My first night race! My first race in another state!
The 5K was up first on Saturday evening and would be followed by the headliner concert with The Goo Goo Dolls. Kate was super organized so we had a plan of exactly when to leave our hotel with plenty of time to get to the Las Vegas Festival grounds. Or so we thought.
The monorail platform was jam packed with runners, spectators and a few daring Las Vegas travelers. Needless to say it took a few monorail passes before we managed to get on one and then it was like sardines in a can. Or even closed than that. I jokingly call it the “friendliest” monorail ride ever. Seriously, we were so close, there was awkward touching happening. We were all cracking jokes about it but it was still super awkward. And each monorail stop just had more people trying to squeeze in, we had no space!!!
Finally we arrived with minutes to spare and all rushed through the casino to cross the street to the festival grounds only to be greeted by a giant line trying to get through security. They were checking everyone’s bags, waving medal detector wands over everyone and had made people dump out their water. They let me keep mine but I left it in my gear bag which we tossed to Kate’s parents as it was past start time and we had no idea where the gear drop trucks were. They had taken a taxi to the festival, smart people. 😛
We hustled over to the second set of corrals and looked for Kate’s corral. One security person tried to make me go line up in mine- my original corral was 4- but not only had it already left, with my leg being whiny all week, the plan was to run the race with Kate and we were aiming for party speed😀. All race info said it wouldn’t be a problem to drop back. Except to this one person. Grrr. She turned around and we jumped into the corrals. As we made our way to the start line, we soon realized we should have had some lights or glow sticks to brighten up our outfits. Oops, too late now! After a few minutes in the corrals and an energetic countdown, we were off!
The course was an out back on the road behind the Strip, so it took you behind Circus Circus. I had no idea that thing has an actual Big Top until I was running by it. I know this was a night race but I was still surprised by how dark it was. A light wouldn’t have been a bad thing, that road is not lit up like the Strip. It still had music stations- DJ’s, speakers and live bands along the way to liven it up, plus checking out all the runners in their glowing outfits was fun, it was just darker than I thought.
I told Kate to set the pace and I would do whatever she wanted but at one point during mile 1, I looked at my watch and tried to subtly slow her down. Hey, you’re running your first half tomorrow! I needed to be less subtle. 😛 She heard her GPS app speak and then knew what I was saying. But we were having fun.
One thing that helped reign us in was the lack of water. There was one water stop- at mile 2. And even though it was an out and back course, there was a center divider so you could only access the water at mile 2 not on both sides. It was still 70 degrees at race start. And security had made people dump their water. I left mine behind thinking oh Rock n Roll has this. See a problem?
Once back into the festival grounds, we looped around the back lot a bit to add distance before passing a KISS cover band and running under the giant guitar guy towards the finish.
Once across the line, we picked up our medals and they gave us a few snacks and a bottle of water. Then we hung and waited a bit for The Goo Goo Dolls to take the stage. They still sound good! We hung for a bit before heading back on thankfully less crowded monorail. 👌
Race #1 of the weekend complete. Half recap soon to come. 🙂