I've read your review twice since I also "lost" in vegas at this terrible marathon.  Your post is the funniest I have ever read for a race review.  Hope you are sticking with Honolulu this year! -

Rodney Pygoya Chang's original posting for New Las Vegas Marathon:

I felt ABDUCTED BY ALIENS! (about: 2006)
Course: 1 Organization: 1 Fans: 1
Rodney Pygoya Chang from Honolulu, Hawaii (1/2/07)
11-50 previous marathons

The New Vegas was supposed to be my 19th marathon. I trained all year for my city (Honolulu) marathon, which is on the same day as the Vegas. As it turned out I spotted the New Vegas online and then choose it over Honolulu to celebrate our wedding anniversary in Vegas. Big mistake! She lost big time in the casinos with MY credit card and I too lost, as if abducted away by aliens to a parallel dimension from the full marathon course!

Let me explain.

I wore my Roswell t-shirt ("Take Me!") and baseball cap, being a big fan of the Roswell Incident American myth (attended the '06 UFO Festival; completing my "Roswell Encounter Gallery" novel for Amazon this May). I told my wife, "I'm running this one for Roswell, forget Hawaii." (I'm bored with that course, having done it 14 times). She said, "You'll be sorry; this UFO crap will bring you bad luck in Vegas." Guess it rubbed off on her too, as she experienced no mega-buck elation. Instead we left town poorer - and short on the January mortgage payment.

I gambled and drank (carbo-loading) the night before and you know what - hey, it's our wedding anniversary!). That night I should have also reviewed the course map in the registration pick-up packet. But I figured with 16,000 runners, how could I get "LOST"?

At the start of the race I did find myself swept along in the throngs of runners as I put my hung-over body into automatic pilot. The Strip was exciting and it helped this over 60 year-old "go with the flow," even with the headache and replay of our wedding night. BUT coming through the sensory overload downtown covered mall (Christmas music on blasting loud speakers, flashing casino frontage lights, sexy ladies in front of some of the doors, largest spectator crowd during the course, crammed and excited runners cheering while passing the downtown casinos), I never saw the split junction for my full-marathon group and the "halfers." Someone later asked me, "Didn't you see the fat lady holding the sign?" Guess not, with my eyeballs blitzed by the glitz of casino neon signs and blinking and racing disco lights, all competing for attention.

It wasn't until I saw the finish line after the bend in the road that I realized SOMETHING WAS WRONG! There MUST be a routing of the full marathoners, I thought to myself, as I approached the overhead finish banner with dread. There wasn't. I became disoriented, confused, shocked and abusive as the young volunteer attempted to strip me of my shoe computer chip. Among other things (which I regret saying to this poor volunteer), I yelled, "I don't belong here!!! I need to go back! I'm a full-marathoner! I paid the full price! Don't put that '1/2 Marathon Finisher' medal on me!" She sternly commanded, "You can't go back to rejoin the other group; it's over 5 miles away. And you already stepped on the finish line, so YOU'RE DONE! Those are the rules! No, we DON'T have an emergency shuttle. Now STAY STILL so I can take the chip off from your shoe! Stop your complaining, I'm just a volunteer!"

I just couldn't believe it. All this planning - the  l  o  n  g  flight both ways from Hawaii, the high costs, wife in tow, mother-in-law along with wife waiting 17 miles out on the course route (where her residence is), waiting for hours, before/without breakfast, in the chilly wind - worried, and then pissed, when she found out her son-in-law screwed up- again. I waited 3 hours in the chilly air at the finish line until they came and got me at the agreed upon predicted time of arrival at the finish for the (full) marathon. I didn't take my cell phone on the run - no extra space on my gel-pack belt. I remember the feeling of homelessness in that vast Mandalay Hotel parking lot, helpless without money in my running shorts, nor the promised food at the finish line, with the sting of the relentless, vengeful, windy chill (I left my jacket at the starting check out), and lack of a cell phone to send an SOS. When I finally spotted them searching apprehensively for me among the runners coming in, I tapped my wife on the shoulder from the back. She was startled to see me standing behind her among the spectators and replied, "Where did you come from?" I sarcastically replied, "Roswell."

I flew back feeling abandoned, my full-marathon manhood shaken, a total loser for having trained after all these months for nothing. When I sent administrators email to inquire if I was the only idiot that missed the split, I never got a reassuring answer. Nice. Later I did get email inviting me to return and do next year's race in order to "come back and finish up."  No word about a complementary discount.

I thought to myself, Heck no, never again... I've always lost in Vegas.  But my wife suggested I should. "I think this time both our luck will be different. Just don't wear that Roswell shirt again!"

View your original message and posted responses at:


another posting-

Devine is NOT so Devine (about: 2006)
Course: 4 Organization: 1 Fans: 2
L. D. from Texas (4/6/07)
4-5 previous marathons | 1 New Las Vegas Marathon

Excellent Volunteers
Announcer was enthusiastic, energetic and supportive especially at the finish
Blue Man Group
Plenty of Port-a-lets
Running the strip/downtown

- National Anthem was not heard, although speakers worked. Very Sad.
- Mass start (half and full marathon) start was terrible. People were climbing over the fence/rail, and creating there own gate instead of going through the bull pen entrance. Question, why was the tall fence on the street-side verses the parking lot side?
- Marathon and half marathon split: one person holding A sign for each. There was no warning, no-one was hollering for people to be prepared for the turn off, for example: 1/2ers take a left. This did not affect me, but several 1/2ers it did! More support in the half turn off area would be nice. 



Course: 4 Organization: 1 Fans: 3
C. K. from IA (12/20/06)
4-5 previous marathons | 2 New Las Vegas Marathons

A 16,000-person start, with 6-minute milers mixed with 10-minute milers and walkers. Great idea. Lots of clocks on the course, none of which corresponded with an actual mile marker. Sparse, but brave fan support on a cold windy day in Vegas. After weaving through a 1,000 half marathoners to finish, I wasn't sure if I was even on the marathon course. I immediately left the chute and headed out. If there was food, I'm sure it was no better than the rest of this race. And what an elite field. We waited 18 minutes to start so TWO elite women could take off early. Give me a break. Worst race I have run in recent memory - small or large. 



. My wife is a stable 3-hour runner and we have qualified and participated at the Boston Marathon on several occasions. In other words, we would consider ourselves well versed into what it takes to prepare for and complete a 26.2 mile marathon. We were both well prepared and ready for the Las Vegas Marathon after logging several 70 - 80 mile-weeks topped by a 105 mile-week all followed by the traditional taper. We had decided we would run this marathon together; and thank goodness we did, in view of the debacle this event eventually degenerated into for us. Just prior to leaving our hotel room, the current weather conditions were reported as 50 degrees with 10 - 15 mph wind. We are not sure what part of Las Vegas the weatherman was located but they most certainly were not in front of Mandalay Bay or anywhere else near the LVM course. The wind was more like 30 mph and gusting. In spite of this we were doing fine until about the 12 mile-mark when abdominal cramps started affecting my wife. She held on for 4 more miles but then that was it. Between the wind, the cramps and snow spitting out of the northwest, it was time to call it a day. I believe any experienced long-distance runner knows that no matter how well prepared you are, you never know when you will have bad day, and this was ours. However, when we stepped off the course at 16 miles, little did we know that only now was our real ordeal about to begin.

For starters, the staff at the aid station had no capability of contact with anyone; no phone, no walkie-talkie. Plus no blankets, no shelter, in other words, with the exception of water, Gatorade and a bunch of cups, they were totally incapable of rendering any assistance or aid to us or the other runner that had also stopped at mile 16. Fortunately two other people were able to help us with communications: a Metro police officer and a fellow on a bike who was monitoring the course for runners needing assistance. We were told by both that the shuttle was just a couple of miles behind us and would there to pick us up in a few minutes. So we waited and waited. In the meantime we are getting colder and colder. To make a long story short, after an hour of waiting, freezing and all three of us entering various stages of hypothermia (confused, slurred speech), we are told there IS NO SHUTTLE. For over an hour race headquarters had deceptively informed us otherwise. If there truly at any time had been a shuttle, then what happened to the one that was reported to be at the corner of Torrey Pines and Smoke Ranch over an hour ago? Fortunately a good Samaritan in the form of a lady driving by the course, volunteered to drive us home. The other runner was also taken hand on by a private citizen for transportation back to the finish area. Needless to say we are totally livid at the irresponsible behavior of Devine Racing and their New Las Vegas Marathon, but happy to have survived after placing ourselves at the mercy of such gross ineptitude. Never again will we step to the line of any event sponsored by Devine Racing, nor would we encourage any friend, family or loved ones to participate in their events.