Monica got up sometime around 4am on Sunday to head out with the rest of the race officials to the swim start. This was her second time serving as a race official and she seemed to know the rules and was excited to catch some bad guys. I was worried about her riding around on the back of a motorcycle all day because it was kind of cold and she is a little thing! Erin and I hit Starbucks and then drove out to Lake Mead to watch the first swimmers come in. The water on the lake looked pretty rough and there were already some swimmers in the medical tent so it probably wasn't going to be a fast swim.
I was hoping to see Jonas (the Swedish Speedo model from the Ladies of Slowtwitch triathlon camp) with the top swimmers but apparently he swam off course and ended up 10 minutes down on the lead guy. His team probably wouldn't have 5 minutes to spare with pro cyclist Tyler Hamilton on the lead team so it didn't look good for the Swedish Doodes early in the day. We decided not to say "hi" to Jonas that day since the prize money was probably weighing on his mind. I read on slowtwitch that Jonas displayed his flawless English with a slew of curse words once he was out of the water.
Erin and I decided to take a detour from the race and go over to Hoover Dam since it was only 6 miles away. There is something really creepy about a big dam. Hoover is pretty narrow and really steep so I felt a little dizzy being near it (don't think about it!) Our volunteer shift didn't start until 4pm so we drove back to town and got some breakfast and then took a nap. Since we didn't spend much time on the Vegas strip I asked Erin if we could just go drive down it so I would feel like I had seen it all in case I don't go there again. The throngs of people were still milling about and it was enough to remind me: nope! Vegas is not my town!
We didn't make it back to the race in time to see the first finisher's but Bill kept in cell phone contact with updates (from his computer at home). The big deal with Silverman was the first team to break 8 hours would win $100k. Apparently the lead team's runner went out too hard and blew up on the run, it was especially bitter because he had plenty of time to finish in under 8 hours but ended up missing it by 16 minutes! He's just a young guy from Kenya and we heard that he crossed the finish line in tears. I'm glad I didn't see that, it was devastating just to hear about it.
We were assigned to stand outside of the men's changing tent at T2 and direct the runners up a little hill and through an archway. Since our shift started at 4pm we were seeing people who had been racing for more than 8 hours and still had a marathon to finish. They were mostly incoherent, Erin was walking with some of them to get them on course. Kind of disturbing! By 5pm it was getting dark and the bike cut off time was fast approaching so these were the last people to get out on the course. It was pretty cold and most of the racers were in shorts and little tops, I don't know how they were going to finish. I think they were moving forward only on sheer will. Very tough people!
After volunteering we headed over to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and drinks (and cheesecake) and then back to the hotel for more girl talk and bed. We were up again by 5am the next day to fly out so not a lot of rest but a very good time indeed. Can't wait for the next girls weekend because this one was a lot of fun!