service road
After reaching the bottom of the service road we had to run a solid mile uphill.  After the quad pounding my legs had just taken, my pace came to a crawl.  While the hill was intense, it w was fairly short lived but I definitely paid a price.

View of the road going up.

Upon reaching the top of this mean old hill, we headed west and then crossed the Davis Dam walkway.  To our right was a beautiful view of Laughlin and to the left, Lake Mojave, a man made lake that was a result of building the dam.  At least it was flat but my legs were starting to feel the strain of the race.

This was another enjoyable stretch and I caught a bit of a second wind as I crossed into Arizona -- but it was short lived, as we had another mini hill to summit:

Again this one was just long enough to have me cursing under my breath but short enough that it didn't totally derail my race.  It was a relief to see the turn around as I knew all the up hills would now be in my favor.  My turnover immediately increased as well as my motivation.

I had seen some of the runners that were behind me (due to the out-and-back nature of the course) and I knew my positioning wasn't all that bad.  While I knew I was out of contention for an age group award, I was hoping for a sub 2 hour finish.  Even though it was a hilly course, the elevation was under 900 feet.

Finally I was in the home stretch and I did a crazy loop around the park and got to see the base of the dam.  It was a nice park, about half a mile total, but there were plenty of turns as we circled the park and made our exit to the bike trail.

The bike trail was about 2.5 miles long and hugged the Colorado River.  There were a handful of other non-runners on the trail who were cheering us on.  But this too was flat.

Arial view of the bike trail.

I knew I was getting close to downtown Laughlin, where the finish line was.  I kept looking at my Garmin praying that the miles would go faster. My legs were pretty much spent at this point.

Finally we reached the edge of town and we ascended a small hill and crossed over the bridge that lead over the freeway.  I could smell the finish line, even though I still had a solid mile to go.

So far, where to run on the course was clearly marked, but coming into town there was one spot that wasn't clear and I would've wound up in the same spot, regardless of which turn I took.  Fortunately, I took the correct one -- despite not having many runners to tail off of.

Finally, I hit the Laughlin streets.  They had blocked off an entire two lanes of traffic.  Traffic isn't that bad in Laughlin and in the wee hours of Saturday morning, there weren't many cars on the road -- other than probably other runners' cars.

It was a treat though to run down the Laughlin strip, surrounded by casinos to my left and right.  It wasn't as glamorous as say Las Vegas, but definitely a unique experience.

I crossed the finish line in just over 2 hours, acceptable given the course and the fact that I had been fighting a sinus infection / cold for most of the week.


I had had high hopes that I would've crushed this course and gone 1:55.  But given I was a little sick and it was a hilly course, my time wasn't completely unexpected.

The course measured 13.11 and is a certified course.

Post race refreshments included water and chocolate milk.  There were some bananas as well and beer (I handed my coupon to someone else).  I wound up sitting on a wall for about 10 minutes collecting myself.  I had carried my own hydration and had gone through about half of it.  The aid stations were well manned and at appropriate intervals (about every 2 miles).  So I was in better shape than in some of my previous halves.

I really liked this race -- a lot.  The course was stunning and new to me, and it was a treat to run in two states.  While I've done some racing / running in Arizona, it was kind of unique to cross a state line and a different time zone (even if it was just a half mile).

There were plenty of good views and the organization was great from start to finish.

I liked the medal. It was heavy duty and nicely designed.  The logo on the front of the t-shirt was really cool and one that clearly advertised that I had run a half marathon.

I paid about $85 for the race at the Las Vegas Marathon expo.  Definitely on the pricey side for a half marathon, but given that I signed up about 2 weeks before the race it was about what I expected to pay. I did save some money by signing up at the expo. That being said, I did have the unique experience of running on the Laughlin Strip and finishing in front of a cheering crowd.  I felt I got a great experience

I am definitely penciling this one to do again next year.  Will have to see what the budget is like and my energy level after a full season of racing, but I had a great time in Laughlin all weekend long and this race was the icing on the cake.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Racing Schedule / Running Update - Fall / Winter 2019

Total Miles: 1586.75

Racing Update:

I haven't checked in a while, but figured I'd check in.  Mostly this is to update my status as far as what races I am planning on doing.  I took advantage of a bunch of Thanksgiving Day sales and signed up with a bunch of them.

