This year, ALL eyes on on this event...for obvious reasons. To answer the birage of questions I am being asked about this year's race and what do I think of the proposed changes & will I race this year - here is my blog post from March, 2012:
Vegas is my home city, I am very proud to be a Vegas local. It is a wonderful place to live & run. SO MUCH more than The Strip (although I do love The Strip). Thank you for choosing Vegas as one of your vacation stops in 2012.
For those who choose to participate in the Vegas event - here are some tips you may or may not know about Vegas and how you can best prepare for an evening race, in the desert. Please feel free to share with your running buddies.
- We get VERY cold in the winter months. December is one of the coldest months during the year. When the sun goes down, the temps drop DRAMATICALLY. You need to think in reverse. You will start out warm, but you will get colder in the race. Nighttime begins around 4:45 - so all racers will be running at night, during their respected races.
What to wear:
Don't think for a moment you will be shedding clothes, you will need to ADD to the clothing. You might start off warm, but you will get colder.
Water replellant EVERYTHING - December is also one of our rainiest months. It could rain. It it rains, it will be VERY cold rain.
Temps in December at night can and often drop to the 20-30 degrees. Don't be fooled to believe otherwise. Prepare to run in the cooler temps.
Running during the daytime hours when it is cold IS different than running at night when it is cold. Train for it. Get out at night - running in your area and train for it, for at least 6-8 weeks. This gives your body time to adapt. Temp acclimation is not only for summer months. I train at night, almost year round (except for my summer long runs on weekends). I believe being able to run in the cold winter night was one of the reasons my body was able to survive last year. It was already use to the cold temps.
You MUST practice your fueling options in cold weather, at night. If your stomach is shaking in the cold - can you consume a gel? Or maybe you need to switch for the colder temps.
TRAIN AT NIGHT IN THE COLD WEATHER, for at least 6 weeks prior to the event.
- Do not drink alcohol 24 hours before the race. Yes, I know this Vegas - but you can booze it up after the race. Booze will dehydrate you and you can and will dehydrate in the cooler temps.
- Drink! Why runners believe they do not need to drink as much in the Winter vs Summer is just plain old crazy. You will still sweat and you need that hydration to keep the oxygen flowing through the blood to keep you warm. Blood cannot flow unless you are hydrated. DRINK!
- It goes without saying that if you do not trust the race course water sources, bring your own water bottles for the race. I now race with my own handhelds, because of the issues from last year. This way, I KNOW the source of the water. For me, it gives me peace of mind.
There is speculation that the "bug" that made so many of us sick last year, originated at the Expo and then spread through the water distribution system. One will never know the truth, but you can take steps to ensure you don't catch anything in a large group of people
- BRING HAND SANITIZER. Become a sanitizing fool. You touch anything - sanitize your hands. Anyone shakes your hand, hugs you - sanitize your hands. Clean hands is one of the best ways to prevent illness prevention, anywhere
- Don't sample any of the food or drink items. Take the sample with you, put in your swag bag and eat after the race. Since last year's Vegas, I no longer eat or drink any Expo samples, at any race. I keep them for after the race. Never eat or drink anything you are not familiar within 72 hours of a race. Just like you won't wear anything new on race day, right?
- Carry your cell phone with you. My husband made the horrible mistake of not bringing his cell phone last year. When I was horribly sick on the course, I couldn't get ahold of him and took him hours to find me, post race.
- Have cash/debit card/cc with you for post-race food or drinks. You just never know what is or isn't post-race. Have access to money so you can buy the food or drinks you want.
- RACE ID: Yes, I know the bib should have your name and medical information on it, but please wear a RoadID also. Much easier to get to in the event of an emergency.
Good Luck and hope you enjoy the city I call home, Las Vegas!
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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