Sunday, 17 November 2013

Rock & Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon 2013

Well it's been a good few hours since I have finished this race & once again I can't say enough about how good this race is organised .
Firstly we were staying at the Mirage Hotel & they had arranged a free shuttle bus service for there guests down to the start . Which was very well organised & we got to the start nearly 2 hours before the event started .
Which didn't matter at all as there was plenty to do & it was a lovely warm day perfect running conditions. 
There was a great band doing a gig before the race too which kept us entertained the all American rejects. Great music & witty banter I'm not sure some runners would of been impressed when the lead singer said I've never played to such a fit audience but there are a few fat runners here too!! It was a priceless moment we found it funny but some didn't ! Rock n roll stars seem to get away with saying these things .

So back to the race , both the full & the half started at 4.30 pm & depending on what finishing time you predicted you were allocated a starting pen , each pen was set off in 2 min intervals so this would make your run a more pleasurable experience and not too overcrowded. 
I was in pen 2 & my dad was in pen 4.
Just in case you don't know u can actually get married or re new your wedding vows at this race & for the first time this year it was held before the start & there were lots of couples there & then they ran the race let me just say it's a good job they didn't do this 11 years ago or I seriously would of been tempted to get married on this race. 
Straight after the service the USA national was sung and this was a lovely moment & even though I'm from the uk it was quite a emotional moment & you could see how passionate the USA are about there country ( it was a lovely to see ) & the 17 year old girl who sang it had a gorgeous echoing voice.
The race actually started 5 mins late but no one cared & as our start pen were lining up I was right at the front whoop whoop .
This was going to be a awesome race & for the first time I had a go pro attached to me to record this amazing race & yes I was still taking it serious.

The sun was just going down as we started and the first mile we ran away from the strip down to the welcome Las Vegas sign before heading back to the strip.
Ok if you have never been to Las Vegas you will find they never close the strip at night apart from two times a year and this race is one of the times & with it been at night it's just a amazing sight to see the lights & the crowd support is immense & they get very vocal good job seems to be the popular saying & the homemade signs on the course did make me chuckle !! 
One said Run like you stole something & the other one which I thought was brilliant was you paid to run this stop moaning !!! 
Back to the race one of the highlights for me was when we ran past the Bellagio fountains & they were actually on ( this is the first time in 3 years that they have actually been on when I have ran past ) 
I was feeling really good and my first 5k was run in 22 mins which I was pleased with & I was surprised with as I had been feeling really tired with jet lag beforehand. 
The race now keeps going down the strip past all the hotels till u get to old Las Vegas & into Fremont street , the only bad thing about the race was between 7 & 8 miles (I think it was )which was off the strip & very dark with no lights at all & there were very few spectators around just a odd Marshall doted about.
Fremont street was next and that was a colourful array of lights & great live bands as we ran through. It was just after here that the marathon runners & the Half marathoners split & this year I was doing the half as I've had a rather busy year with ultras & really wanted a faster race & 
to try and keep some speed in these ultra legs.
As we headed back along the strip the closer we got to the finish the noisier & busier the crowds got & I somehow got involved in a bit of a race with a older chap ( oh dear there was no way he was going to beat me ) & I was passing him & then he was passing me he really didn't want to beaten by a girl. It's funny that you can still find some extra speed in your legs when you need it & we ended up having a sprint finish & much to his annoyance lol I pipped him on the line , to be fair he did thank me in the end for dragging him to a decent time & was very  nice. 
I was really pleased with my finishing time & overall position.
I'm not convinced I'm going to make it as a go pro expert but then this was the first time that we had tried it & looking at the video footage it looks like I ran to fast as it's a bit jumpy to say the least !!! Gutted is a understatement as Ben informed me afterwards that we should have set it up different for running grrrrrrr !!
Oh well next time I'm sure it will be perfect.
My dad had a great run too & finished 5 mins quicker than last year in a time of 2.17 so well done dad you did brilliant.
A big thanks to my hubby & my mom for been our support crew again & bag carries.
I've done hundreds of races in the uk   & abroad and I can honestly say this medal is up there as one of the best ones around & it's damn heavy too . ( oh did I mention it glows in the dark ).
One thing I did notice in this race was that once again my brilliant Buff kit got noticed & the Gb Buff always gets you some shouts from fellow holiday makers / supporters I really recommend running in one if you race abroad.
Check out 

This is the amazing glow in the dark medal ( the photo doesn't do it justice ) 

Next for me is a race back in the uk on the 7th December on Cannock Chase I'm now turning into a adventure athlete & I will be competing for team Buff uk in a pair with my best buddy Heather . This really should be interesting and it consists of off road running , mountain biking & kayaking yep kayaking ( with my love of water this should be fun ) & tasks thrown in too.
Look out for my race report on this soon.
I'm also finally getting my transalpine blog finished at long last too.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

A great day at the rock & roll Las Vegas expo

Well it's early here in the USA and my body clock still thinks it's in the uk so I've been wide awake now since 1 am in the morning so I have decided to do a little blog on the Las Vegas Rock & Roll expo.
Here goes .
We arrived at the expo just as it opened at 11am on Friday morning & this year it had been moved to the las Vegas convention centre a bigger building off the strip. Not that I was keen to get my number but I was first in the que for mine 
So number 2440 was my race number & next was shirt collection & it's great to see that there were women special cut ones for a change so at last no oversized T-shirt for me & a very nice design too.

Next was to pick up our swag bag which had a array of vouchers & free bar entry offers in it.
Right so I'm all ready to run now just the expo to have a wander around, only in Las Vegas do you get greated by show girls & you get to see runners walking around dressed as Elvis bizarre very bizarre but that's what makes this race so unique. 
The expo was great full of lots of freebies & competitions to enter & prizes to be won , very enjoyable indeed.
I was also meeting up with the lovely guys from feetures socks who had agreed for the 2nd year running to supply me with a few pairs of there amazing socks ( these were the socks I wore when I ran in the transalpine race for 8 days ) and I didn't get one blister the whole time I wore them !! Now that is impressive for me & I can not stop talking about how good they are . 
So thank you
for my 12 months supply of socks & I will keep spreading the word in the uk.
My next update will be after the race . 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The evil sheriff off road duathlon .

Well I've not done a blog for a while & I've decided to add this one as it was first off road duathlon.

So here goes a good few months ago I was chatting away to my mate Heather about running , races & generally gossiping when we decided that we would do some events together & I said I would help to get her back into full fitness after 18 months off with dodgy knees & we decided we needed some race goals now obviously I'm a runner & Heather is a mountain biker so we put the two together & come up we would help each other with the weaker discipline & searched the Internet for some races to enter.
So four months on & training has been going great , ( when I say training running has been going great ) mountain biking has had to be fitted in when my races fall around it. 
We decided our first event would be the Evil Sheriff off road duathlon in Sherwood Forest which consisted of a  5k run 16k MTb 3.6k run perfect as my hubby Ben was working at the event as an official photographer for
So we entered & that was that Team Buff uk were in .
Luckily for me the Lovely Sarah from sent me some buff cycling shorts last year which I hadn't had the opportunity to wear until now & I was mighty impressed with the fit & comfort , & I topped them with my long sleeved Buff blue official team kit & my Buff of choice for this race was my Red SueMe buff which I wore as a hat to run in & it doubled up as a MTb helmet liner when I rode.

Back to the race.
The race started at 9am on Saturday morning and we were there very early to pick up my race number as it had got lost in the post & the round the ankle timing chip.
So now I was ready all I had to do was rack up my mountain bike and have a warm up as it was a bitterly cold morning.
My plan for this race was just to go for it from the start as I knew my biking skills would be my weakest part of the race and for me the run was a bit short, so when the gun went , I was off !!!
The course was a lovely mix of terrain and it had a nice mix of up hills & down hills and very enjoyable , I got to the end of the 5k in about 22 mins which I was pleased with then it was a mad dash to grab my helmet & bike,
Next was 2 x 8k laps on a mountain bike to get a picture of how I felt think mad women possessed and that was how I rode on the first lap and looking back maybe I had gone a little bit to fast, but it had to be done,
The mountain bike course was brilliant fun a mixture of tiny tracks through lovely wooded areas with mud and hills and even a water section to ride through thrown in for good measure.
I think it was on the 2nd lap of the bike course when i realised that my timing chip had come off my ankle grr how happy was I especially as the guy on the bike next to me said the race would charge me £25 pounds if I've lost it !!!!

So as soon as I got to the bike transition timing mat I told the time keepers and very lucky for me someone had found my chip & it was now by my kit at the racking area phew, so a quick transition and reapply of my chip I was back out running if thats what you can call it the first 500 metres were like someone had replaced my legs with jelly a very strange feeling indeed.
If you have done a duathlon or triathlon you will understand what I'm on about.
I really enjoyed the last stage 3.6k run as i managed to catch up with  a few chaps who had sped past me earlier in the race, unfortunately for me the run wasn't long enough to catch many of the women in front but I was pleased with how I felt and I will definitely be doing some more off road duathlons as they are great fun.
I also got to test out my new Bloc leopard sunglasses which were brilliant and not only protected my eyes from the glare of the sun through the trees but they also stopped the mud from getting in my eyes on the biking stage. I highly recommend them.

Heather also did great in this race and it was great to hear that there were no issues with your knees & it  will be interesting to see how our bike splits compare , one thing to remember mate is to forget using gels in future as yep they effect you the same way as me and make you sick,

My dad aka Buff daddy ran in the off road 10k and he ran very well indeed & thanks for been mine & Heathers support & bag carrier before your race.

Team Buff uk also had Tony Wallbank competing in the 10k race and he ran brilliant to knock 7 mins off his p.b !! just shows you that Buff kit makes you run fast.

A special thanks to Buff & Sueme for your continued support and its a pleasure to race in your kit.

Next for me is flying out to the Las Vegas marathon & Half in a few days time & then back to competiting in a pair with Heather in an adventure race in December .

I saw this quote this week & though I would add it on my blog as its a good one.