The problem is that most of the races I signed up for, I have done before.  But some definitely made it on the list that I was introduced to last year and had such a good time that I felt obligated to give them another go.

Also, as I write this, I am pretty sure I am done as far as races go for 2019.  Overall it wasn't too bad of a year, but this year also marked the most races I had to bail on -- due to weather, sickness or injury.  I probably lost out on half a dozen races this year.

Sunflowers on the Jordan River Trail in the Fall

Training Update:

As the weather gets colder and sometimes the ground conditions get tougher, I've had to dial back my mileage.  Also being that this is the second year in which I haven't done a marathon, there really hasn't been any major need to put in runs longer than 10 - 13 miles.  I am keeping myself reasonably fit for a half marathon at any given point.

My head wants to do another marathon, but my body has other ideas.  And this year I've found it more challenging to get halves done.  So the message is fairly clear to me:  something is going to need to change in order for me run another 26.2 miles.  And it may be that I am just done as well.  We all reach that point and mine may have come sooner than I would've liked to have had.

Also my mileage has been dialed back for the past few weeks (averaging about 30 - 38 per week) on account I had a long lasting cold.  It wouldn't quit and luckily it wrapped itself up just before the Laughlin Half Marathon.  It did cost me my annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot as well.

Celebrating my 50th

Turned 50

In November I finally entered a new age group -- the 50+ category.  I remember turning 40 -- some 10 years ago -- and it didn't phase me.  This one -- it hit me.  

For those younger than me, your experience may be different, but I am definitely slower, I gain weight more easily, and even ordinary training runs take a lot more out of me.  It probably explains my reluctance to do a marathon (as well as my confidence).

When I was 40, I could belt out a race day half marathon  and the next day mail in another 13 miles at marathon pace.  Now, I am hurting pretty good after a half.  I can still shuffle out a few miles the day after a half, but I am definitely feeling it.

All in all though, I feel pretty good.  I have no major issues (other than my eye sight seems to be going -- damn phones) and when I have gone to the doctors, my heart rate has been good.  My weight seems to be in check compared to the average population and I can still run a lot of miles.  So my dietary choices as well are paying dividends.

I hope to be running at 60 but I am noticing every year it gets a little tougher and I have to swallow a bit more of my pride because I am so much slower.

Aging effects people in different ways.  I thought I would've been immune to most of it, but clearly I am not.

Upcoming Races

01/01: 2020 Commitment Day 5K - South Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
01/19: 2020 Phoenix Rock n Roll Half Marathon - Phoenix, AZ(Confirmed)
02/08: 2020 Sweethearts 5K - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
02/15: 2020 Sun Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
03/07: 2020 March Madness Race 10K - West Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
03/14: 2020 St Patrick's Day Half Marathon / 6 Tunnels Half Marathon- Boulder City, NV (Confirmed)
03/28: 2020 Riverton Half Marathon - Riverton, UT (Maybe)
04/04: 2020 Havasu Half Marathon - Havasu, AZ (Confirmed)
04/11: 2020 Eggs Legs Race 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
04/18: 2020 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
04/25: 2020 Summerlin Half Marathon - Summerlin, NV (Maybe)
05/02: 2020 May the Fourth Race - Farmington, UT (Maybe)
05/03: 2020 Reno Half Marathon - Reno, NV (Maybe)
05/16: 2020 Ogden Half Marathon - Ogden, UT (Confirmed)
07/24: 2020 Alien Midnight 10K - Farmington, UT (Confirmed)
08/15: 2020 PC2PG Race 10K - Lindon, UT (Confirmed)
09/26: 2020 Witch Run 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
10/10: 2020 Antelope Island Race - Syracuse, UT (Maybe)
11/07: 2020 Snow Canyon Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
11/15: 2020 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)

