Monday, December 07, 2009

Las Vegas Rock "n" Roll Marathon

Yesterday morning I joined over 27,000 other people who braved a brisk 34 degree temperature to run the entire length of the Las Vegas Strip and back - 13.1 miles for the 1/2 marathon (Note: > 5,800 of these runners chose to complete the entire 26.2 mile marathon - but not this guy).

The run was a complete blast, as the Rock "n" Roll event included 35 live bands dispersed throughout the course, groups of cheerleaders from the local community, skydivers, show girls, run through weddings, fireworks at the start, etc...

I ran the course with a buddy of mine who kept me motivated throughout while setting a superb pace... My finish time was 2:10:02 (averaging just under a 10:00 mile or just over 6mph)... I certainly know it's no where near a competitive time, but I was merely out to have fun for the day and meet my targeted goal for a finish time (which I did)... To put my time in perspective: of the nearly 18,000 1/2 marathon finishers, I finished 5,600 - in the top third... Not too bad for a 210lb crusty old fart!

This was my second year doing the event and I would highly recommend it to anyone...

Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

Here's a video clip of the course:

Now for a bit of trivia/history: So where did the word Marathon come from?

The name Marathon comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger. The legend states that he was sent from the town of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon, which took place in August or September, 490 BC. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming (Nenik├ękamen, 'We have won.') before collapsing and dying. The account of the run from Marathon to Athens first appears in Plutarch's On the Glory of Athens in the 1st century AD who quotes from Heraclides Ponticus's lost work, giving the runner's name as either Thersipus of Erchius or Eucles. Lucian of Samosata (2nd century AD) also gives the story but names the runner Philippides (not Pheidippides). (Source: Wikipedia)