General Discussion Race Reports! » Las Vegas Marathon Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply

Las Vegas Marathon - RunMarathon

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Las Vegas, Nevada
United States
Las Vegas Roadrunners
54F / 12C
Total Time = 3h 15m 3s
Overall Rank = 130/3518
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 23/351
Pre-race routine:

[Note: Most of the pre-race report is kind of jibberish stuff that happened on our trip...skip to the race if its not working for you ;)]

This whole trip to Vegas was a get away for Holly (and me). After IMWI, we decided that we wanted to get a trip into Vegas before year's end. We used to go there once a year, but had missed out the last 4 years. It just so happens, that there was a marathon in town the time we decided to go. This fit in perfect for me, as I still had not done a marathon (at least one that wasn't followed by 6.5+ hours of warming up ;) ). Although, I had trained for the Chicago Marathon in '07, I got sick the night before and was unable to run it.

We wanted to optimize the most vacation time, so we decided to fly out on the redeye the Saturday morning before the race (which also worked well using airline miles and hotel points). This probably wasn't the best option for acclimating and getting some rest before the race, but it worked out fine.

Tangent: We flew out with Lindsay Lohan and her girlfriend (Samantha something or other). That was kind of comical, as they were arguing before getting on the flight and her Mom was there, too. They were allowed to board the plane before everyone else, and when we passed them in first class, she was taking some sleeping pills (or some other kind of pills) and her girlfriend didn't look happy with her. During the flight, someon had a People magazine and Lindsay's girlfriend was wearing the same hat in the photos. Pretty funny stuff.

OK, back to the race ;) We ended up staying a good 4 miles from the Mandalay Bay on the North part of the Strip. So, what this meant was a ton of unwanted walking around to/from the Expo, during the Expo and the Pasta dinner. It wasn't a killer, but surely wasn't needed either. My feet were actually sore from the walking, which made me decide to go with my very cushioned (and heavy) Nike shoes. I have had some on/off instances with the ball of my foot and I picked comfort over my much lighter Mizuno trainers.

Woke up at about 3am (race was at 6am) and had an Ensure and a bananana and went back to bed. Didn't sleep. Got up at 4am, showered and layered on some clothing that I knew I was going to throw away. Temperatures looked to be ideal (46 at the start, 55-58 at finish with 5mph winds).

Holly and I were looking for a cab to get to the start, but to no avail. Since the Strip was already closed down, it was near impossible to get a cab while on the Strip. So, Holly notice this dude and his two kids getting in a Limo and we asked if we could join them. They said sure. And then another couple joined, as well. We all chipped in $20 and that worked out great as he dropped us off by the start.

Holly went to get some McDonalds for breakfast and then I went to find a bathroom and went to find my corral amongst the 12000+ people (they started the half mary the same time as the full). I found this group of guys that were planning on 3:10 and kind of just worked my way up with them. After the elites and wheelchairs went off, they let us work up to the starting line. Somehow, I ended up at the very front with the 3:10 group. Very cool.

Then the gun went off and so did the fireworks (literally)!

Event warmup:

Nothing. This would occur during the first couple miles of the race.
  • 3h 15m 3s
  • 26.38 miles
  • 07m 23s  min/mile

The run started off with fireworks which was very cool. They lasted for at least 10 minutes as we ran down Las Vegas Blvd. Although, my ultimate goal was to BQ, I really wanted to break 3:10. Based on my long runs and fitness, this was definitely do-able. Of course, I got sick before my half mary 4 weeks out, and never really shook it. It lasted for about 10 days, and once I felt better, I put together a couple of good runs and started to feel like crap again. Turns out the cold I had, turned into a sinus infection. This meant a 10 day round of antibiotics, that I stopped taking 3 days before the marathon. I had not had a good run in that time period, so my confindence on the 3:10 wasn't great, and even the 3:15 had me concerned.

My game plan was to get into the race and see how my pace was based on HR/RPE and just kind of go with whatever the day would allow me to do. If everything checked out, I would be running in upper zone 3 (152-155) for the race.

The first few miles of this race are awesome. It is pretty easy to go out too fast because it is slightly downhill. You have the view of all the buidings, the firework display (awesome), and the 1/2 marathoners are mixed in, so you feel like you are being pulled to go faster. I knew that would be the case, so I made sure to take it easy, knowing I would need that energy in another 2.5 hours.

After 6 miles of relative easiness, the course starts to wind downtown and then starts to head out towards the North Las Vegas. I was sitting at 7:07ish overall pace and the HR was right where I wanted it. I knew I would be giving back some of this time over miles 8-15, as its a steady 7 mile climb over that distance. It is a very slight climb (about 350ft), but it wears on you (for locals think of the bike path going north by Pyott).