Saturday, November 23, 2019

2019 West Jordan City's The Great Gobbler 5K Race Recap - West Jordan UT

Official Time: 25:05
Placement: 3rd in age group (40-49)
Results: Soon
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: mid 30's, no wind
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: First Year

Mile TimeComments
17:49Faster than expected start, but felt like I was paying for it.
28:17Exactly what I expected to run on the second mile.
38:35Hurting bad here.  Working off of another runner
3.060:22Push it hard to the finish
Total Miles: 3.06 - 25:05


It's been a long time since I've gotten a great deal on a race.  And I've been at it for a long time.  But I was looking for a race to do this weekend and was asking around.  A friend of mine sent me a link to a $10 race!!! With races costing upwards of $25 - $30, I began to wonder if this was too good to be true.

Or worse, a poorly run race with little to no support.  

Either way, I was looking for a race and this was pretty much the only gig in town.  Plus, it was less than 4 miles away from home.

The Race

The race started at 9 AM and I rolling in just after 8.  I was expecting a fiasco grabbing my bib, but again, easy peasy and well run.  

To top things off the race was headquartered at the Gene Fullmer Recreation Center, so we had some place warm to hang out before the race -- as well as clean bathrooms.

It was a nice recreation center, with a pool, weight room, etc.  Certainly one I'd consider joining.

Around 8:30 I did my warm-up and tried to figure out the course.  I had studied the course the day before and was a little worried on account that it had a TON of turns.  Would a $10 5K send me wandering the streets of West Jordan?  I would hope not.

I discovered that the course, to some extent, was similar to the West Jordan Green Eggs and Ham 5K I ran last summer.  I actually kind of knew the course!  

The race started around 9 AM -- again, unexpected.  These cheaper 5Ks, can sort of drift later and we were off.

I had warmed up but getting that first mile in felt like I was revving up a cold engine.  It has been a while since I had pushed the pace and I was really hurting.

The first mile took us into the West Jordan park and I was immediately reminded of memories of having done the Green Eggs race last summer.  I knew exactly where I was going -- and I wasn't in the lead, so I just followed the lead group.

I am happy to report I didn't get detoured or lost at all.  The had a police motorcycle leading the way and volunteers were at appropriate junctions.

That first mile seemed to take forever and I was sort of stunned to see a 7:45 roll up on my Garmin.  Not too bad.  Could I push it for the second mile?

When I normally run a 7:45, my next mile is almost always 8:10 - 8:20.  Again, I wasn't surprised to see a 8:17 flash on my Garmin upon crossing mile 2.

The course's miles weren't marked in any way and part of me wondered if the course would wind up short or long.  We had pretty much finished with the park at that point and were soon on a quiet service road of some sort behind the recreation center.  There was no one behind me and one lone runner in front of me.

My goal was to keep up with him, as he appeared to maybe be in my age group.

I steadfastly dogged him as we ran in stride.  I'd make some ground on him and he'd sniff me out and push on his accelerator and I'd dial it back.  He did appear to be in my age group and with 10 year age increments for awards, I wanted to stay close.

We eventually turned a corner and were on a rough gravely road.  Footing wasn't bad by any means but I wasn't getting any pounce.  I was anywhere from 5 to 10 yards behind my target.  I could tell both of us were hurting.

I checked my Garmin and while I could see the recreation center, I sort of sensed that the course might be long.  It just seemed we were so far away with less than a third of a mile to go.

Finally we exited the dirt road and jumped onto the unforgiving concrete.  Every time I gained ground, he met my advance and pushed it forward.  Looks like it was gonna be a sprint.

We finally turned the final corner and had less than 50 yards to go to the finish line.  Here was my chance and I broke into a sprint.  This guy clearly had another gear and despite my frantic efforts I couldn't catch him.  There was a chance I might've but I just didn't have the guts to go crashing through the finish line.


