|GOOD MORNING LAS VEGAS!!!! The view from our room at Mandalay Bay. I don't think I have ever seen Las Vegas at 5 AM before. And I have been here. A LOT.|
Since I started running in 2012, I have started making a bucket list of places I would love to run. Some of the runs on my bucket list are races (Salt Lake Half Marathon, running my first half marathon, running my first marathon), other runs are running places (by The Great Salt Lake, running to or by big city landmarks like to the Space Needle, on or by the Golden Gate Bridge, Central Park). The number one item on my list though was running the Las Vegas Strip. I love Las Vegas. I love how the city has embarrassed who it is and accepts it's own flaws. Really, the actual city of Las Vegas, minus the Strip, is just like every other city. They have ran down areas, homeless people, traffic, pollution, public transportation issues, infrastructure projects needing to be done, and bad politicians. Every city has these problems. But I have always felt that if any city can fix them, Vegas will do it. From it's very seedy past to an uncertain water future, Vegas can fix almost anything.
I love this city so much. I knew when Josh asked me to run the Rock n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon half with him in 2012, I could think of no better race to run for my first half. It was going to be perfect. Then I got injured. And I had to back out. We still took Josh and watched him run the race, but I knew right then I would have to run the Strip. Somehow, someway. I mean, it was item number one on my bucket list!
Time passed since that 2012 race. I ran my first half in Boise, Idaho, in 2013, which was AMAZING! I am from southern Idaho and it was fitting my first race should be in my old stomping grounds. I actually liked that race so much, I did it again this year along with finally crossing the Salt Lake Half Marathon off my list. Still, I had not had the opportunity to run the Strip. After Josh's terrible experience at the Rn'R in 2012, I knew I wouldn't want to run that race until all the kinks were worked out. Since they actually close the Strip, the race is terribly expensive and still isn't as organized as it could be. So until the race gets better, I would have to do this as a self supported run.
My opportunity came earlier this month when Mark and I traveled to Vegas to celebrate our anniversary and take our annual family vacation. We stayed at Mandalay Bay, so I planned our route to take us to the Welcome to Vegas sign just south of Mandalay Bay, then turning around to run up the Strip to Treasure Island, then back to the Mandalay Bay. A perfect almost 7 mile run, which is the exact amount we needed in our marathon training schedule. It was meant to be.
|The start-line of our Bucket List run.|
|The turnaround point heading south. Even at 5:45 AM, there|
are people there getting pictures. Only in Vegas.
|Getting hot half way up the Strip. But,|
the scenery makes it all worth it.
|Yet another elevator ride. Two words, Vegas.|
|After 2 years construction, the ride |
is FINALLY ready to go for the low low price
of your first born, per passenger.
We reached Treasure Island in 45 minutes. It was only 3.3-something miles. I blame all the elevator rides. Still, I was LOVING our run. The views were amazing. I have walked the Strip end to end many many times, but running it was even better.
|We made it! Time to turn around.|
We decided to cross the street at Monte Carlo so we could avoid one sky-walk at MGM and ran by New York New York. A security guard saw Mark running just ahead of me with Addison. He stopped me and said "Is she yours?" After I confirmed that Addison was mine he grinned. "She looks JUST LIKE YOU!" How can you not smile at that?
Another sky-walk (luckily, this one had a/c and Mark and I were leaning on all the cold spaces loving every second of the ride) and we were in the home stretch. Finally we were on Mandalay Bay grounds again and. like with every good run, I ended it with the epic jump pictures. What a way to cross this off my bucket list!