The 3:10 group that was well aware because they were slightly ahead of me, probably doing 7:00m/m for the first 6 miles. And they slowed their pace, during these miles, as did I. I knew if I could get through these miles and keep the pace and HR low, I would be in good shape for the final miles.

At the Expo, we talked with the guy (Rob) that was emceeing the finish at the race and he mentioned that the chip timing would not be broadcast on the Web. He suggested that I take my cell phone with me and text Holly when I cross the mile markers. This seemed like a good idea, since she could gamble at the casinos and still know where I am at (as well as offer some inspiration by texting back). It was pretty simple to throw the cell phone on the fuel belt, and then just hit a number (whatever mile I was on, then send). I found out later, that it was pretty exciting on her end, too, but the math was difficult to do ;)

So, after climbing the next 4-5 miles, I could feel the 3:10 start to slip away, but felt really good about a 3:13/3:14 max. At the half way point, I was sitting below 1:36, and the legs and pace felt good. Knowing that we only had another 2-3 miles before the course went flat and slightly downhill, I was still thinking an even (or possibly a negative) split was still in order.

Around mile 16, I was feeling good and continuing to feed of my Infinit, as well as taking in water at every aid station. I was really just trying to get to mile 20, and then see how things were going and hopefully pick up the pace. Mile 20-22 still felt good. I was jockeying back and forth with the same guys, and also starting to fatigue. I wasn’t hitting the wall, but it was getting harder and I couldn’t push the pace the way I wanted. At mile 23 things were hurting, but I was still at a 7:19 overall pace, according to the Garmin, so I felt good really good about Boston. Now, it was just putting together my best possible time. I never saw the mile marker sign for 24, as we had now combined with the half marathoners, which also made things diffucult since most of them were walking 4 to 5 abreast. This also meant I missed a water stop for the first time during the day. I also missed 25. The weather was perfect, though, and I felt I had enough to get to the finish line. This might have affected my pace, although my legs felt like lead anyway. Mile 24 & on was extremely hard. I was really struggling to keep moving forward and my form sucked. I could feel my hamstrings tight, but when my calves started to get tight, I got nervous thinking they might cramp up on me. They stayed tight, but didn't cramp. So I did the math and I could do 8m/m and still easily come in at 3:14.

Even though my math was good, the last mile marker was off. And when I made the turn for the last tenth of a mile, a guy yelled that we had three tenths of a mile left. Oh shoot! I, then gave it everything I had left (which wasn't much). Although 2 tenths of a mile doesn’t seem like much after running 26+, its still another 1:30 or so at the pace I was running. Of course, now I can’t do the math, but I know my cushion is gone. I finally see the finish line and it says 3:14:50, but I still have some distance to cover and I started very near the official start line, so I knew it was pretty accurate for me. I crossed at 3:15:06, and my official time was 3:15:03.

Holly was there waiting for me and she was very excited about the finish. However, I could see in her eyes she was concerned that I was probably disappointed. Then I explained to her that the actual qualifying time for Boston is 3:15:59. And then she let out a huge sigh of relief and was extremely happy for me. Talk about cutting it close!

Here were my splits:

1m: 7:10, 139ahr
2m: 7:06, 150ahr
3m: 7:01, 150ahr
4m: 7:05, 152ahr
5m: 7:13, 152ahr
6m: 7:06, 151ahr
7m: 7:24, 153ahr
8m: 7:26, 152ahr
9m: 7:21, 152ahr
10m: 7:16, 152ahr
11m: 7:26, 152ahr
12m: 7:34, 152ahr
13m: 7:29, 152ahr
14m: 7:27, 153ahr
15m: 7:26, 153ahr
16m: 7:24, 154ahr
17m: 7:27, 151ahr
18m: 7:23, 153ahr
19m: 7:25, 153ahr
20m: 7:28, 152ahr
21m: 7:28, 153ahr
22m: 7:24, 151ahr
23m: 7:30, 151ahr
24m: 7:31, 153ahr
25m: 7:45, 154ahr
26m: 7:51, 156ahr
  • 38m: 7:31, 156ahr

  • 13.1 mile split: 1:35:50

    What would you do differently?:

    This was my first open marathon, so I definitely learned a ton about myself and the distance. With that said, I don't think I would change much. I definitely could have used some more water towards the end, and probably could have pushed a little more earlier, but I was cashed at the end.
    Post race
    Warm down:

    I found Holly and she said she would meet me at the medical tent. I just wanted to get some vaseline from where my arms were rubbing against my jersey. Yes, I used body glide, but I still had some chafing.

