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#7 – Running From An Angel Marathon

12 January 2013 – 6 hrs 30 min

I travelled to Las Vegas on Friday 11th January and thought it may be a good plan to check out the Consumer Electronics Show while on my way through to Nevada for the marathon. I visited the CE Show at The Venetian Hotel where I had been a few weeks earlier for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon Expo.

I have a strong interest in new technology having previously worked with Panasonic back in 2000 and thought that it may well be a great opportunity to meet with future sponsors although did not expect to find a $200 entry fee for only a few hours. Despite best attempts this was simply not going to happen so I made my way to the Race Hotel at Lake Mead in Nevada.

Marathon Man - Nevada Desert

Marathon Man – Nevada Desert

The drive was around 45 minutes to a hour south of Las Vegas and the hotel was set on a hill amongst the desert. Impressive from the outside the inside was a different story as the hotel has clearly seen better day with a large run down RSL or Bowling Club feel. The patrons seemed like regulars with very few people around on the gaming floor and more staff than customers on arrival. The ongoing frustration of smokers on the gaming floor was again something that simply drives me crazy and I could not escape quick enough.

Marathon Man - Lake Mead

Marathon Man – Lake Mead

Following an hour wait after check in for race registration I made the decision to change scenery and eat in town at Pizza Hut and introduce carbs back in the diet pre race after the tough week. I had been successful in introducing basic foods although in hindsight it was too soon.

While nice to be away from the hotel and also buy some supplies from the supermarket, it was absolutely freezing outside to the point where I was turning blue. The night ahead was to prove to be the most challenging pre race nights ever as I was between the bed and the bathroom all night and regularly throwing up on the hour every hour!

The alarm and wake-up call was set for 5.30am and it had only been a matter of minutes since my last visit to the bathroom. I somehow went into race mode and started to prepare for the event and packed my bags so as to then make my way direct to the airport to make the connection to the Walt Disney Marathon the next day.

Marathon Man - Running from An Angel

Marathon Man – Running from An Angel

In freezing cold and pitch black conditions I made my way into Lake Mead National Park paying US$10 Entry Fee and followed the lights to meet up with other marathon and 50 miler starters at 6am. Now to say that I was less than ready for this event was a understatement as could imagine probably 9 out of 10 Doctors advising me to spend the day in bed.

The body was not right and to make matters worse this was one of the most challenging courses with rolling hills at altitude testing the most advanced runners on the day. I decided to pace it to make sure I was ok although the ‘Catch 22’ was that I was also racing the clock to catch a 2pm flight.

I battled the dark and cold over the opening hours and continued to simply hold on to make it across the line. I was a proud moment to make it all the way considering my stomach was in terrible condition and I had a number of niggles that were playing havoc with me. The most particular challenge was my right Achilles.

Marathon Man - Running From An Angel

Marathon Man – Running From An Angel

The majority of marathon starters commenced at 8am and it was good to see a few more faces on the course when heading back into the finish as it was very much a solo event with not many people around me along the way. The scenery was spectacular with Lake Mead beautiful and I was very proud to have simply made it through this event to cross the line around 6:30.

I immediately headed to the car and drove straight to the airport to return the rental car before then catching the connecting shuttle to the terminal. It was some drive as I managed to get to the check in counter in under 1 hour from leaving the marathon although this was only 30 minutes before the flight was due to leave and they would not accept my bag.

The saga was to escalate with no other flights available to get me into Orlando for the Walt Disney World Marathon starting at 5.30am in the morning. I was initially devastated although at the same time I was feeling very unwell after no food, fluid and a marathon all on the back of one of the toughest nights of my life.

The only option seemingly available was a flight on American Airlines although this did not arrive until 5.30am into Orlando and I was aware that there would be little chance that I would be able to start the event arriving on this flight. In the end after looking at other race options, I decided to take care of number one and eventually found a hotel in Las Vegas to spend a few days to rest and recover.

Marathon Man - Las Vegas

Marathon Man – Las Vegas

The weather in Las Vegas was freezing and I found myself checking into The Quad Hotel on Las Vegas Boulevard. I was absolutely shattered by this stage in need of food, sleep and a good shower. The Hotel was again very run down and on arrival my shoe lace managed to get caught in the escalator at the top and I had to press the emergency stop to then find security to help rescue my shoe!

I then found myself in a long check in queue on the smoke filled gaming room floor with a number of  performers dressing up like major celebrities such as Donna Summer and Rod Stewart lip synching, a group of mostly guys and a few girls seemingly on a typical Saturday night bender in true “The Hangover” scenes with Full Bottles of Tequilia being downed on the casino room floor.

I finally ended the day with room service and the NFL Playoffs on television before a good sleep in the next day. The following few days were really important in being able to recover with the majority of the time spent under the covers recovering while the remainder of the city partied hard.

2013 Statistics:

Marathons Run – 7
Total Distance Run – 295.4 km / 183.4 miles
US States Completed – NV, TX
Total Drive Distance – 317 km / 197 miles
Total Flight Distance – 1,776 km / 1,104 miles

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