Mike Wardian took first place at the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in Las Vegas on Sunday, finishing in two hours, 38 minutes, four seconds.
In true Las Vegas fashion, Wardian ran in an Elvis costume, as event organizer Dan Cruz shared:
Wardian set a new record for the fastest marathon in an Elvis costume, breaking Ian Sharman's mark by about four minutes, according to Competitor.com.
Wardian averaged 2:31:09 in the six major marathons around the world this season, which was also a record.
Eric Fitzpatrick and Chip O'Hare finished in second and third place, respectively, completing a sweep for Americans in the top three Sunday.
In the women's race, Elaina Schellhaass used a great finish to cross the line in first place in 3:10:51, completing her final 6.2 miles with a pace of 6:52 per mile.
Chelsey Leighton ended up just off the pace, earning a second-place finish ahead of Shelby Nelson, who held the lead for a good portion of the race but couldn't close it out in front.
Here's a look at the top finishers for the two races:
|Las Vegas Marathon Top Finishers|
|Men's Race||Women's Race|
|1||Michael Wardian||2:38:04||1||Elaina Schellhaass||3:11:12|
|2||Eric Fitzpatrick||2:38:57||2||Chelsey Leighton||3:12:11|
|3||Chip O'Hare||2:38:59||3||Shelby Nelson||3:14:49|
|4||Kenneth Smeby||2:42:05||4||Amelia Griffith||3:19:18|
|5||Jason Howe||2:48:09||5||Jennifer Smith||3:24:05|
The Rock 'n' Roll marathon is a unique event thanks in part to the backdrop of the Las Vegas strip. The race is run at night, giving the runners and spectators a chance to see the bright lights and unique buildings all over the city.
Additionally, the town's party mindset doesn't disappear just because there are elite athletes at work. The marathon adjusts to Las Vegas instead of the other way around.
Cruz summed it up best, per Betsy Helfand of the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
It’s really everything on the marathon upside down. Most marathons, they kind of advise you to stay off your feet the day before and rest before the big race, whereas in Las Vegas, people are going to the night club on Saturday night. They’re going to be out until all hours of the night. They’re going to be watching Snoop Dogg, so it’s kind of counterculture to the old school, if you will, marathon preparation.
The Snoop Dogg show during the day gave the marathon a unique flavor:
The same could be said about the starting and finish lines, as the event's official Twitter account and Eduardo Cordova of In Vegas Magazine shared:
With more than 5,000 competitors in the field, it's just as much of a party as a race. Of course, everyone who finishes—regardless of time or standing—deserves tons of credit for accomplishing an impressive athletic achievement.
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