Back in April, Sabina Helton, her sister Laura, Trish Riley, and Nicola Lowrey put the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon on their race calendars. The race was on December 2 (same day as CIM), and advertised as the "Strip at Night" because..., well..., the race is entirely along the Las Vegas Strip and run at night. Incidentally, Sabina and Trish signed up for this race last year (Sabina ran 1:44), but Trish had to pull out with a broken toe so this year was about redemption. And for whatever reason (sympathy, pity, rookies - cuz the Club Ed boys would never have invited their significant others on a road trip), spouses and children were invited. Vegas here we come!

Unfortunately, it was Laura and Nicola this time who couldn't make the trip. That left Trish, husband and Crew Chief Dave, Sabina, husband Jon Megeff, son Brennan, and Brennan's friend Stephen. All were signed up for the half except Jon, who opted to run the full. Jon initially signed up for the half but moved up to the full after failing to run a PR in Boston. Spoiler alert - Jon is 0 for 2 in marathon PRs this year!

Running a race at night seemed like a brilliant idea on the eve before the race as we partied like rock stars without the guilt or fear of having to wake up at the crack of dawn. And don't get me wrong. The no alarm clock thing on race day was great. But then came the buildup of anxiety as we had eight hours of awake time to think about the pain that was to come. By 11:00 AM, I was thinking "why couldn't we have raced and been done by now!!!"

Finally, the marathon kicked off in front of the Mandalay Bay at 3:00 PM. 3,200 runners toed the line and the weather was a perfect 70 degrees! Oh..., did I mention the 36-49 MPH winds? Great! As if running 13-26 miles isn't hard enough. Anyways, the course was flat as advertised and after running up and down the strip with some additional miles through North Las Vegas to achieve the required mileage, Jon staggered across the finish line in 2:58. Not exactly the 2:45 he had hoped for but somehow still good enough for 19th OA and 2nd in his AG.

The half marathon kicked off at 4:30 PM and was also run along the strip so for the last several miles and into the chute, the marathoners and half marathoners ran alongside each other. As you can imagine, there were several Elvis sightings, a few "Hangover" motion picture characters, and dozens of women in wedding dresses. Apparently, 30 weddings were performed mid run and 28 couples renewed their vows. At one point, Jon passed a grossly overweight half marathoner in a speedo, no shirt, and carrying a full size inflatable doll. Not a pretty sight.

In the half marathon, Sabina and Trish stuck to the race plan and went out at 8:15 pace, hoping to negative split and PR. Unfortunately, the headwind during the final 10K of the race was brutal and there would be no PRs on this day. When the dust settled (no pun intended), Sabina and Trish covered the course in 1:49 and 1:53 respectively. Both finished in the top 5-7% OA ( 22,000 runners) and Trish finished 6th in her AG! Awesome job ladies! Not to be forgotten, high schoolers Brennan and Stephen cruised across the line in 1:38. Crew Chief Dave was at the finish line as we all crossed and while we hobbled back to the hotel to get cleaned up, Dave secured a spot in the Bacchanal ( English translation - riotous drunken feast) Buffet line at Caesar's Palace for some post race food and carbo loading.

Well done Club Ed and on to the next adventure...