I started with the Elite women at 5:45am, a bit early, but it is more thrilling to run down the strip in the dark with all the lights and noise (and in a pack of russians and kenyans behind the press truck, including former world record holder Tegla!!!)! I only ran 2:54 for 6th place, but it was actually a fast course with no wind and low temps. I thought it was a pretty fun race though, which is why i wanted to run it. I am curious why the half marathoners would be confused on the turn where they would split off the marathon course because first of all, there were probably 15,000 half marathoners and only a few thousand marathoners. The elite women were the first to come down the course and at that time there was 1 cop stationed at the turn off. We had started to break up at that point so i saw the russian woman who was 100m ahead of me go straight and I was confused because the course was coned showing a left hand turn and there and straight ahead the road was blocked off using those metal rack like baricades. So I yelled to the cop, "Which way?" and he said straight, so I went through a 5 foot opening in the baricade and there were no signs, no markings and I thought that was a bit strange and would be confusing for the marathoners, not the half marathoners.
Anyways, that was the only turn confusion. In all I thought the marathon was well done. There were a lot of turns but every one had a cop posted and cones. Aid stations were every mile. Since we were running through well ahead of the marathon masses It think that the on course entertainment hadnt really started yet. And there were a lot more people out on the course than i had thought there would be considering we were just running through industrial/suburbia areas really early in the morning. One other thing they will need to address is that with 2 miles to go the marathoners merge with the half marathoners who at that point are in the 2:30 to 3:00 range so that was really annoying to weave in and out of thousands of people walking and jogging really slowly. Probably more annoying for those acually trying to run a fast time, as I decided to just jog it in as a cool down anyhow. I think a Las Vegas marathon has more potential than what it is now. There were some articles in the las vegas sun newspaper about how it could be a better event, and they had some good points. Mainly they need to keep it on the strip and not run it out in the middle of nowhere. They could even take us around the UNLV campus and the Thomas and Mack center for lenth, but some more big name entertainment before and during, keep it on the strip, more running Elvi, running show girls, etc! The silly antics give it the right atmosphere. Supposedly I won $1000 for my little training run, but I won't hold my breath on that. I did not see any time stipulations for the prize money (which was really good money and paid 10 deep). I will probably run it again in the next few years.