Monday, December 05, 2005

Monday marathon

The Rodeo’s in town. Every December the National Finals Rodeo comes to Vegas. It’s boots and buckles and big hats everywhere. The month of December is usually light for tourists and conventions, so ten days filled with cowboys helps book the rooms. I thought it amusing that the Mandalay acknowledged the rodeo via their big marque -

Mamma Mia is an ongoing musical playing at the Mandalay nightly. The big poster is almost the same, but if you look closely you can see the bride is wearing a sparkly pink cowboy hat. That just popped on last week.

The other big event that occurred yesterday was the first Las Vegas Marathon. No, I didn’t run – probably would have a hard time just walking twenty six miles. On Saturday downtown there was a 5k Santa run – hoping to get the biggest grouping of Santas in one place, but sorry to say that goal was not met. But the photo in the paper shows thousands of red costumes in the street – That one I would go for, not the 5k run but the 1k walk. Need to get a Santa suit for next year – hopefully we’ll find some sales after Christmas.

The marathon went past our house, just a block down the street. It was at mile 19 and we just had to walk down and watch all those energetic people stream past. The race started at 6am at Mandalay Bay, the last big casino at the south end of the Strip. Runners proceeded north up the strip – that’s why it started at 6 on a Sunday, the only time the county would permit the Strip to be closed. Then through downtown under the Fremont Street light cover, a little more north and west, then turned south down Torry Pines, past our neighborhood, and east on Twain back to the Mandalay – the same route I take coming to work. Winner was Gilber Koech of New Mexico – no, not a Kenyan, doing the run in 2:13 – wow, twenty six miles in just over two hours. I am impressed.

We walked down at 7:30, just in time to see the leaders go by. Along with just about every motorcycle cop in Vegas. I didn’t pull out my camera quick enough for the starters, but here are some of the first wheelchair participants -

Twenty six miles running is really hard on the legs, but imagine all those miles using just your arms? Wow.

That’s the main pack in front of our local school. That’s where there was a water stop – well, most didn’t stop but just grabbed and ran. Looks like they were planning on a lot of drinkers.

There were over twelve thousand participants. It was 35f at the start, warmed up to 45f by 7:30, but everyone seemed to be sweating. A lot of people were lined up here handing out drinks and bananas and energy bars.

For some reason the runners just tossed everything aside instead of stopping to hit a trash can. Go figure. Here’s Bobbie watching the crowd go by.

As you can see, 45f for a standing around local is cold. The runners kept going south here

what they look like going away. There were 45 Elvi (Elvises?) running – I just saw one go by, sorry, again not quick with the camera. He was a younger Vegas Elvis, white jump suit, rhinestones and big hair. As you can see, there might have been a few clouds at the start, but the rest of the day was blue sky and sunshine. I imagine it's a lot better running at 45f than if they held this in July when it would have been 90f by this time of the morning.

And for Clare:

1. Sunday morning with warm coffee and cold air and bright sunshine watching people do what they enjoy doing. (26 miles, wow)
2. Thinking about riding on the back of a bucking bronco, and not having to do it.
3. Bright sunshine and living in a city with lots of things to see and enjoy.

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