Security 5k 2010

While at a trade show in Las Vegas this week, I participated in the inaugural Security 5k benefitting Mission 500, a charity founded by members of the security industry with the goal of sponsoring 500 children through the World Vision program. The organizers said they were expecting around 100 participants, however, 249 showed up on race morning. They had to start late in order to accommodate everyone who showed up. I’m glad to see a stronger than expected turnout, despite minimal advertising. However, with nearly 40,000 exhibitors and attendees, one would think that more publicity could yield significantly more than 249 runners. I tried to talk two others from my company into signing up, but they wisely did not show up. The night before was our annual rep and distributor meeting at a Las Vegas brewpub, and let’s just say that running was a bit unpleasant the next morning.

It was a cool, dry, and gusty morning. The wait before the race was quite gusty, though the wind died down a bit while we were running. The route was a “scenic” jaunt down Industrial Road, which is exactly what it sounds like. It was a busy six lane road servicing construction for new hotels and the hotels on the west side of the Strip on one side, and seedy nightclubs on the other. I realize that it is completely impractical to hold a race on the Strip because it is so busy. I did get a chance to run along the Strip early the day before. We also got to experience a freight train go by for a little fun. There were a couple incidents with impatient drivers trying to turn across the route or not paying attention to the traffic cones and mass of runners. The police had their hands full keeping things moving along smoothly, but they managed to do so.

I am not sure whether the race organizer plans to post official results on the web somewhere, but they did send results to participants via email. The editor of Security Systems News also has results in a blog post, but they’re not searchable. What I really would like to have seen would have been results associated with the companies represented. How many ways can my company find to beat the competition? We may not be huge, but we are respected in the industry, we are closing an excellent sales month, and we’re hiring. And we’re faster than all but nine others.

The race sponsors included lots of trinket trash in the post‐race goodie bags, which I normally would not have taken, as I do not like throwing that much stuff away, and I was trying to travel light since I did not want to check my luggage after the last flight experience my family had. However, I took a goodie bag anyway this time because I thought it would be fun to take home some extra “what did you bring me” stuff to give to my son. Along the lines of trying not to throw so much stuff away, I also kept to my word and brought my own water with me so I didn’t waste water cups along the race route. It’s not much, given the excesses of the place where I was, but I tried to stay honest. It’s a good thing I brought my own water, too, since I needed a lot to balance the combination of the dry air and the effects of the previous night’s meeting. I hope that my thirst did not have too much of a negative effect on Lake Mead’s water level.

(Aside on water consumption: is it necessary to line a business park with bright green grass and palm trees? The landscaping in the area around my hotel used so much water that the bark on the palm trees was bleached and rotting away up to the levels of the sprinklers’ spray pattern. What part about “desert” doesn’t compute? After being full a decade ago, the Lake Mead storage has steadily declined to the point where it is less than 50% full right now.)

The last time I visited Las Vegas in 2007, I also serendipitously found a midweek race associated with a trade show. That one, I think, was for vascular surgeons. Of course I signed up and ran, but it was a very small production. There was no RFID timing, and I had left my GPS watch at the hotel. I had told some other people about the race who were at the show with my company, and one of my parent company’s Latin American representatives came along too. He was training for the Chicago Marathon at the time, and he was used to running at crazy altitudes in Mexico City. I was able to keep up with him for a bit, but then he poured on the gas and smoked me.

View route in Garmin Connect

View route in Google Earth (8 KB KML)


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