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Vegas Race Report: Part 1

Posted Dec 07 2009 5:09pm
Okay, folks, this weekend report is long enough that I need to divide it up into two posts. For those of you with a short attention span or that just can't stand the suspense, here is the Reader's Digest version: I ran a Santa Race on Saturday and I beat my time goal on Sunday. Now, for those of you that are still reading, here we go.

While Mike and I were on the plane on Friday, we struck up a conversation with two women across the aisle. It turns out that they were doing the Vegas Marathon and had volunteered at Ironman Florida. They had signed up for a Santa Race on Saturday for charity. Well, a race to Mike is like a party and heaven forbid that there be a party without him. We got the details and kissed sleeping in on Saturday morning good-bye.

The idea of the race was to try to break the Guinness World Record for the most Santas in a race. The registration fee included a five piece Santa suit to wear for the race and to keep. This was the cheapest Santa suit imaginable, so there would be no point to giving it back. Luckily, both Mike and I had packed some extra running clothes, but since we knew we would be wearing the Santa suit on top, we didn't bundle up too much. Big mistake. The race didn't start for two hours and we were freezing by the time Robin Leach gave a few words and all the Santas sang a silly song.

Here we are trying to stay warm and checking out some of the booths before the start. They actually had a lot to eat and drink which really helped.

Watching all of the Santas wandering around was pretty amusing.

In the end, there were 8,000 people dressed up as Santa and ready to run or walk. I was a little worried that I would lose Mike and that we would have trouble finding each other because everyone looked exactly the same. I convinced him to run with me, even though he didn't look thrilled that running my pace would bring down his 5K racing average on Athlinks. He didn't need to worry. This race was purely for charity purposes. There was no attempt at timing, and the 5K course was only 2.5 miles long. He was a good sport about shuffling along with me and it was kind of surreal to be running in a sea of red Santas.

Here is a short video of the start that will give you a little idea of what it was like:

It would have all been worth it to support a cause and to be a part of such a spectacle except I had two mishaps. The first was that I dropped my camera while we were waiting around. It is broken beyond repair and certainly solved my dilemma as to whether I should run with it during the half marathon on Sunday. The other bad thing was that I think some fluff from my Santa suit went up my nose. After the race I started sneezing, my nose wouldn't stop running and my right eye kept watering. I thought that maybe it was a cold, but it felt more like a needle in my sinuses. Sorry, too much information. You get the idea.

After cleaning up, walking around the Vegas Strip and having lunch, we went back to the room and I took a little nap. When I woke up, my right eye was so swollen I had trouble seeing out of it. I looked ridiculous. With a swollen eye and a nose that would not stop running, we ended up eating a nice dinner in the hotel restaurant and going to bed early. Yes, we are boring accountants. We didn't do any drinking or gambling. Cyclops lady and her husband put out clothes and gear for the race the next day, set the alarm for 4:00 a.m. and went to bed around 8:30.

I'll tell you about the half marathon tomorrow!
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