Friday, August 10, 2012

ET Full Moon Midnight half marathon: A recap-o-rama in three movements!

In which I tell you almost absolutely everything about this race weekend. 
It takes a long time.  But there are pictures!

So.  This past weekend we ran the ET half marathon in Rachel, Nevada (find it for yourself here),  god save the queen.  And while there was definitely half-marathon action involved, I wouldn't call it so much a race as a stunt.  Right up my alley.

The James and I planned a whirlwind, turn-around trip, so as to keep things low-budget and have the scratch for squeezing in more races.  Quantity over quality, I always say! (no, I really don't, but when it comes to travelling that actually does cover it.)

Brand-new awesome extra-headroom plane, Southwest?  Why, thank you!
Knowing it would mean some tight timeframes and sleeping-under-duress, we booked flights for Saturday Morning and Sunday evening, and a room at the host hotel, the Hard Rock Las Vegas so we could minimize the running around.



Apparently there are other race reviews out there that warn against this course of action.  Apparently I should have read them.  Because apparently, although the rooms are hella cool and the beds can swallow you whole (witness:),

Super. Fluffy.


the Hard Rock's idea of an awesome weekend is to have you wait in a three-hour line to do this:

No matter how many times I looked out the window, this just did not look fun.
I should have taken a picture of the line so you could see what I mean.  At the time I didn't know what I was walking past- until I got up to my 8th-floor room and this was the view from our window.  It got a lot more crowded.  What it *didn't* get was a whole lot louder-- BECAUSE IT WAS ALREADY LOUDER THAN A JET ENGINE CHANNELED THROUGH A MEGAPHONE BLASTED THROUGH CONCERT-SIZED SPEAKERS DIRECTLY INTO YOUR EARDRUMS.  AM I STILL SHOUTING?? BECAUSE I CAN'T TELL.

It was so loud even on the 8th floor behind windows that don't open that we had a hard time hearing each other talk from across the room.  Believe me, even with my tendency to hyperbole there's no need to exaggerate this scenario.  James came out of the bathroom at one point and said, "you can still feel the bass in the shower with the doors closed".  It still makes me laugh out loud that they just handed over our room keys at check-in without batting an eye.  Do they assume the entire world knows about their epic summertime pool party that happens EVERY WEEKEND FROM 10AM-7PM, or figure you'll be out on the town during the day anyway so no harm done, or do they really not give a rat's ass?

"Um yeah, no... I could not give less of a fuck."
Let me give you a little taste of what being in this room was like.  Keep in mind we are on the 8th floor, and the windows *don't open*.  You get to partake in our amateur anthropology as well, as we were studying this interesting spontaneous "splashy splashy" ritual the natives had; somehow they had some kind of group consciousness thing that told them all when to start and stop splashing...but what you really need to experience is how loud the fucking rave was in our room:

I mean, I brought glow sticks, but I need them for tonight.

Anyway.  A little dumbfounded and a bit worried, we headed down to grab some food, last-minute race staples and hit the expo.  We wound up eating at Pink Taco, despite my exreme aversion to the name, and found it was *super* *good*.  I had their namesake dish, and I must tell you: pickled onions on tacos = yes, yes! and read that in a dirty way.  Fucking yum.  We have this place in Phoenix and I'm just going to have to get over my aversion to ickily-named restaurants bc everything we had there was outstanding.

Yes, please.  I watched these corn tortillas being made.  Yum.
I guess it's supposed to, but this reminds me so much of a Senor Frog's I once drank at in Mexico that I could almost hear the waves.
I don't know how but I am putting this idea in my house.  Cute design!
Another good point in the Hard Rock's favor was the CVS directly across the street; in Vegas it's not so easy to skip into a convenience store and there are always last-minute things I need before a race.  In this case it was snacks for the bus and *water*, since I like to cram all my hydration in a few hours before the race (read: I never remember any earlier.).  So, I did like that.  And they have a complimentary shuttle to the strip, which we didn't use but I thought was nice since it's really too far to walk to.  I'm just throwing these things out there so you can feel like I was fair while I panned the fuck out of the place. 

Snacks in hand, we moseyed back to the expo and chatted with other runners while we waited for it to open.

Packed house.

At 700 runners, this was definitely the smallest race I've ever been to.  By a factor of about 60.  But, I also talked to about ten times more people than I usually do at bigger races.  I loved that.  Everyone seemed so normal (well, for runners ;) ) and I really appreciated actually interacting with some of the people I was around.  I'm not sure what the difference is...Maybe at bigger races people go with larger groups and tend to stay within them, or there are more nervous newbies just focusing on their own stuff, or people are more tense and jaded with the effort of crawling through the enormous crowds and tons of red tape...Whatever the reason, I really enjoyed the feel of the smaller race.  I'll have to look for more of that.

Back at the room at 430pm, it was time to confront the weakest link in our plan: trying to get some sleep.  I donned earplugs and with a few trusty yoga tricks managed to eke out a few hours of fitful rest-ish.  Good to know if I ever need a nap at Grand Central I could probably manage it...but when I woke up to get ready a sleepless Jaime was in a bit of pique from three hours of slamming techno.  Sucks.

This bed was totes awesome tho.  I should have smuggled it home.

Did I say there was actual race recap information here?  There is!  It's mostly in Part 2... ;)

1 comment: