Third time’s a charm! I finally finished a marathon strong and in good spirits. This was an amazing race from start to end and I am glad that I finally crossed a finish line without thinking “I’m never doing this again” as I crossed the finish line. In fact, those thoughts never even crossed my mind.
The race started pretty easy, and it was freezing in Vegas due to a cold front that had moved in. The temp was below 32 degrees (yikes) and that had everyone a bit nervous. Luckily, I was able to get about four and a half hours of sleep for this race, which is a lot more than I’ve gotten in the past.
As we all walked toward the corrals I started to get super excited. Mentally and physically I knew I was prepared and I wasn’t nervous at all. I just wanted to start running. Once the race started we slowly started creeping up to the starting line. Once we got close enough, I saw the bengal tigers and show girls that stood on both sides of the starting line. It was an amazing sight to see; a starting line like no other.
Once I crossed the starting line I was pretty annoyed. As usual, people didn’t honor the corral system and were either running slowly or walking. There was some congestion for the first few mines. Running on the strip was super cool. As a little girl growing up in Vegas, I always thought the strip was a neat place. I was wrapped up in the glitz and the glamor of it all and this race captured that nostalgia factor.
As my group, the running mofos, ran on Las Vegas Boulevard, we received many shout outs for our shirts. They were a hit!
Around mile 11-13 or so, I started to pull away from my group. I tried to keep them running with me, but I felt strong and I didn’t want to slow down.
Once I reaced Hacienda, I started looking for my family. I knew they would be along the course somewhere on Hacienda and Rainbow. As I approached mile 17 I heard my family cheering for me. I’ve never had family course support before and it was awesome to know they were all out there for me. After I ran up Hacienda, I made a U-turn and headed east toward the strip. I passed my family again at mile 22 and I was feeling on top of the world. I had a ton of energy, I was smiling, and I was loving every minute of the race.
At mile 23, I knew I would come in under 4 hours for sure, as along as I kept my pace and didn’t have a major running catastrophe. I was optimistic, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up yet.
Finally around mile 24 I started to get tired. The two overpasses I needed to cross didn’t help, but I was so close to the finish line that I kept on trucking. I had to keep my pace to finish under 4 hours.
After the two overpasses, I found myself on the final mile. It was exhillarating. Never before in my first two marathons had I felt this great at the end of the race. I was finishing strong and with a smile on my face. As I neared the finish line, I heard my mom yell at me. She had suprised me and made it to the finish line. That was grear. I am so glad that she was able to see me finish.
Overall, it was an amazing race. I finished my third marathon in 3:58:04! I cut 26 minutes off of my previous PR! Even though I ran the majority of it by myself, I couldn’t have asked for better running friends that day. We had a great time and we all did very well.