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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Viva Las Vegas!!

Wow! What a fun way to finish the year! The Las Vegas Rock & Roll Marathon was not originally on my list. I did the half-marathon last year and it was so cold I wasn't sure I wanted to sign on to do the full this year, but since my sister was going to be there with her team (she is the endurance manager for the Georgia chapter of Team Challenge), I started thinking more about doing it. All it takes is one friend to say they are in and I'll cave! When Teresa Baker said that her husband Bob was taking a Cafe Rio team down to run the half-marathon, we began talking about it more seriously. When our friend Kathleen needed one more race to qualify for the Marathon Maniacs, that was it. The three of us signed up for the 26.2!

Race weekend in Las Vegas always starts with the Great Las Vegas Santa Run on Saturday morning. Over 9,000 Santas run the 5k for charity. I didn't get in town in time to do this last year, so I really wanted to do it this year. Thanks to fellow Maniac Jackie Gulino, I was able to fly in Saturday morning and still run the race! She and her husband Dan, picked up my Santa suit Friday night and dropped it off at my hotel so it was there when I got in! THANKS JACKIE!

Is this Vegas or what?


Dig those crazy (or should I say Maniac) Santa Claus!

Jackie and I at the finish!

The Santa run was fun. I was a perfect little warm up for the marathon. It was so crowded with walkers there is no way you could go to fast and burn yourself out! It was really fun to do it with so many Maniacs as well!


After the Santa run, I went with my sister to the expo to pick up my race packet. It was insane! I lucked out as there was nobody in line at my pick up window, so I got my packet right away. Then I went to look around the expo. Right away I saw Scott Jurek (champion ultra runner) and I had to get a photo!

Scott Jurek and I

I walked around the expo for just a few minutes and got the heck out of there! I couldn't believe the stuff people were willing to wait 20 minutes in a line for. I'm sorry but, I will not wait in line for a piece of a Power Bar or a teaspoon of rice! I do wish I would have waited in line to meet Josh Cox, (because he won the men's race the next day)  but I just didn't have the patience. I hate lines.

After the expo, I came back to the hotel and chilled with my sister for a bit. She was so busy the whole weekend with meetings and such, that we didn't get to spend a lot of time together. I am really proud of her. She works soooooo hard to help other reach their goals while raising money to find a cure for Crohne's Disease. YOU GO SISTER!! I LOVE YOU! 

While my sister went to work, I met Teresa at the her hotel and we headed over to the Rio for the Maniac/Fanatic Dinner!

Dave Mari, Teresa and I at Dinner.

Teresa, Stephanie, Tony (aka Endorphin Dude) and I.

Maniacs and Fanatics after Dinner.

After dinner it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for the big race! One thing I was looking forward to wearing was the dangley rhinestone earrings Teresa bought me! She gave them to me at dinner and said "Since this is Las Vegas and we are Maniac Diva's, we need to wear a little bling". She was right! They were AWESOME! 


My sister and I on race morning (notice my bling)!

My sister and I were up at 4:30am ready to get this show on the road! I had some breakfast, got ready and headed downstairs. She had to meet her team for photos and I went to meet the Maniacs for photos. It was so GREAT to see so many Maniacs/Fanatics show up for the photo (though there were some key folks missing)!


Um, where are the Baker's? Hee Hee!

After the photo, we all headed to our corral. Teresa, Kathleen and I were in the same corral, but there were so many people, I didn't think I would find them, but I found Kathleen, then we found Teresa! The race could start now!


  Party in Corral 19!!

Kathleen, Teresa and I at the Start!

Tina Turner, Elton John and I at the Start! ;-)

The cannon went off and the race began! It took us 30 minutes to reach the timing mats, so we spent the time posing for pictures and dancing to the Blues Brothers band playing over the start line. It was really fun!

The first half of the course is great! It was really crowded, but they did a good job this year keeping the corral starts spaced out. There were only a few spots between miles 10-13 where it got a little congested with walkers. We were wishing that we could just do the first half again, but at about mile 12.5 the marathoners split off and we were met with a hill for the first time in the race! 


Teresa, Dave Mari & I

My Sister Cheering on the Course!

The second half was a lot more quiet than the first half, but we still were having fun. It was here that we saw our friend Patrick leading the 5:00 hour pace group.

Kathleen, Teresa, Patrick and I

One thing that made me laugh (and I kick myself for not taking their photo) was the group of drunk/high homeless looking guys standing in front of this motel cheering! It was sooooo funny (and so Las Vegas)!

Hey! I still look happy!

I felt really good the whole race. Teresa ran with Patrick a while and Kathleen and I started having a conversation. It is amazing how fast the miles fly by when you have someone to talk to! The last 6 miles came and went. We wanted to finish under 5:00 and we did! I finished in 4:58.04 and my first negative split! Whoo Hoo! It was great! Kathleen finished and before we even got 10 feet from the finish line, she had her phone out and sent her Maniac application in! Welcome to the Insane Asylum Kathleen!



Finished!



Kathleen, Patrick and I at the Finish!

Brett Michaels "Rocked" the after race concert.

After we finished, I wanted to find Teresa and get to the finish line to see Yolanda Holder break the world record for the most marathons run in one year by a woman (101)! She did it! It was pretty cool to see!

Yolanda all blinged out for her big day!


Congrats Yolanda!

I had a great time in Las Vegas! The race was fun, the weather was perfect, I got to see my sister and hang out with a lot of good friends! I would say I won big in Las Vegas!

2 comments:

Skyler Martinez said...

Dude that's gotta be one of the most fun Marathons I've ever seen! At least from the photos I've seen. Glad to see you had a good time!

Angie Whitworth Pace said...

It was fun Skyler! You should do it next year!