Day 1: Friday, travel
Friday morning I get up and go for my 30-minute easy run, I also do a core workout. My bag is packed and my flight isn’t until late morning, so I have time to spare. I grab a cab to the airport and before I know it, I am in Vancouver having lunch on my layover. After my second short flight, I arrive in Vegas and 20 minutes later, my friend Sky arrives. We make our way outside and look for the ride-share pick-up. In Vegas, Uber can only pick up passengers in specific locations, it’s a bit of annoying. We arrive at the LINQ and check-in via a kiosk, when we get to our floor we wonder how it’s possible to not get lost, but at the end of the trip we realize we never did.
We go for a walk on the strip and stop at Walgreens and buy beer for the walk. We end up on the south part of the strip, shopping at the Miracle Mile shops. We decide to go for a beer on a patio, and head up to Beer Park, which I read was good. While, the patio and view are on point, the beer list has something to be desired, many of the options are Budweiser or worse and the bill for our 2 beers is north of $30 USD. Dinner is In-N-Out and then we walk some more before heading to bed.
Day 2: Saturday, the expo etc.
On Saturday, I wake up at 5am, sans alarm, no sleeping in for me. We go to Starbucks for coffee (not many independent cafes on the strip), and slowly walk towards the north part of the strip while eating a banana. I have a 20 minute easy run, so I get that done before too many people are out on the strip. Post-run, we head to the Cosmopolitan for breakfast at Eggslut, we have not beat the line and it snakes around the restaurant into a dark hallway. We also grab cold-press juices from nearby Juice Standard, while we wait our turn. We have our breakfast and then head outside to meet our Uber to go to the race expo. The sun is out and it is HOT, we are happy the race is at night.
The expo is bustling with people, sequin-adorned skirts and other strange vendors offering teeth-whitening, hair extensions and cosmetic procedures. It is definitely the strangest race expo I have attended. We get our race kits and wander through, but not much catches our attention, so we line up to take a photo and then head out. We get another Uber and head to the mall for some shopping, we figure this will limit the amount we can walk rather than aimlessly wandering the strip, though we end up walking a lot anyway. We get chipotle for lunch and shop all afternoon. We stop for a brief rest at the hotel and then go to Flour and Barley for dinner which is pizza.
Day 3: Sunday, race-day
We wake up early, and grab coffee and breakfast at The Nook, a cafe in the LINQ. After that, we walk across the street to Caesars Palace in search of Lululemon. We have registered for a pre-race yoga and meditation class. We are some of the first people to arrive and are greeted warmly and given Perrier, we settle in near the back, and the class quickly grows. It is clear a lot of the attendants are new to yoga, but the class is not as easy as one would expect pre-race. There are far too many vinyasa which I regret the next day. After the meditation portion, we roll up our mats and the shop opens. They have screen printing to celebrate the race and we settle on the extra mile long sleeve, with the print on the lower back.
We grab another coffee and then head back to the room for a bit to figure out what to have for lunch. We decide on the earl of sandwich as well want to stay nearby, and end up back in the room afterwards. We lay out our race-kits snap and few photos and gather our fuel. The race begins at 4:30pm, shortly before sunset, but we need to be there early. This is the first race I have done with so many people and we want to be ready in our corral with extra time. The roads are already closed so we walk there to avoid the traffic, so we arrive quickly, in spite of our washroom stop. When we get to the corral there are not too many people there yet, but the sidewalks are lined with runners and spectators since there are multiple waves. We have an hour until go-time and sit on the ground to preserve our legs.
The corrals begin to fill up and we are forced to stand up to avoid getting trampled. We notice a skyjack with snipers on top, the police presence is undeniable, there are even helicopters circling overhead. We see a few couples dress in wedding attire, this event offers a “run through wedding” option. There are a few Elvis’s and other costumes as well. After the national anthem and fire display, we are off.