What are the odds that several thousand people would get up at four in the morning and board buses that would drop them off in a cold, dark desert? You will not find the answer at the sports book in Caesars Palace, but you should take the bet because that is what happened at the 2002 Las Vegas Half Marathon.
As Dave Kent put it, you might want to do the Vegas race once, but you will not be so eager to do it again. On the plus side, the downhill course presents little challenge to your aerobic system and the likelihood of a fast time. On the minus side, the early start at a remote location, the frigid temperatures, and the finish area in the middle of a deserted park detract somewhat from the excitement.
After balancing it out, a small contingent of TCLA runners set out for Sin City to try their luck. Terrence Moriarty, calm and collected before the race, ran a strong race, which bodes well for his upcoming marathon in L.A. Two minutes later, Paul Kasick crossed the line for a personal best. Wenise Wong also earned a p.r., and ran fast enough to win the jackpot of an automatic entry into the N.Y. Marathon if she so desires. (Her chauffeur, who figured that as long as he was along for the ride he might as well run, ended up just a few minutes in front of her.)
Sam Spencer, who rarely passes up an opportunity to visit Vegas, ran a decent race, but might have run faster had he not spent so much time on his feet the previous day at the Art of the Motorcycle exhibit at the Venetian. Todd Carey put in a solid effort, and rewarded himself with a stay at the Venetian after the race. Running with a sore hamstring, Stephanie Cahn put on a good show with her brother in the crowd. And, Brian Bartholomew not only went to the motorcycle show the prior day, but ran nine miles that morning, so his race was more of a jog through the desert.
Average Finishing Time: 3:58:23
Averge Per Mile Pace: 9:5.5
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