Location: Las Vegas (Henderson, actually), NV
What better way to spend a vacation-day morning than running a race! We’ve certainly built our vacations around marathons in the past. We did not build our vacation around this 5K — it just happened to coincide with our stay.
My favorite number is 14. My bib number was 14. Jeff had a good feeling about this race, and he was right. It was indeed the first 5K I’ve ever won. It wasn’t a very competitive race, but I won nonetheless.
The race started and finished behind and beside a Saturn dealership. It was a relatively low-key and certainly small race. I warmed up ahead of time, and it was indeed warm. Probably in the mid-80s to low-90s. It was interesting to hear people talk about the humidity. Yeah, humidity. 23% humidity. That’s nothing compared to our summers in NC!
For the most part, the course was out and back. I warmed up with others at the front of the pack, and while stretching struck up a few conversations. There was a man wearing bib #1. He let me and a few other runners know that he traveled from Cincinnati (or maybe Cleveland) and had only had 3 hours sleep. I, of course, accused him of sandbagging.
The race started a little late. Bib #1 and a young kid took off, as did I. I passed them both within 50 meters. I could hear the young kid behind me, so I slowed down a bit to run with him. I asked him what he expected his finishing time to be, and he said in the 17s or 18s. I wasn’t planning on running less than an 18, so I encouraged him and told him we should run together for a while. And that we did! There was a slight uphill to the turn-around at mile 1.5, and as we ran toward it I asked him if he was going to get a drink. He was breathing very heavily, and I thought it might help him. He said, “No, I don’t want to slow down.” I said, “I’m going to get a drink so that I don’t slow down.” We both got a drink.
Of course what follows an uphill is a downhill, and anyone who knows me well knows that I work every downhill. Even a slight downhill. I dropped him very quickly, and he faded fast. I basically shut it down at mile 2, and didn’t even kick the finish.
Yes, I could have run faster. I also run faster when I’m being chased.
The race was called the million to one because one person (drawn at random) received the interest earned in a day on one million dollars, something like 50 bucks. We didn’t hang around for the drawing.
The first prize trophy can only be described as Las Vegas style. It was so big that it wouldn’t fit in our luggage. We began to disassemble it, but I was afraid we’d never make it past homeland security.
A picture of Jeff taken after the race.