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As We See It

Running with Elvis at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

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Only in Las Vegas will you see an Elvis running in a marathon.
Photo: Steve Marcus

Around Mile 3 I met Elvis. From behind dark sunglasses and beneath a stiff pompadour, he smiled down on me, all long, flailing limbs sheathed in a classic white jumpsuit. “I like your pace,” he said. “I’ve been following you.”

Usually, hearing that a tall stranger dressed like Elvis has been trailing me would set off some bells, but this was the Zappos Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon, and the hundreds of running Elvi who take to the course every December are one of the highlights of the race. Pacing one of them for this 13.1-mile tour of the Strip and Downtown, well that was just an honor.

For the next seven miles, Elvis and I ran mostly in silence. We exchanged occasional smiles and thumbs ups as we wove through the crowd, and every so often I turned back to make sure he was still there—my panting Elvis in sunglasses and sneakers. Then, around mile 10, he was gone. Half an hour later, I crossed the finish line alone, but happy. I can only hope he did the same.

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