I had no idea what to expect when we signed up for the 2012 Vegas Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon. I read all about the debacle of the 2011 race. Runners were dropping like flies and vomiting all along the race course, blaming tainted water served straight from fire hydrants and held in garbage cans. The race had multiple bottlenecks and was overcrowded, resulting in runners getting trampled or not being able to run on the actual course. They ran out of medals, t-shirts, and food. That certainly isn’t the rave review that makes me want to sign up for a race, but I had a feeling the race organizers would be focused on kissing up to the 2012 participants to restore their reputation.
After the NY Marathon dust has settled, I’m finally sitting down to write a little about my NY Marathon experience, the future of my marathon career, and some very exciting news that happened at a race I didn’t run.
Since I got word that I snagged a lottery spot in this year’s NYC Marathon, I’ve been counting down the days til the race. I’ve trained for months, changed my eating and sleeping habits, and scheduled my life around my running. Aside from the physical efforts, I’ve also sunk a big chunk of money into transportation and accommodations for the big day. It’s pretty much all I can talk or think about. Just ask my friends– I’m sure they’re sick of hearing about it. Now Hurricane Sandy is putting a big wrench into the race and many are calling for a complete cancellation.
I knew when Runner’s World announced they’d be hosting an inaugural half marathon event, it was a must-run race. Who better to organize a race than the people that run and write about nearly every other race in the country? This fit perfectly into my NYC Marathon training as a final tune-up race. This was also pretty convenient because the host town of Bethlehem is Matt’s hometown, so we had a place to stay.
We’re just 16 days out from the NYC Marathon! I just got my official race handbook in the mail yesterday. While I’m super excited for race day, I think I’m equally as excited to taper. When I started training for my first marathon last fall, I read every blog and website there was about training schedules and preparing for your race. I came across a lot of articles about tapering, but every one seemed to suggest something different. The basic idea is to start tapering your runs as you get closer to race day, to give your muscles a break and start the marathon with fresh legs. On the one hand, it makes sense. On the other hand, I was quite concerned about how much stamina I’d lose without doing any super long runs for the last few weeks of training. Despite my trepidations, I followed my plan last year and discovered tapering is the best thing ever.
I had a crazy plan while I was reading an issue of Runner’s World on the beach in late summer. There was a feature on a group of runners who had organized a beer run, which involved drinking four beers over the course of a mile. While I was reading it, the wheels started turning. This sounded like something I could plan with my friends. I chatted to Matt about it and we got to work on brainstorming. After looking into it, I learned there are secret beer mile events all over the country. There’s even a website featuring rules to host your own Beer Mile.
The Dogfish Dash has been on our calendar since April, when my friend Brian suggested getting a group of friends together for a weekend in Rehoboth Beach for the race weekend. I’m a big fan of Dogfish Head Beer, and my parents have a place near Rehoboth, so it’s my go-to beach destination for summer weekends. And who can say no to a race that involves a post-race beer party at a brewery?