    After taking in my endurox and some food, we continued to walk towards the tram (another mile or so) back to our hotel. I took an ice bath and then it was time to go take some money from the casinos ;)

    What limited your ability to perform faster:

    Hey, I qualified for the Boston Marathon on my first attempt at this distance. I am extremely satisfied and very grateful that I am able to do these kinds of things. It was a great race and a great time.

    However, being the competitor that I am, there are a few things that limited my ability to go faster. And I think I had a better race in me (again, not disapointed at all, just striving to be better).

    - Being sick for the taper didn't help at all. I was run down, and my confidence was being challenged b/c I wasn't running well leading up to the race. In most races, I feel fully rested and feel like I am going to explode. In this race, I felt tired and had no idea what the day would bring.
    - Flying across the country the day before a big race is a tough nut. I needed to do it this way, but its kind of stressful.
    - Having a hotel 4-5 miles away from the start, in Vegas, w/o a car makes for much more walking than I needed to do. My feet were sore for sure when I went to bed.
    - Elevation - maybe a stretch b/c this is not Colorado, but it is 2000ft higher than Cary, IL. And the course, isn't flat.
    - Text messaging during a race (Ok - this only cost me a few seconds, and was so worth it)

    On the flip side, its also worth mentioning that the weather was IDEAL. I mean picture perfect for running. In fact, during the last 5K when I was starting to lose my form, I just kept saying to myself, "you will never get weather like this again, don't let it slip away" - This worked well, since all my other Mantras for the day had been used up.

    Event comments:

    This is a good race and I think it will get much bigger and better over the next couple of years as it becomes part of the "Rock and Roll" series (Devine ran it the first 4 years and had some money issues paying the winners and the town of Vegas, too).

    The venue is incredible. The course is great. They have a ton of unique features (the wedding chapel where something like 51 runners got married during the marathon, fireworks, running during sunrise, the Elvii, the strip).

    They do need to be better with the water stops and more volunteers. The food afterwards was pretty good. They used the new chips that are basically a piece of paper that you tie on your shoelaces. Would be nice to have athlete tracking, though. Also, would be nice to have race results posted after the race, too.

    Last updated: 2008-09-12 12:00 AM
    03:15:03 | 26.38 miles | 07m 23s  min/mile
    Age Group: 23/351
    Overall: 130/3518
    See below.
    Course: Very cool run down the Strip, through downtown, and then out to North Vegas and West Vegas. Relatively flat, although it has a climb in the middle that the runner needs to at least acknowledge.
    Keeping cool Drinking
    Post race
    Weight change: %
    Mental exertion [1-5]
    Physical exertion [1-5]
    Good race?
    Course challenge
    Events on-time?
    Lots of volunteers?
    Plenty of drinks?
    Post race activities:
    Race evaluation [1-5]

    2008-12-11 11:24 AM

    User image

    NW Suburbs, Illinois
    Subject: Las Vegas Marathon

    2008-12-11 11:44 AM
    in reply to: #1849135

    User image

    Subject: RE: Las Vegas Marathon
    Great report Shmize.  You actually made me want to do this race at some point.  Huge congrats on the BQ.  Incredible accomplishment for a first timer, or 20th timer for that matter.
    2008-12-11 11:57 AM
    in reply to: #1849135

    User image

    West Allis, Wisconsin
    Subject: RE: Las Vegas Marathon

    dude, freakin EEEEEEAAAAAWWWWWsome job on the BQ!!!!!  amazingly consistent splits as da man and next time you do a standalone mary you will undoubtedly go sub 3!!!


    Great job Two hearts partner!! 

    2008-12-11 2:11 PM
    in reply to: #1849135

    User image

    Extreme Veteran
    Algonquin, IL
    Subject: RE: Las Vegas Marathon
    Great job!!!  I think you spelled banana wrong.
    2008-12-11 3:09 PM
    in reply to: #1849135

    User image

    Silver member
    Subject: RE: Las Vegas Marathon

    I can't believe you sent txt messages during the race! Running at that speed! OMG!

    We sent a TXT to your phone (thought Holly would have it...) Did she reply or did YOU?? While you were RUNNING? Or while you were finishing? OMG. I'm a little freaked out by that. While you were at it, you should have updated your FB status too...

    Scott is "at mile 14.5 of the Vegas marathon"



    2008-12-11 3:19 PM
    in reply to: #1849135

    User image

    Muskego, WI
    Subject: RE: Las Vegas Marathon
    Wow, so impressive on so many levels.  What's cool to me and my geekiness is the fact that your pace was fairly even and you didn't appear to have any cardiac drift whatsoever.  How the blankety blank do you run for 3+ hours and hardly have your HR move?  I know your pace slips A LITTLE but certainly not much.  You really must have the cardio system fine-tuned.  Does Holly appreciate the ferrari she's married to?

