My good buddy, Craig, came along for the drive to Vegas - his cousin and wife were running the RnR Half Marathon race as well so we figured it would be a nice get together while up there. We hit the road at 6:45 Saturday morning and made great time - just one pit stop in Baker and we were crossing into Nevada by 9:45 AM. Plus, I had co-workers and friends that were running the race and I wanted to beat them to the Expo and have a cocktail in hand long before they arrived! The joke was on me because they flew in to McCarran Airport in Vegas instead. Curse their frequent flyer mileage!
10:45 AM and here I am inside of the Sands Expo Center connected to the Venetian...
|"Hey look, it's almost 'Life sized'... "|
I'm glad we arrived early as the crowds were huge and it appeared to be getting packed really fast - the totals for the full and half marathon race numbered over 44,000 registrants. We didn't get to do much looking around the Expo booths, but I'm not really big on that unless they're giving away handfuls of free energy gel - yes, I know... it's all about Me, Me, Me! Actually, I don't do so well with indoor crowds, so off we went and I found out later that my co-workers and friends that I was supposed to meet at the Expo ended up stuck at the airport for a while. Bummer! But I was starved and since I was still in Me-Me-Me mode, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and then it was off to meet some fellow running Bloggers at Harrah's Carnaval Court.
My favorite all-time runner and blogger, Janae (Hungry Runner Girl) and her equally awesome running husband, Billy. HRG is an incredible runner and a great inspiration - plus, she can out pace anyone on a dessert menu - she's a professional folks! Finally... people who understand that three meals a day should be followed by dessert! HRG organized the blogger get-together and it was fun meeting a lot of amazing bloggers with some serious talent. You know, I'm just glad Billy and a few of the other blogger's husbands were there because if I don't get a chance to talk exclusively about gear tech, cars, fishing, and beer, I become very sad. But as you can see in the pic, I'm a happy camper! Well, we were in the Ghirardelli ice cream shop, so there you go...
After the meet, I caught up with my buddy at the Venetian again... time for a little gambling and free beer. This is pre-race fueling, by the way. As cold as it was, it was also a nice day to be out and a good opportunity to grab a couple of quick pics of the view outdoors.
|From the front entrance of the Venetian looking out toward the Mirage (f/3.5 @ ISO 1400)|
|I know, nothing original here, but look! It's starting to plume! (f/4 @ ISO 1600)|
After some excessive pre-race fueling *cough* it was time to get some Chipotle! Hey, c'mon, I needed some serious carbs and I refused to walk away from the shortest Chipotle line I had ever seen in months. No picture, but I had the chicken burrito bowl and I instantly felt the surge of good carbs in my body... well, not really, but it was tasty.
I was determined to get in a quick shake-out run on the treadmill after getting back to the hotel. After mulling it over for an hour or two, I abandoned the thought and convinced myself I was better off having dessert at Mr. Lucky's 24/7 Cafe at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino...
I sure do love this place - they have great coffee and they're open for 15 hours out of the day... . .. ... juuuust kidding! Being able to order dessert 24/7 is an awesome attraction. Rumor has it there may have been an apple pie a la mode and potato skins appetizer somewhere on that bill.
Well, no turning back now! Thankfully the race was scheduled for the following evening, so I had plenty of recovery time... . ..yessirreeee... yep. You know what's funny? I wasn't too worried about the race - I was looking forward to enjoying myself and taking in the sights along the Strip. I think this was a really good approach for me and I knew I would be in my element as I prefer to run in the early evening (not exactly when it's dark out, but as opposed to an early morning run) - so tomorrow would be another day and it was time to hit the sack.
Next up: Race Recap for the Zappos RnR Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon