|Marathon 14 - Las Vegas||Story*Training*Injury*Schedule*Spectators*Statistics|
They couldn't have held a marathon in a more unhealthy place, unless it was run in a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise.
A constant 30 MPH headwind with gusts to 45, made Las Vegas a Suckfest. By mile 11, my splits were already in the 10MM range, and by 16 approaching 12MM. The wind had blown over many of the porta-johns down the course and was pelting us with sand and debris. Frequently blinded by dust in my eyes, my left contact was blown out at 20 (I got into an ambulance at 21 and was able to correct it). I was blown off the road a number of times, and more than not, had to run leaning forward, or turned to the left to counteract the wind.
When I finally turned to have a quartering tail wind -- at 23 -- my times dropped from the 12s (and 13s) to the 10s for the last 3 miles. My times never drop like that, and to lose 3 minutes per mile in the last 3 is unheard of for me. In comparison, the winner for the last 2 years did it in 2:18; this year's winner did it in 2:33....
I would not have made it past 15 if my brother Gary and father hadn't been there. Gary met me at the 1/2 way point, and ran with me to 14 or so. He acted as a wind block and that gave me a little room to breathe. Another crappy thing about the Las Vegas Marathon is that there are no spectators for the first half. If fact, though Interstate 15 paralleled the course (almost the entire way), and gave spectators the chance to walk from the highway to the course (1/4-1/2 mile), the cops made them move. The Bastards.
Updated February 3rd, 2003