Going the Distance, Part 2

The second installment by The Advocate's resident marathoner, Shawnn Slaughter, details the oddities and exhilarations of running a half marathon on the Las Vegas Strip.



I did it. On
December 2 I ran the Las Vegas Half Marathon! Two days prior
a Las Vegas television station, KLAS, interviewed me about
running it and living with HIV. The
station did a wonderful job and even interviewed
my mother for a perspective from a parent who has an
adult child with HIV. Part of why I do this is because I get
to play poster boy, which I thoroughly enjoy.

The morning of
the marathon I awoke at 3:30 a.m. and proceeded to lube up
with Bodyglide, a type of ChapStick for the body. This is
necessary to prevent chafing, especially between the
thighs and on the nipples, since there is
a common condition that we male runners simply call
"bloody nipples." (Some men may like this sort of pain. I
don't.) I then dressed in my running tights, shirt,
and sparkly shorts, all in red. I also wore red
sweatpants, which I shed just before the start.

My father was
gracious enough to drive me to the starting line at
Mandalay Bay hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. There were over
17,000 runners that morning. The temperature was in
the 30s, but there was no wind and the sky was clear.
A record number of Elvises were running, and 54
couples were getting married in the run-through
wedding chapel on the course. I'm unaware if any same-
sex couples were married; however, I did see a man
running in a wedding gown.

Tags: Sports