Sunday, December 11, 2011

Top 10 Reasons I Will Not Run the Las Vegas Marathon Again

As the information has trickled down this week and I put the pieces together, I dont know what exactly happened.  Remember, I LIVE HERE.  This is my home race.  I know that I will not be back to run this marathon for sure: here is the list.

10:  The entry fee.  I am a sucker for paying that much to run a marathon.  I get that the permits to shut the strip down at night must be outrageous but I dont have to contribute to it.  $150 bucks to run a marathon is a lot.

9:  The Expo.  If you pay that much to race, it better be a first class event.  It most certainly was not.  They gave me the wrong size shirt and would not exchange it until after the race.  There were thousands of people jammed into a very small space and no walk ways to move around.  There were no race posters.  I collect them and now I dont have one for this race.  They needed twice the space.

8.  The shirts were ugly too.  Wouldnt you think a race ran at night would have something fun about night time gear.  NOPE.  Black shirts with a little glow in the dark writing.  Black shirts for a night race? Bogus.

7.  Number of entries.  The official numbers are 44,000 people signed up.  Let me tell you that the number of people walking with bibs, yardy margaritas, and beers seemed like way more than that.  It was New Years and a race.  Except the control the cops have at new years was missing.  It was an absolute circus.  They are trying to get to 100,000 entries for the future and next year the goal is 60, 000. I will not contribute to that.  There was so many people walking they covered the marathon lane.  I zig-zagged the last 13 miles of this race.  More on that later.

6.  Timing of the half and the full meeting back up on the strip.  The shear number of people, the number of bandits, It was bedlam.  Perhaps I am too slow to experience good separation but gees, It was miserable weaving around the 3 hours plus of walkers.

5.  Aid stations.  The aid stations were horrible.  Not only were they not enough of them but they were bare when I go there.  I received no cytomax for the last half of the race.  That means I was stuck with water only for the second half of the race.  Some aid stations you had to pour your own water.  Not to mention the number of people who were sick from the water.  I had most of the symptoms other had.  I dry heaved A LOT but did not vomit.  I was so sick.  Did I make a nutrition error?  Yes, but I have never felt that way before and it lasted all night.  They tapped a fire hydrant for water.  Used a hose to pour water into cups then they couldnt fill them fast enough.  So they filled a trash can with water using a liner.  They scooped water out and served it to runners.  My symptoms were severe to me but way less severe compared to others, so I am not sure.  For that entry fee I better have the resources I need.

4.  Medals/Swag.  There are literally hundreds of people who did not get a medal.  People who finished got offered multiple medals and they took more.  Some bandits got through and took medals.  The finishers for the half were so backed up at the medals that they had stand on the magnetic strip.  Literally on the finish line.  There was nothing to eat but green green bananas and stale bagels.  Really?  For 150 bucks I cannot recover?

3.  Running at night.  Now should I have trained this more?  YES.  I am responsible for that aspect of it but it made running more of a challenge.  I didnt think I would have had that problem.  It is nice to start out cold and get warm as you run.  At night its warm to cold.  Bring extra clothes to run the second half but you have to carry it through the first have.  Not to mention the people who are in las vegas and have a vacation to enjoy.  Walking through the race or using LV Blvd to walk to dinner or to a cab with your luggage.  Runners smashing into civilians with their luggage during the race?  Really?  Why do we have to weave around those folks too?  It was cold, and even rained too.  Parts of the full were very well lit and other parts was almost totally dark.  Weird.

2.  Competitor group.  I am starting to see a trend here.  The competitor group is getting awfully greedy.  Last year was borderline and I was a sucker for coming back.  I am even considering canceling my traithlete magazine subscription so those guys dont get anymore money from me.  The tri rock series is not even close.  Same baloney with water and bikes?  NO CHANCE.  I will not be back to vegas for sure and If the competitor group is behind a race I will be very reluctant to sign up.  I am thinking the local race thing is what is important.  Big, gaudy, manufactured experience is not desirable.  Not me, No thanks.

1.  The survey we got from the healthy district.  When the health district is trying to investigate what the runners drank at a race you know its bad.  I wish I can remember when i took water to help this out.  I wish I knew when which aid station it was.  I know that my insides were twisted and all of my muscles cramped.  My middle back and shoulders?  Lower back and legs?  I have never felt like that before.  Thank god it wasnt enough to make me seriously ill but gees it still was bad.

The good news:
-It was been really smooth recovery.  Since I didnt have a strong second half, I wasnt torn down.  I was sore but not horrible.  I have been able to run 30-60 min easy and I really, really want to go faster.
-I know I can push through anything.  If I can push on through what I felt then, what can stop me?
-It is still a marathon PR.  just not that impressively.
-I know that if the race was in the morning and I had healthy water to drink  I had a great plan.  I am in good shape.
-This puts me in good position for Surf City.  I am going to have one more week of easy recovery then get back to it next week.  I am ready for the new schedule!


Karl Stutelberg said...

Dude, one of the best posts yet. Competitor group is like the Yankees of marathons. Greedy SOBs with no sense of responsibility. Sorry you had to go through that. Glad you and Julie were ok. I have not run a rock n' roll and don't think I ever will after this incident.

Christi said...

I am really sorry your experience was not a good one. Thanks for sharing your insights. You would think Competitor Group would have all the logistics taken care of by now!

Morgan said...

Oh my goodness it's just one bad report after another for the race. I'm so sorry you got sick as well! :(

TX Runner Mom said...

Wow, I had no idea there were so many issues at this race. Sounds terrible!

Jill said...

I got on their FB page and was reading all the comments, I didn't see one that said much nice about the race. I am almost certain that tainted water they were handing out contributed to your issues in the race. You did great, considering all!

Cyborg Queen said...

Hey Ron,

I live here in Vegas too, I wonder if I know I tend to hang out with BLV, Green Valley Cyclists, and Las Vegas Bicycle club, we should run sometime, as I think we have similar run pace. I'm DJ.

I did the half, and I must say that this was HORRIBLE. Luckily for me, it was just a "fun" race as I wasn't as well trained for it like I was last year...and I still got a PR, not as impressive as I would have if I was trained, but good enough.

Luckily I have a strong stomach, I only experienced queasy stomach, and finally got on the tram (two hours?! wtf?), and got home in 10 minutes and ate my recovery chocolate milk, and had some food. Felt back to normal later that night. The only biggest issue I faced was being stuck behind the walkers. Seriously, wtf...this was worse than last year.

But missing out the medals, that's bad (I have mine, so I'm alright), missed out on bare aid stations, but I can tell that it was going downhill after I left certain aid stations.

With so much negativity with this race, I would be very surprised to see that they can reach this amount of number (and by God, they're thinking about capping it at 60k?!) next year. This should have been a Half Marathon event only.

Shirts? yup...I was expecting some day glo green shirt, or glow in the dark.

So..yeah, we both have the same complaints. Sorry to hear about your marathon race and hoping for a big PR. Wish you best of luck in Surf City!

B.o.B. said...

wow! i can't believe all of the negative i have heard about this race. it would def make me not ever want to run it either. glad you got through it and are recovering well. (and thanks for the kind words on my blog!)