Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Recap: Extraterrestrial Full Moon Midnight Half Marathon - Rachel, NV

Another long delayed recap...

Race Day: Saturday, August 4, 2012 @ 10:00pm

After arriving in Vegas after my trip from UT I arrived just in time for the expo and packet pickup. I skipped checking in on base and headed out to the Hard Rock Resort to get my packet. The expo wasn't much, only a few tables (reminded me of the Wisconsin HM's expo that I did) but packet pick up was fairly smooth. All I can say is that some women really need to reconsider wearing a teeny tiny bikini (there was some sort of beach party going on)...'nuff said. Before heading to the base I found L&L Hawaiian BBQ and got some dinner since the closet (and only) Hawaiian BBQ place is almost 2 hours from where I live. I headed to the base and checked in and got my gear ready for that night's run. Sorry, no pics I was just too exhausted and busy trying to decide if I really wanted to do this race...ultimately I did it, but in reality shouldn't have.

I tried to nap for a few hours prior to the race so that was a total bust. I was still contemplating not running but since I had made the drive & had my gear ready I might as well do it. I got ready and headed back out to the Hard Rock where the buses would bring us to the appropriate starting line (there was a full, a half and a 10K). There was a single bus for Marathon Maniacs, Half Fanatics (me) and 50 Staters so I managed to get a single seat on that one. Our driver managed to get lost for awhile...imagine a full sized bus making a 15 point turn on a 2 lane highway, lol. And then the bus in back of us had the front window "explode", there were no injuries other than some scratches and cuts on the driver. I never found out what happened.

We eventually dropped off the marathoners where everyone picked up some glow bracelets (at least that's what I remember) then loaded back up to head to the half marathon start. Everyone had to wear some kind of reflective clothing and this time I just went with a reflective vest. All the while on the bus I still really had doubts about participating. I did get off and I did start actually doing a run/walk/run for about 6 miles then finally feeling so tired, fed up and just wanting to get the damned race finished that I just started doing a brisk walk to finish the damned thing of. This was probably the most un-enjoyable race that I've done so far...not because it's a bad race...but just because I was sooo not in the frame of mind to do it. The course is mostly rolling hills with the first, I'd say, 5-6 miles of the half marathon being a very gradual uphill.

I finally made it to the finish at the Li'l AleInn that you see in a lot of Area 51 documentaries. I did not partake of the free breakfast and drinks at all...all I wanted to do was get back to my room to sleep. I took one picture in front of the cafe as proof as I had been there and immediately got back on the bus for the 2+ hour drive back to Vegas. Just before the bus left, I realized that I had lost my camera and was searching everywhere that I could in 4 minutes before the bus left. About an hour into the drive I found my camera...I had put it in the zip up pocket on my reflective belt, damn, did I feel like and idiot. I did manage to get 1 hour of sleep on the bus and was just thankful that I didn't have to do the driving myself.

When I woke up on the bus I got a few shot of the Nevada sunrise and as we drove into Vegas I thought that was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen, not because the Strip is supposedly beautiful but instead it meant that I was just that much closer to getting to my car and some sleep. Once we got out of the bus I couldn't get to my car fast enough and headed to the base stopping at WalMart to buy some breakfast at McDonalds and 40# of ice for an ice bath. When I got on base I headed straight to my room for a 20 minute ice bath and ended up sleeping for some 13 hours straight. When I got up I did some laundry so I wouldn't have to do any at home, grabbed another meal in town at the base exchange food court since the Popeye's on base had already closed and headed back to my room to pack and sleep another 9 hours for my drive home on Monday.

Race Day + 1
I woke up fairly early around 6am and began packing up the car for my 12 hour trip home. In the middle of my packing up I managed to forget my key card in the room. If you know anything about military lodging you understand that the building used for lodging can at times be a couple of miles away from your actual room. So there I was in a dilemma. Do I walk the ~1.5 miles one way to the office and get another key which would be an issue because I didn't have any ID with me or do I wait until housekeeping or the building's management office opened. It was probably 7 or 7:30am and normally housekeeping arrives around that time. I managed to find one of the housekeepers but she wasn't on duty, didn't have a master key and told me that the rest of the staff was in a meeting which she didn't know how long it would be. I figured it would be some quick briefing and they should be back by 8am so I decided to wait. Eventually a little after 8 or 8:15am the supervisors showed up and cleared my identity with the front desk and I was finally able to get in my room. I finished packing up and headed out. I can't remember if I had breakfast or not that day.

The drive home was fairly uneventful except for one jackass in a blue pick up who would speed up to pass me then slow down. Eventually my moderate road range kicked in and I got in front of him and blocked him doing the minimum speed limit while another Toyota, whom the truck was also messing with, next to me did the same in the inside lane moving only to let others get by but moving back in to block the blue truck as soon as the other vehicle(s) passed. We continued this in tandem for nearly 20 miles before we both took off doing 80+ on the interstate leaving the blue truck in the dust. I totally love when people work on me to screw over assholes on the road! lol. I finally got home around 10 or 11pm and went straight to bed only to spend most of the next 3 or so weeks sleeping and only being awake but not necessarily out of bed for more than 3-4 hours.

So, my total budget for this "race" weekend peaked out at $450-475 including gas, food and lodging (military lodging was only $39/night but has now changed to $53/night). Looks like I'm going to have to find some alternative cheap lodging for any travel I do in the future.

Official/final time: 3:22:50

What did I like about this race? 
It was a great race even though there were plenty of rolling hills. Nice medal.

What did I NOT like about this race? 
Long bus ride. Driver getting lost (apparently it happened last year as well).

Would I do this race again? 
Absolutely, but I hope I'm in a better frame of mind if I do.

Scary pic of me with other runners in the background.
No aliens or UFOs spotted although there were several wannabe aliens.

Finishing area at Lil A'Le'Inn.

Finishing area at Lil' A'Le'Inn.

Yes, I was really there and I actually finished.
Medal for this race and the plastic medallion for the UT race.

Same pic as above with the UT medallion lit up.

Pretty sunset.

Thankful for some sleep.

Ah, Las Vegas...sleep here I come.

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