They haven't posted the results as of yet, but I figure I was 2 - 3 seconds behind the other runner.  And you know what?  He was in my age group.  I was 3rd -- he 2nd.  The race wasn't chip timed so hard to tell exactly how much apart we were either.

I walked off the efforts of the run and socialized a bit, taking a sip of water I had brought.  They had bananas, bagels, and water to drink.  Pretty standard fare for a low budget 5K.

Awards were done promptly as well.  The race directors really had their stuff together on this one -- from start to finish.

I was super happy to win 3rd in my age group and nab a medal as well as some pasta and sauce.  They had a lot of prizes to pick from, all under $5 or so.

Performance-wise, I did okay.  25:ish has roughly been my times for a 5K of a late, so again, just average.  I did talk to some people who's Garmin's measured the race at 3.11.  So I suspect it was a legit 5K.  

I did enjoy myself.  I was surprised from start to finish with everything.  For $10, got a timed 5K race (with police escort), an age group award and prize, a swag bag and a cool t-shirt (albeit it is cotton). I'd definitely do this race again next year.

Friday, November 22, 2019

2019 Las Vegas Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon Race Recap - Las Vegas, NV

Official Time: 2:04:51
Placement: 2708 out of 19,931 | 262 out of 1328 men (45-49), 1866 out of 8350 men
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Mid 70's at the start. Mid 60's at finish
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2018] [2017] [2016] [2015] [2014] [2013] [2012] [2011] [2010] [2009]

Mile TimeComments
19:12Bunched in at the start but off to an okay start
49:17Back to the crowds here so got some energy

Garmin lost track of satellite here. Splits are way off
Total Miles: 13.?? 2:04:51


Well, I admit, I am a bit of a streaker.  At the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Half Marathon that is.  I started doing this race back in 2009.  It was my first true 26.2 marathon and at the time I was in love with visiting Las Vegas and running.  I love following Nevada news and such, so it just seemed natural that I would want to run this one.

A lot has changed since 2009.  The first edition was a morning race in December.  After 2011 it became a night race held in mid-November.  And it hasn't let up.  It starts at 4:30 in the afternoon -- just as the sun sets.  The race also shuts down the infamous Las Vegas Blvd. so you get to run along wide street under the neon lit casino signs.  The race isn't cheap but the adventure and thrills of running in Las Vegas is a treat.

The race has changed its course from time to time, but largely it has been the same: start at the south end of the strip, run to the airport, turn around and run until you get to downtown Fremont Street.  If you are doing the full you go out into the boonies of North Las Vegas. Then you work your way back and finish in front of the rumbling Mirage volcano.

At this point, it is hard for me to say no to this race.  I am on a getting-shorter-every-year list of "legacy" runners.  And I am happy to report my name is still on the list.  And I'll try to keep going as long as I am able to do justice to the race.  It's kind of cool seeing my name on the list, even though it just means I am super consistent, not fast.

We left Salt Lake City early Saturday morning and made it to Mesquite, NV for a late breakfast.  It is the cheapest place for food -- 2 breakfasts is under $10.  I shied away from gambling before making the final 75 minute push to the Las Vegas Convention Center.  

As usual, the event boasts a large Expo.  It was filled with a ton of merchandise, swag and product samples.  I didn't see anything I had to have so it was a pretty quick experience, other than signing up for the Laughlin Nevada Half Marathon (Dec 6th).  That saved me $15, so well worth the boost visit.

Either way, it was about a 15 - 20 minute before I got back in my car and made the final drive to The Park Hotel (formerly known as the Monte Carlo) for the night.

The Race

With a race start at 4:30 in the afternoon, doing the Las Vegas Marathon takes a bit of planning.  Yeah, I could sleep in but making sure one stays off of their feet, dials in their food intake and stay hydrated.

I had breakfast fairly late, enjoying a stack of pancakes, coffee and an egg.  I followed that with some Wheaties in the afternoon and some Chips 'A Hoy cookies.  Yeah the cookies don't sound right, but they are bland, and a solid starch.  They usually work for me as a snack before races: easy to digest and filling.

