Final Race of 2017 – RNR Vegas Half

This  post is long overdue but I couldn’t leave off my final race of 2017.  RNR Las Vegas Half Marathon was the best race to finish off the year! Having the chance to run the strip at night was a unique way to experience Vegas!

Believe it or not, I’ve visited Las Vegas close to a dozen times. With the location close enough for us to drive, it’s been an overnight stop for many of our road trips.

I’ve witnessed all the flashy lights from the road stuck in traffic and walking around.  However, it didn’t compare to being right in the middle of the road as it was during the race.

A Race Reunion

The best races are the ones experienced with friends.  Most of the races I’ve ran are time goal-oriented which usually equates to me running alone.  Yes I enjoy the ‘high’ of achieving my goals, but what I love more is helping someone else to achieve theirs.

With my kids being older, I now have the luxury of joining my college friends for an annual reunion.  Lately we’ve focused on destination races.  Two years ago, we ran the RNR Chicago Half in June – boy that was a hot and humid one!  And this year, we chose to run Vegas 🙂  I say it was a GREAT choice!  We are still brainstorming for year 2018 and hoping more friends join us.

Fully Unprepared

I had no idea what to expect with running 13.1mi around dinnertime. In fact, I didn’t even prepare for it at all.  Never did an early evening training run to see how my body would do.  And I admit, I didn’t put in the time or effort towards training for this race.

Chicago Marathon happened four weeks prior and my motivation to run was on the decline.  I gave myself a week off, then reluctantly increased mileage which was next to nothing.  Didn’t even make it up to 10 miles for my last long run. Part of it was because I had some issues occurring within my body and I thought it may have been from the stress of running the marathon. And the other part was because I didn’t have a time goal.  I simply wanted to enjoy the race with my friend. Not gonna lie though, I was nervous at the start line since I wasn’t sure how I’d feel once we started.

No expectations

The corral quickly got crowded.  I felt anxious considering the recent tragic event that occurred in Vegas. The original start line was relocated from Mandalay Bay to about a mile south near New York Hotel. I heard from a previous participant that this start line location was much better.

The best part of the start was the fireworks going off with every corral start. It was enough to get my adrenaline into high gear. I vowed to stick with my friend every mile until the end.

What an experience!

Running through the Vegas Strip at night was truly an exhilarating experience. Instead of just focusing on the road ahead of me, I couldn’t help but look around at the bright light displays and the varying structural designs of the casinos – each with their own themes. It was a delight to my senses.

Fremont was the turnaround point and by this time, I felt another gear kicked. Unfortunately, my friend was struggling a bit but I stuck with her staying several feet ahead to push her to the finish line. We only missed her goal of sub-2:00 by less than 2 minutes. She was happy with the results as it turned out it was a PR for her! I was happy to have stayed with her until the end.   It was definitely a one-of-a kind experience!