On April 4, SDMom texted me asking if there was anyway I'd be able to run a half marathon with her at the end of the month...in Vegas.
Not going to lie, I wasn't super-de-dooper excited about another half because I was fiercely undertrained without enough time or motivation to actually change that. BUT I've run a half marathon with SDMom being seriously undertrained before, and if you're going to do it, she's the woman to do it with. Add to that a girls weekend with her? I signed on.
The day before the race she picked me up and we drove out to Vegas. Car trips are a true test to friendship, and while I was convinced she would at some point leave me in the desert, she didn't. The hours passed quickly as we talked and drove.
We got to the Expo with plenty of time to spare. We got our bibs and bags and SDMom greeted every person there, because she knew every person there. Which is one of my favorite things about her. I'm not joking she knows everyone.
A couple photo ops and we were back in the car, heading to the hotel. We met some of SDMom's friends for dinner, and then tucked in to bed. We had an early morning ahead of us!
4:30am found us heading out to the buses that would take us part way up Mt. Charleston to the staging area. There was a brief moment where the bus needed to turn around on a narrow road on the mountain in which I was sure we were going to die, but other than that, we made it with no incidents.
The staging area was dark, and the wind was blowing so much that even though it wasn't cold temperature-wise, we were all freezing. Which is where I give my kudos to the race planners who were handing out mylar to wrap ourselves in. They were also playing some great music which pumped up the crowd. And we bounced around watching the sun rise over the mountains.
When the sun was up, we could see that some of the mountains were still covered in snow. SDMom mentioned that the year before there was snow at the staging area, so we were thankful for warmer, albeit windy, weather.
The race had a really interesting start. At the start time, we started heading over to the start line. Which isn't unusual. I've run several races where the staging area was a bit away from the start line, and usually they walk you over, then countdown and send you off. But this race, we walked to the start line and just kept going.
The first 8 miles were all downhill. And despite the fact we planned on taking it really slow, and walking portions of every mile, we found our time was pretty impressive. Even with stopping at water stops so SDMom could say hi to friends (EVERYONE you guys, she knows EVERYONE. I feel like I'm with a celebrity when I'm with her). This was especially nice because it was starting to warm up.
By the time we got to mile 8, it was hot, flat, with no source of shade. So our time became MUCH less impressive.
But you know what made it all worthwhile? Other than the company? THEY HAD POPSICLES AT THE AID STATIONS!
Not every aid station, but at two of them. And both times I was more than happy to grab a popsicle and take a little walk break.
When we finished our last popsicle, it was time to run to the finish.
Where there was a medal waiting for us.
And more photo opportunities.
After the race it was time to play. We headed over to the Vegas sign so we could get a picture with our medals. This was not my first time in Vegas by a longshot, but it was my first time at the Vegas sign!
Then it was lunch and showers and margaritas!
It ended up being a very low key evening, because when you get two old moms together in Vegas, all they want to do is relax without children clinging all over them. Plus, I have never made any pretense that I wasn't super boring.
Sunday morning we were back in the car and headed home! Race weekend complete!
The race was a great one if you're looking to PR. The mostly downhill course made it really easy to get some speed under your belt before the flat area kicks in. The race organizers threw in some great perks - like popsicles, and pizza and beer at the end, and a hat in the swag bag. I don't know if I'd run it again, but the company was so good it's not entirely out of the question.