Wednesday, November 25, 2015

RnR Vegas Race Recap

  I would like to think that I am not one to complain, who am I kidding, I complain a lot.

  I went into Vegas on a high, I had just ran my first sub 6 minute mile in 24 years. My training was looking promising and I was sure I was going to PR. Things didn't turn out they way I wanted them too. In fact the entire race weekend turned out to be a huge nightmare. In all honesty this is the worst RnR event I have ever attended.

 First Vegas is not a very family friendly town, unless your a hardcore gambler or partier, it has nothing to offer you. Seriously all the prices are high and hotels give you very little in amenities. The strip is terrible to navigate and taking a cab or the monorail could leave you broke quick. Maybe its because I'm not into gambling and I'm not rich and I don't drink or party that Vegas was no fun. All I know is this was just the tip of the iceberg.

The expo was the worst expo I attended, outside of meeting Meb keflezighi, Da_shyt and a nice Scottish couple, it was a big let down.

The 5K race had the worst layout of any 5k I have ever run. Everything about it was wrong. Being a sub 21 5k guy gets me access to the elite corral. All the elites complained that the course sucked as we waited for the race to start. As we took off a couple of the serious contenders shot off while a handful of the elites flat out stated they weren't racing it and jogged it in, their jog is still 7:00 pace. Basically the first mile was like an out and back and as we were running back at sub 6 minute pace the rest of the racers were running towards us, some of them in our lane running directly at us. A couple of us yelled at a few who removed to move, I mean were running in a race here people, move!!! Mile 3 was the worst mile ever, they brought us into a parking lot and zig zagged us back in forth in front of the finish line 3 times. I am not a 5k guy but was really pushing myself to break sub 20. After the third time I ran past the finish line my mind just shut me down. It took me 40 seconds to get myself to run again and I was back up to pace but the damage was done. 20:30 finish time, the walking killed my first sub 20 in over 20 years.

The Half marathon got bad weather, it was cold and windy. This isn't RnR fault and I understand that but at this point I was already angry so uh sorry RnR. We started out in the second corral just behind the elite runners. We planned to go out with the 1:35:00 pacer and attempt a huge PR. The legs had a different plan altogether thanks to the 5k effort the night before. That and running into a 25mph headwind off the start is no fun. First mile 8:05 and that kind of set the tempo for the rest of the race. My body was at a limit and 7:30-7:20 was all it wanted to hold so I kicked it into cruise control and ran it out. The strip was not as exciting as I imagined, the lights were nice but the crowd wasn't that into it. Honestly this was the least active I have seen a crowd at a RnR race.

The course itself wasn't that special, basically an out and back with one weird loop at the 7 mile mark. Lets talk about that loop, they take you off the strip down this road that is more like an unlit alley. Its dark, creepy and your just waiting to get mugged. Then there is a light in the distance, you see it, you run to it, then, your blinded by it. Literally it blinds you, you are in the sun itself for a moment. Then back into the darkness. At this point we run through the Toyota experience or whatever that was. The people were super annoying with bullhorns but they had GU's. I didn't need the Gu but that was their only highlight.

We turn back towards the strip and the coolest thing happened. We ran by some club with a huge praying mantis on the roof. The thing spit flames, hot enough that you could feel it running by, that was awesome!!! Back onto the strip around mile 10 and were in the home stretch and it starts raining. Freezing rain, yay for me, I am just loving it! Deion who was running with me at this point begins to get a lactate acid buildup in his right leg, he can't run. Like the loving father I am, I look back, I give him a reassuring smile, ask him if he wants to quit, he says no, I drop him!

After dropping Deion at the 10 mile mark I have my mind set on one thing. I just want to finish this god forsaken race and go home. My wife, who's 34 weeks pregnant is walking the half, yells at me from the other side of the strip as we pass. She would later say that I had the worst look on my face she had ever seen. She said it looked like I was having no fun at all. She couldn't have been more right as she was right there. I keep moving ignoring her cheers and find a person moving faster than me and latch on to him like a parasite. Mile 12 and he drops off but I keep going, the lactic acid building in my legs, they want no more. I scream at the top of my lungs "No, Shut Up Legs, I own you!" People look at me as if I am possessed but one woman get its, looks me in the eyes and says "Lets Go." She pulls me along for the last mile, when I see the finish, I pull up in front and tell her to hold on. I have a huge kick, I have never been out sprinted since high school and now is no different. I am flying past people as I begin to hit my max speed. I cross the line spent, home girl unable to hang on comes across 10 seconds later and we embrace. Were both wet and sweaty and I notice she doesn't smell too good and I actually do. I push her away, not today lady, Im a married man.

I waited for Deion to limp across the line but couldn't find him. We eventually meet up after the medals. I go back and walk with Mandy to the finish, we jog the last mile. Peoples jaw drop as my pregnant wife drops them, I smile a bit afraid to stop because I know my legs will lock up. In the end I ended up doing around 20 miles with the race and going back for her. I finished in 1:39:17 13.3 miles. Strava would later give me a PR time of 1:38:23, thank you Strava.

In the end we head home and I vow to never return or run another RnR 5k. Seriously the entire race experience sucked. If your looking to party and not really run maybe its for you. If your a serious race than I would suggest skipping this race. Everyone I talked to hated this race only this who don't care about their finish times liked it.