    2008-12-11 9:30 PM
    in reply to: #1849135

    User image

    Bellingham, Washington
    Subject: RE: Las Vegas Marathon
    Great race, and a BQ....outstanding.   If only you could have got Lindsay's autograph, that would have double awesome. 
    2008-12-11 9:42 PM
    in reply to: #1849654

    Iron Donkey
    , Wisconsin
    Subject: RE: Las Vegas Marathon

    morey1 - 2008-12-11 3:19 PM Wow, so impressive on so many levels.  What's cool to me and my geekiness is the fact that your pace was fairly even and you didn't appear to have any cardiac drift whatsoever.  How the blankety blank do you run for 3+ hours and hardly have your HR move?  I know your pace slips A LITTLE but certainly not much.  You really must have the cardio system fine-tuned.  Does Holly appreciate the ferrari she's married to?

    Totally agree with that!  That's a fine, efficient machine!

    But, knowing what a runner you are and how well you ran, I like the "extra-added spicey" report!  FUN SCHTUFF TO READ!!

    Terrific job, Donkai!!  EEEAAAWWW!!!

    You should introduce yourself to Aikidoman, from BT, who lives in Las Vegas.

    Edited by 1stTimeTri 2008-12-11 9:43 PM
    2008-12-11 10:18 PM
    in reply to: #1849135

    User image

    Delafield, Wisconsin
    Subject: RE: Las Vegas Marathon
    Pretty amazing stuff, I mean seeing Lindsey Lohan? How cool! Your racing is pretty amazing too! Congrats.
    2008-12-11 10:31 PM
    in reply to: #1849135

    User image

    Extreme Veteran
    Subject: RE: Las Vegas Marathon

    Fantastic job!!!!  And awesome RR.   And, yes texting while running...impressive... I can;t drink water and run...probably couldn't text and run.  May have to give it a whirl though.  Liked the extra Lindsey Lohan bit at the beginning. 

    Glad you guys had a nice getaway and bringing home the extra cash, even better!

    2008-12-12 9:02 AM
    in reply to: #1849135

    User image

    Waukesha, WI
    Subject: RE: Las Vegas Marathon
    Bringing home a BQ and $530, what could be better?  Way to go.  Maybe next year Clint and I will join in the fun. 

    2008-12-12 6:35 PM
    in reply to: #1849135

    User image

    West Bend, WI
    Subject: RE: Las Vegas Marathon

    Holy smokes

    1- thats is smokin fast

    2- your HR is WAY low... thast upper Z3 for you??? nice.....

    congrats on th BQ

    2008-12-12 7:16 PM
    in reply to: #1849135

    User image

    Wellington, North Island
    Subject: RE: Las Vegas Marathon
    Awesome race Scott. I loved reading the play by play. And trying to beat the clock at the finish always gets me. I'm so happy for you that you BQd.

    How do 51 runners get married? Did one of them marry themselves?
    2008-12-14 4:39 PM
    in reply to: #1849135

    User image

    Bloomington, IN
    Subject: RE: Las Vegas Marathon
    Congratulations on a very fine race and the BQ in your first open marathon.

    I've done this one twice; I definitely recommend the Red Rock half or full marathon--talk about scenery.

    Do you know that Chris McCormack started the half? Check his blog.
    2008-12-17 11:15 AM
    in reply to: #1849135

    User image

    Subject: RE: Las Vegas Marathon

    Wow!  GREAT race report!

    Congrats on the BQ! 


    2009-01-05 6:26 PM
    in reply to: #1849135

    User image

    Extreme Veteran
    Rochester, MN
    Subject: RE: Las Vegas Marathon

    Scott, great job and neat race report.  We had some similar difficulties over the last few miles.  I agree w/some of the others your minimal cardiac drift is amazing!  I also see your Garmin had the distance a little off as well, just like me.  I giess it wasn't in my race report but my Garmin had the distance at 26.32 and I started my Garmin a little late.

    I will be going to Boston, I have registered made flight/hotel arrangements, just waiting on my official confirmation.  How about you? 

    2009-01-15 3:15 PM
    in reply to: #1849135

    Subject: RE: Las Vegas Marathon
    You ROCK! thanks for the report and the time/hr splits.  Congrats on the BQ, sounds like it was an awesome day to run.
    2009-01-16 11:17 AM
    in reply to: #1849135

    User image

    Madison, Wisconsin
    Subject: RE: Las Vegas Marathon
    Not sure how I missed this race report. But great job Schmize!! You totally rock!!
    General Discussion-> Race Reports!
    General Discussion Race Reports! » Las Vegas Marathon Rss Feed