The starting gun is eleven hours from now. This afternoon Julie and I walked from the Luxor (where we’re staying) to the parking lot at Mandalay Bay (where the race starts) to get a sense of how much time we’ll need in the morning to get to corral 19. It takes fifteen minutes. That’s it. So we’ll get up, drink our coffee, get dressed and station ourselves at the starting line – all before our friends and families are out of bed.

We’ve had a lot of fun since we arrived on Wednesday evening. Thursday we walked the strip, stopping in to look at some of the more interesting casinos whenever we felt inclined. Friday, we spent a couple of hours at the race expo where, at 3:00, I finally got to meet Marie Bean. Readers might remember my e-pen friend, Marie. We “met” after the Rio de Janeiro race when she found my blog and reached out to me asking how I planned to get to Antarctica. She had planned on coming with Bill, Marina and me to Antarctica earlier this year, but had to change her plans in the end. What fun to finally meet her (and for more fun, check out her running business in Australia:

Today I crashed. For some reason I didn’t sleep more than a couple of hours on both Wednesday and Thursday nights. Last night (Friday), I took some sleeping aid and then felt like I wandered through today in a haze. So I spent most of today in the hotel room reading, catching up on Glee episodes and worrying about my foot (which I just wrapped according to Jason Gully’s specifications, hoping to give it some extra support tomorrow).

As I understand it, while the race starts at 7:00 am, each corral waits for a minute or two until it gets the go-ahead. Julie and I should actually start running anytime between 7:19 and 7:38. We’ve been told we have to make it to the 12.6-mile point by 10:15 in order to get the go-ahead to complete the full marathon (rather than be re-directed to do only the half). Even if we start at the latest possible time for our corral (7:38), this gives us 2 hours and 37 minutes to get to 12.6 (are you following?). We should be fine. The pain in my foot and the perpetual pain in Julie’s knee shouldn’t become acute until the second half of the race. The Las Vegas Marathon shuts down The Strip, so the race is only allowing 5.5 hours for participants to complete the full marathon, and I have to admit to a little concern about this. My last two races (Anchorage and Portland) have brought me in around 5:35. But Julie and I feel optimistic that we can pull it off with the help of the energy of the other twenty thousand runners and the bands stationed all along the route.

Watch our progress through the Rock n Roll website. I’m number 22435 and Julie is number 21240

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