I made my way from the hotel to the Start Village just shy of 3:00 PM.  Believe it or not, it was a solid walk -- at least a mile.  I wound up taking the tram from the Monte Carlo to the Bellagio, exited the Bellagio, took a pedestrian walkway across the strip and then followed the helpful volunteers to the rear end of Planet Hollywood.

I wound up killing about 40 minutes there before they queued us up into the first loading area.  Another 15 minutes we paraded out to the front of the strip (yet another mile walk) before we clustered into the starting corrals.  I was supposed to be in corral 8 and that's pretty much where I found myself.  Clearly some folks didn't get the message and clearly there were people of varying running abilities in the lead corral.

In year's past it took a LONG time from the start of the race until I could start running.  Usually in the neighborhood of 45 minutes.  This time, I was seated on the pavement for about 20 minutes or so before they started the race.  Within 5 - 10 minutes I was on my way under the setting Las Vegas sun.

I want to first say that it was warm.  I had broken a pretty good sweat just walking to and from the starting village. And I wasn't carrying any hydration.  I probably should've carried a bottle of water, but I didn't think I'd need it to be honest.  But by the first mile I was sweating and I was considering throwing away my trusty running cap (it's beaten to crap at this point).

There were aid stations at about every 1.5 miles.  I must say, the race organizers are no slouches when it comes to hydration stations.  Usually at the start of the race I have problems taking in fluids.  I usually take a tiny sip, and swish the rest.  I drank a little more, but I figured this heat wasn't anything to be too concerned about.

My first three miles I went out quite a bit slower than usual.  I wasn't feeling spot on and again, I was sweating pretty good.  The last 2 halves I had gone out at 8:45's.  This time, I was seeing 9's and 9:30's pop up.  The first miles are usually very crowded so it is hard to get into a good pace so I told myself I'd pick it up if I felt good at the half way point.

By mile 4 I had returned back to the starting line and my legs and breathing were fine but for some reason I just felt a little off.  Nerves perhaps?  All the memories of the bad races I've had here?  My epic marathon melt down from 2017?  Maybe all of the above.

I hit all the water stations and found myself looking forward to the next one.  By the middle of the race I was grabbing 2 cups of water.  I just felt really thirsty.

My Garmin at this point had lost track of my mileage.  I had heard a lot of people had their Garmin's fall off a clip at this point.  It was still semi accurate and my pace quickened here.  Not a lot, and I have no way to prove it, but at this point I felt that I had coasted long enough.  My legs and breathing still felt good.

This year's course seemed to have a LOT more Las Vegas Blvd on it then previous years and we only did a very tiny detour just east of Fremont Street.  It was at this point, though, with about 4 miles to go that I suddenly started to feel tired.

I am not sure what happened.  But I was suddenly really thirsty and I was running ragged.  More people were passing me, which is always disheartening.  I definitely wasn't walking and my Garmin was beeping every 3 or 4 minutes telling me I was running a mile in that time.  It was clearly confused.  I knew I was in the upper 9's as far as pace.  I nibbled on a Gu in hopes that it would give me some energy.

I finally reached Circus Circus and I knew that was the home stretch.  Just about a mile and a half to go.  But my running muscles were just off.  No turnover, I felt sick, I had gas, and simply put: I felt like crap.  I knew I was running in the 10 minute per mile pace and as people cruised towards the finish line, all I could do was trudge forward.

With about half a mile to go, I spotted the flames shooting from the Mirage's volcano as well as that of the finish line.  It couldn't come fast enough.

Purely for egotistical purposes, I pushed it the final quarter mile.  I was asking myself why.  My time was clearly not a PR and I certainly wasn't going to make my 2 hour time that I like to consider for a decent half marathon, but I did anyways.  I sort of ran out of gas about a 100 yards from the finish line, but I managed to make it look like I was finishing strong as I shuffled underneath the finish line banner.


