Saturday, May 2, 2015

Race Report: Xterra Lake Las Vegas 21k

Xterra Lake Las Vegas is awesome. If you want a hot, fast, challenging, fun race...go to Vegas! There really isn't anything too technical about the course, it is mostly hard packed rocks/sand, with a couple loose sandy spots. There were a few longer climbs, some short and steep climbs, and steep descents. Oh, and a lot of sun!

I really don't have any complains/regrets about my race or race experience. I flew into Vegas on Wednesday night and my friend Kendal picked me up. For the next couple days, all I had to run was run, eat, sleep, and relax.

Race morning was pretty easy. It was just a short 20 minute drive to the race site. Check in was quick and easy, and I was ready to go.

The mini cannon went off. There was already a pack of 5-7 that had separated from the field in the first 400m with one guy leading. In the first mile we were down to a chase group of 4 with one guy extending his lead out front.

I wasn't wearing my Garmin, so I had no idea what pace I was running. The goal was just to get from start to finish as quick as possible. I found myself going back in forth with 2-5 on the up hill and downhill and finally in 4th with about 1000m left in the first loop. I bridged the gap and tried to use the group for a min. As one of the guys went to grab water, I made the decision to skip that aid station and try to put a gap on him before starting the climbing on the second loop. It seemed to be working, but unfortunately he caught me on one of the steeper climbs. I was in 4th.

With about 3 miles left, another guy passed putting me in 5th. At that point the sun was baking me enough that I was just hoping to finish. I could still clearly see 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, but I knew it would be hard to catch them.

I ended up finishing 5th in 1:24:34 and a big trail half marathon PR. I don't know that I could have put together much better of a race. Living at 10,200ft is great, and I *should* have altitude on my side, but I was not fully ready for the Vegas heat. The only thing I would do different next time is wear a visor to keep the sun off of my face.

Other than racing, I got to actually see things in Vegas this time. Fremont Street, Vegas the Show, different casinos, good food, Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. I also decided that since it was still snowing in Leadville, I would stay in Vegas a few extra days. Fortunately it was cheap to switch my flight, so the decision to stay in the sun was pretty easy.

I also got to train in the heat for a few more days. I even had a crew van on one of my longer runs - how exciting! I think the crew was having fun while watching me back in the sun.

Here are more pictures from the week.

Valley of Fire State Park

The Riveria won't be there next time!

I won! (One can wish)


Leaving Vegas :(

Thanks for reading. Happy training!