Even bronchitis couldn’t stop local runner Ed Ansems from racing the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half-Marathon late last year – nor did it stop him from placing first in his age category, the first time that’s happened in his three attempts at the Nevada race.
Ansems travelled to Sin City Nov. 17 to race alongside over 21,000 other runners from around North America and the world in this unique race that sees competitors run after sunset and down Las Vegas Boulevard, the main street in Las Vegas.
Ansems finished first in the 65 to 69 age group in a time of 1:40.19, comfortably ahead of the second, third and fourth place finishers who clocked in with tight times of 1:45.40, 1:45.45, and 1:45.50. Ansems placed 474th overall in the race out of a total of 20,666 finishers.
“This was the first time that I managed to place first in my three attempts at this race,” said Ansems. “And for that reason I was extremely pleased with my placing. However, it was not an easy race to run or finish.”
That’s because Ansems had bronchitis at the time of the race.
“I had constant thoughts about quitting and taking the easy way back to the hotel via a taxi,” said the experienced long-distance runner. “For some reason, I did not cough during the race but I was still very tired and dehydrated at the finish line. My finish time was 10 minutes slower than my last Las Vegas race and the slowest half-marathon race of my career. But, that wasn’t really a concern after I found out the next morning that I came in first.”
But Ansems did note that he was going to slow it down with the competitions this year. Last year was a very busy race year for him – he competed in seven races in the Vancouver area between March and August – and he vowed to himself to race fewer times in 2014.
“My legs need a break from racing so often,” said Ansems. “As my age seems to be slowly creeping up on me.”