Once I finished I walked off the wooziness of the run.  I circled around the immediate finish line wondering if I was gonna get sick.  I usually get this way after a run and pushing it the final quarter mile didn't help.

I leaned up against one of the barricades hoping I wouldn't throw up.  Once the waves of nausea passed I started to walk up the way a bit and felt another wave of nausea hit me.  I approached the medics and just hung out near them, in case things got bad.

I was dying for water and I also had to go to the bathroom:  bad.  Like emergency bad.

The medics didn't have any water and one reluctantly got one for me.  They also weren't on board with me using their bathroom, insisting that one was up about 50 yards from where I was.

After a solid 5 minutes -- and with the medics getting very concerned for me -- I got up and walked and got my medal.  Also another volunteer was handing out cold water.  I grabbed that along with the 90% empty one I had snagged from the medic.

Where were the bathrooms?

I looked high and lo, no bathrooms.

I kept going down the finisher's area, which is a solid HALF MILE.  No bathrooms.  I grabbed a endurance Gatorade from another volunteer and opened that and started to drink that.  I totally skipped the chocolate milk, bananas and chips.  Where the hell were the bathrooms?

I was already about 60% out of the corrals and I spotted a few porta potties.  However, they were behind the volunteer section.  I pleaded with the volunteer stationed there -- please can I use your bathroom.  It's an emergency.  I was seriously inches away from voiding in my pants.

"No sir,", she replied, "but there are some just up the way".

Long story short there were NO BATHROOMS IN THE FINISHER'S CHUTE.

I finally realized that I had three choices:

  1. Find someplace to hide in the middle of LV Blvd and go (that wasn't going to happen)
  2. Void in my pants (not if I could help it)
  3. Or get out of the chutes ASAP and make it into a casino and go.
I wound up doing option 3.  I somehow clambered over the Bellagio's barrier, walked up a set of stairs and made it through the north pedestrian entrance and somehow made it to their bathrooms in their mall.  I barely made it.

After the bathroom situation I wound up cleaning up, changing into some clothes and that night at dinner I had no less than 6 diet sodas, 2 coffees, 16 ounces of water, 32 ounces of Gatorade and I was still thirsty.

The race was bittersweet for me.  It was my 11th year of finishing and 11th year of being a legacy runner.  Hurray for me.  So many memories of the first time I ran this race in 2009 -- and who I was at the time, versus now, in 2019.  Some things have changed, some haven't.  It's been a solid streak and one I aim to keep going in 2020 (I already registered for the race).

I had mixed feelings on not doing the full marathon.  This now marks 2 years that I haven't run or attempted to run a full marathon.  My body, mind and soul really haven't been up to that challenge and after Sunday's race, I was glad I had stuck to the half.

My performance wasn't good.  I don't think I've ever really run well in the Las Vegas area.  I am not sure what it is but I am beginning to suspect it was a lack of hydration and there may be something in the water where my GI system just reacts violently against.  I had run the last two half marathons in well under 2 hours at higher altitude and this one -- well it just sucked.

I did hear some people say their Garmins reported 13.5(ish) miles.  I suspect too, that the course may have measured a bit long.  It is hard to say though on account that my Garmin clearly lost reception.

Overall, the start line organization was well done.  I was so much happier to be running sooner rather than inching towards the start line watching a dozen corrals ahead of me start racing.  It was still a mad house and people clearly were over estimating their abilities.

The finish line was nice (I wish I could've gotten pictures there but I was in such a hurry to find a bathroom that I didn't goof around with pictures) and the race had typical post race stuff.  But I am still miffed about the bathroom situation.

This year's medal had a moving part on it.  There is a roulette wheel on the medal that actually spins. Definitely makes it unique.  However, this year's medal seemed a lot smaller and less heavy that ones in the past.  I am not a medal freak by any means, but it was nice but I think I've enjoyed some of the others better.

Hopefully next year will be better for me and maybe one day I'll have a great race in Clark County, Nevada.